In an interview with the German website mobilegeeks.de, the President of Lenovo’s Mobile Division, Lui Jun, has said the firm will definitely launch a smartphone running Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8.1 software before the end of the year. Additionally, he also promises the first Lenovo-branded wearable smart device.
Lenovo was announced as a Microsoft partner during Mobile World Congress, and then confirmed at the Build 2014 developer conference, but has yet to make any hardware official. Rumors spread around the same time that Lenovo planned to announce its first phone in April. A very vague specification was also attached to the rumor, suggesting Lenovo’s phone would occupy the mid-range, with a screen measuring between 4.5 and 5-inches, and have a Snapdragon 400 processor inside.
Microsoft will be keen to get Lenovo onboard. The company emerged as a major mobile force almost a year ago, securing nearly 5-percent market share and fourth position in the world, almost solely from sales in China. Since then, it has increased its market share to more than 8 percent, and has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola from Google. The trouble for Microsoft is, Lenovo has achieved its success without Windows Phone, and is clearly not rushing to make any changes.
Windows Phone aside, it’s also interesting to hear Lenovo wants to break into wearable technology. Lui Jun doesn’t give any other details in the interview, but by saying the device will wear Lenovo’s name, it indicates he’s not just talking about the Moto 360.
As always with Lenovo, there’s a question mark over whether the Windows Phone or wearable device will launch internationally. The acquisition of Motorola has given it a convenient “in,” but we’d still like to see some Lenovo-branded phones here in the future. We caught up with the Vibe Z during CES, and were suitably impressed.
Both products discussed in the interview are expected to launch before the end of 2014.