Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo’s (0992.HKG, LHL.FRA, LHL1.FRA) third-quarter smartphone sales in China were 18 times higher than a year earlier, setting it up to be market leader by the end of 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported. Lenovo’s smartphone market share in China increased to 15%, from 1.7% last year. The figures make the Chinese company the second largest phone vendor, trailing Korean maker Samsung (005930.KRX.005935.KRX, BC94.LON) with 16.7%, but significantly ahead of Apple (AAPL.NASDAQ, APC.FRA) with 6.9%, according to market research firm Gartner. Lenovo’s smartphone sales were double that of Apple in China. The Chinese firm will be the leading smartphone seller in China by year end, said Gartner. While Lenovo’s smartphone business is not yet profitable, the company expects it to make a profit in China in six to nine months, said Yang Yuanqing, the firm’s chief executive.