Lenovo's Android-running LePhone is expected to go on sale in China in mid-2010. Unlike the Dell Mini 3 smartphone, which AT&T announced it will offer exclusively in the United States in early 2010, the Lenovo mobile device currently has no U.S. distribution.
PC maker Lenovo on Jan. 5 introduced its LePhone smartphone, expected to
launch in China
in the first half of 2010.
LePhone runs Google's Android operating system, has Qualcomm's Snapdragon
chip set, packs in WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access)-based 3G,
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, and
has a particularly slim frame: just 12 millimeters, or 0.47 inches.
The display is quite large-3.7 inches, with a resolution of 800 by 400
pixels-and includes gesture-based navigation. In all, it's an oblong slab of a
phone. Phone Scoop
reported Jan. 6 that a 3-megapixel camera, a
3.5-mm audio jack and integrated Twitter and Facebook applications are all on
"Lenovo has made phones for Asian markets before; they just haven't
been as well publicized or as competitive," Avi Greengart, an analyst with
Current Analysis, told eWEEK. "What they launched yesterday has many of
the same high-end features as Google's Nexus One by HTC.
It's a bit thicker but still feels good in your hand, as it is nicely
The Nexus One is 11.5-mm thin. The iPhone, to compare, is 12.3 mm, and the
Motorola Droid is 13.7 mm.
In November, PC maker Dell also announced it had joined the
with the introduction of the Mini 3, a touch-screen phone
also running the Android OS. The Mini 3 debuted on the China Mobile network
before heading to Brazil's
"The difference between Dell's announcement and [Lenovo's] is that Dell
was able to secure U.S.
carrier distribution; the Lenovo phone is still aimed at China,"
On Jan. 6, AT&T announced that it would bring the Mini 3
the United States
in the first half of 2010 and that the offering would be exclusive.
Analysts have called Dell's success in the smartphone space a "matter
of managing expectations."
"They have an established brand,
and if they make a good product and target it properly,
there's no reason they can't do well,"
Steve Baker, an analyst with NPD Group, told eWEEK.
The same appears to apply to Lenovo. Rory Read, Lenovo president and chief
operating officer, told Reuters,
"Smartphones are just emerging in China,
so we have an opportunity to very quickly gain share and grow very
Hewlett-Packard is the leading holder of global PC market share,
followed by Acer and, very
close behind it, Dell, and then Lenovo. The move to fourth place is a
significant one for Lenovo, which ranked eighth in 2003.