File this under someone else’s rumor, namely WP7Fourm.ru, but we like the guys over there, and they’ve generally had things right in the past. According to a ‘trusted source’, the first Lenovo Windows Phone could be finished as early as April, with an early summer time-frame for an actual release.
Microsoft only announced on Sunday that Lenovo – along with LG, Foxconn and others – have joined the Windows Phone camp. Besides the growing popularity of the OS, three other reasons why many companies are now on board was the reduction in hardware controls, e.g. software keys are a go, new Snapdragon chipsets and the Qualcomm Reference Design. All three of those changes significantly reduce development costs for OEMs who also make Android phones.
Lenovo’s first Windows Phone is not expected to compete at the high-end though, so don’t expect that ‘ThinkPhone’ just yet. Instead, WP7Forum.ru claims the device will be mid to low range with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 or 600, and the price will be lower than the sum of 15,000 rubles. Screen size will reportedly be in the 4.5-5 inch range.
Lenovo Vibe Z with Android
That makes sense as so far, Lenovo’s Android devices have hovered mostly around midrange, with a focus on Eastern markets. Western markets, especially in the US, are harder to break into due to the strict carrier relations needed to get a phone picked up. Having said that, Lenovo does make the Vibe Z, which features a 5.5-inch 1920x1080 IPS with a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU, so high end is on their product map.
Lenovo recently acquired Motorola Mobility from Google, giving a much needed shot in their arm for smartphone development. They’re expected to turn around the MM division in a few quarters, returning it to profitability. Lenovo sold nearly 14 million of its own-branded phones in China just in Q4 2013 alone, up 47 percent from last year