Lenovo LePhone Smartphone Features Android, Snapdragon

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-01-07 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 board.

"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 rounded."

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 smartphone space, 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 Claro.

"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," Greengart said.

On Jan. 6, AT&T announced that it would bring the Mini 3 to 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 rapidly."

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.

 
 
 
 
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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