Motorola's Moto X smartphone at its unveiling at a news conference… (Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images )
Lenovo Chief Executive Yuanqing Yang said his company purchased Motorola with the goal of surpassing Apple and Samsung, the current leaders in the smartphone market.
Earlier this week, Google agreed to sell parts of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Combining Motorola and Lenovo's smartphone businesses would put Lenovo just behind Samsung and Apple.
Asked Thursday by CNN Money if Lenovo can catch up to Apple and Samsung, Yang said, "Definitely, over time. Our mission is to surpass them."
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Lenovo is already a smartphone leader in China and emerging markets, while Motorola has established brands in the U.S., Latin America and parts of Europe. Yang said Lenovo will leverage both brands to compete in all of those markets.
Yang said he hopes Lenovo can sell more than 100 million smartphones in 2015, which would be nearly twice as many devices as the two companies combined sold this year.
"We are very complementary to each other. Together we can win in the smartphone industry," he told CNN Money.
But even if Lenovo sells that many devices, it will still be far behind Samsung and Apple. In 2013, Samsung shipped 314 million smartphones, while Apple sold 153.4 million devices, according to IDC.
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