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Lenovo wants to make Windows Phone 8 devices with customized UI

Lenovo is in negotiations with MS

It seems as though Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) is generating interest from manufacturers who only previously dipped their toes in the Windows Phone waters. WPDang reports that executives from Lenovo's Research and Development division visited Microsoft's headquarters to discuss the possibility of making WP8 devices. What's more, Lenovo has reportedly requested that they be allowed to customize the UI to include their own apps and app store, much like they did with their Android-powered LePhone and not unlike Nokia has done with their Lumia line of phones.

Lenovo had developed a Windows Phone 7 device to be released in China, but not much came of it. Whether or not they will be allowed the UI customization that they seek remains to be seen. Either way, it would be great to see another OEM added to Windows Phone family.

Source: WPDang (Google translation); Via: WPSauce

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Reader comments

Lenovo wants to make Windows Phone 8 devices with customized UI

71 Comments

i'd also say no if it actually would be a UI customisation.
 
To me this is more like a branded store - thats all. If the UI is untouched, i'm good with them getting some more apps to the plattform first exclusive to lenovo phones, then to everyone.

Fragmentation of experiences. Microsofts strategy was supposed to be same experience on different devices. I agree, please no!! What value would OEM 's get from renaming the marketplace? They need to focus on the hardware to differentiate themselves from Nokia. And I dont like that Nokia rebranded the marketplace either

agreed. it'd be a total disaster if MSFT starts letting OEMs botch the WP UI. what drew me to WP in the first place was the kick-ass design... seeing that new start screen has already got me worried they're willing to sell WP's soul. please don't do it MSFT!

I agree. Good that interest is increasing but makes me wonder if oems also knew that wp7 was was going to be discontinued and to hold off until the 'real' windows phone is released.

not at the cost of making the phone UI look like ASS!!!!  Microsoft, just say no!  Nokia has the right but even they are smart enough not to muck up the UI.  Metro is too far down the road now to let Lenovo screw it up. 

I don't understand these oems, I mean, when they make windows laptops, do they get to customize the UI? A phone is a device and windows is an operating system, they need to understand its the same concept.

well sort of they do, we generally refer to it as bloatware....all the "bars" and "control panels" and other OEM junk that people really don't need.

Android changed the landscape for customized ui for smartphones, just like iOS changed the landscape for OS updates for 2 year old devices (why else would there be such an uproar about WP7 phones not getting WP8?)

If I'm reading the article correctly, the only customization they want to make is the addition of their own apps and app store.  Nokia obviously has this, HTC has it as do several other manufacturers if I'm not mistaken.  Doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me.  Just more reason to make different nakes attractive to different buyers.

Agreed! Lets face it, the more exposure WP gets, the better. I really don't know how far lenovo's reach is overseas, but I don't see many Americans buying a Lenovo device unless its superb

Lenovo makes Thinkpad laptops, the #1 business laptop in the US, known for its tank-like reliability and high quality. In China, Lenovo is the #1 manufacturer of computers; last I heard they dominanted the Chinese market.
I think it's good news - I'd be interested in their phone. I'm not sure why everybody else in this thread is complaining about Lenovo having their own app store. HTC & Nokia already have it, and if you don't like it you can always uninstall it.

The Thinkpad line is known because it was IBM that created in and has had over a decade of winning awards with their line of laptops. 

If it is just their own app store and custom apps I can't see this being an issue. That is the standard differentiation they allow. Allowing them to default their own apps on the start screen instead if the WP defaults it isn't really a big deal. I am thinking something like putting their own mapping app on the start screen instead of Nokia Maps as long as the original app was included.

Branded store with some exclusive apps, fine...that is something I'm sure Microsoft is enhancing this with Windows Phone 8 anyway to make it more attractive to OEMs.  But customizing the UI, I just don't know what that means.  Different Lock screen, okay...Tile screen layout, maybe.  Anything beyond that, I'd probably just say no, don't do it.

im not against it... if people dont like what they do to their phones they can just go to a different oem :D

I've personally never used a Lenovo device... But I do know that Lenovo is the most used product by NASA, and that's saying something about technology! As far as the customization goes, more colors, different apps, and different lock screen like someone else said..after that, stop!

I wouldn't read too much into the NASA thing. That's just because they got the purchasing contract. The USAF buys mostly Dell but that doesn't mean anything either.

I'm not sure I like this at all. I hope they won't let them customize the UI like on Android. We don't need that stuff.
 
They might as well just mean to throw in some custom market icons like Nokia and minor branding stuff in the marketplace and things like that and those things are alright to me.

Actually the quality of Lenovo devices us superb. So why not. With a global market share of about 2 to 4 percent, and don't see a point in keeping them out. In addition, you never can have enough OEMs that support your OS.

It wouldnt matter if they offered something that wasnt to your liking there are still other oems lol lenovo would be beating a dead horse if they changed anything to significantly

I am not so sure why everyone gets so excited about this! Just don't buy Lenovo's Windows Phone 8 devices if you don't agree with their customization - problem solved!

If their (or other OEMs) customized devices don't sell, they will think twice next time when they release another WP8 device. :)

For Nokia, it's been announced early that they get special treatment from Microsoft.
 
But Lenovo is different. If they get what they want, the other OEM would ask for similar treatment. Peoples don't buy their Windows Phone ? They still have their Androids that's bigger part of their portfolio, so they might not care that much if their WP failed. In any result, it will reduce the customer's choice for device with stock interface.

We get excited because letting one means letting all. Then what are we left with? Hardware manufacturers mucking up the concept of WP UI. All because a small focus group likes touch wiz. This is MS made the Surface.

The real question is: are they actually talking about separate app store for Lenovo phones or just a branded section of existing Marketplace? If latter, this is not even worth an article about as all OEMs have that already - and if former, then I hope Microsoft told them to fuck off (as that would be typical Android-style fragmentation).

Do not turn this into Android. I would not buy a Lenovo device if it were changed... I like their laptops, and I don't see them change the Windows 7 UI. So don't do so here.

Well, while no a fan of the idea, and prefered MS didn't allow, all in all not such a big problem, not thinking of buying a Lenovo anyway.

I like my Lenovo laptop but if they mess with the WP8 UI then I would probably choose a different OEM for my first Windows Phone 8 device.

Please no
we dont want Android 8, we want WP8
It will probably play havoc with the update process.
 
I love what we have now. OEMs can play around with hardware under certain restrictions and can customise by apps. No more privelages . Please.

its interesting to see lenovo windows phones but im more interested in MS answer 
i think MS might allow them to make customization if and only if they accept to be windows only manufacturer

Why don't they just try designing an appealing, original looking phone instead of screwing with the UI.

Lets hope its not real 'ui customisation' like android with each phone manufacturers customisations, which reminds of all the differences with Linux distros!

Oh yes look how different UI is messing up android sales....i say let them and if the new UI sucks their feel it in the pockets

Its ok, I left them a tip last night about Dell is probably making a new win 8 venue pro. I didn't even get a response. :(

Before they start installing bloatware and ugly skins over a perfectly beautiful and functional design, they should concentrate on making great looking phones with monster specs and amazing build quality.

No No No if you want customisation go with Android OS, plain & simple. Either you go Metro or you go Retro

I'd be interested to see what they come up with. I say go for it. If it's "ugly" to you then don't buy it, but they might actually improve things.