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back to article HELLO LENOVO. Do you really, really want to make smartphones?

Lenovo has bought third place in today's smartphone market by acquiring fallen giant Motorola. Not a bad performance since it only created its 'MIDH' mobile division three years ago. But is this really a prize worth fighting for? Lenovo took the No.1 spot in PCs last year from HP with a huge home advantage in China, where it …

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Stock Android

I'm looking for a new phone, and I'm only considering phones with stock android. All the stuff added by the manufacturers gets in the way and delays or prevents updates to later versions of android.

Life would be better if the manufacturers just made it easy to uninstall their stuff and go back to native android

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Re: Stock Android

And if any manufacturer is listening, just grab a nexus and add a micro SD and removable battery. Leave the android as stock. We really don't care if it is a bees dick thicker than the latest Jesusphone.

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Re: Stock Android

Some of the manufacturer specific stuff I can see why it's embedded in the OS as it adds functionality at a fundamental level.

Other stuff such as the customised interfaces and other bundled applications, can just bugger right off and be implemented as a normal app.

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Re: Stock Android

Having used both I actually prefer the Samsung UI to stock Android. (I know, I'm some kind of strange pervert.)

I just wish I could get rid of the bundled Samsung copies of Google apps that I never use and the 3rd party crap like Dropbox. I appreciate that a lot of other people don't mind giving Dropbox permission to access everything on their phone and send it to the NSA but I'd rather only Google was doing that for me thanks.

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Re: Stock Android

Unfortunately stock Android GUI is still not good enough. You only have to look at the appalling stock incoming screen call on the Moto G to see why Samsung and HTC still add skins and mess with the UI of core apps.

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Trollface

Upvote for acknowledging what you are ;)

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Re: Stock Android

Having used both I actually prefer the Samsung UI to stock Android

With you on that. The Samsung camera app is pretty impressive. Been running CyanogenMod for a couple of weeks on one my phones but will go back to a Samsung build, not least because of better battery life. But the device will stay rooted so I can get rid of the bundled stuff I don't want and that normal users are not allowed to remove.

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Re: Stock Android

Agreed. I like the Samsung UI better than the stock Android stuff. I know TouchWiz was a 4 letter word for some reason, and Samsung is moving away from it anyway, but their icons and color schemes look much nicer to me than stock.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stock Android

Huh, down voted for daring to criticise the stock Android GUI?

Have you people even seen the incoming call screen on a Moto G or Nexus?

http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/334621-problem-half-blank-screen-incoming-calls.html

Contact picture cropped and more than half of a HD screen wasted with black space.

Compare this to the incoming call with contact picture to Samsung and HTC etc.

Google need to polish up the stock GUI (its improved, but even more work is needed) so manufacturers do not feel the need to add their skins and customisations.

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Anonymous Coward

I will be plain sailing.

Moto/Google are a development house that perfected the formula - Mid-range, low-cost, stock Android devices with good support lifecycles.

Lenovo are a manufacturing company that can carry that on. It will be pretty easy for Lenovo to just carry on with what Moto did recently with the Moto X and Moto G phones.

For ever 1 pissed off American that feels that another American company had gone down the pan, there will be 1000x Chinese buyers to replace them.

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Stock android from Lenovo? Could be. On the other hand - I recently bought a Lenovo android tablet. And while customization doesn't go quite as deep as with Samsung tablets, it is not stock Android. Will they do differently for their phones?

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Thinkpad phone

I cant wait until they release a nice quality Thinkpad style android slider with a built in keyboard sort of like the Nokia N900 but with a 5 row qwerty keyboard, fast processor aluminum alloy chassis and high screen resolution. :)

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Taking on an awful lot at once

Just recently purchasing IBM's x86 server business, now this?

I hope they're not biting off a bit more than they can chew; I like Lenovo.

Pic related, what I don't want it to end up looking like.

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Re: Taking on an awful lot at once

They were already the number 4 or 5 smartphone manufacturer, worldwide, before they bought Moto Mobility. The purchase lets them leapfrog competitor Hauwei into third place benhind Samsung and Apple.

More importantly, it gives them a smartphone brand that is known to the west. How many people in America and Europe have had a Motorola phone? How many even knew that Lenovo already sell more smartphones than Motorola?

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Re: Taking on an awful lot at once

I too share your concerns.....

However Lenovo's timing on the PC business acquisiton was masterful and they do not appear to have missed a beat with taking on that business, stabilising it and then growing it.

Therefore I must assume that based on the length of time taken to secure the deal with IBM for the X Series server business that they have a good plan in place for that too and most likely the same for the Moto acquisition.

I guess time will tell.

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Moto G is good

I bought my son a Moto G for Christmas and was so impressed I just bought one for myself.

Not everyone needs, or wants to pay a huge premium for, a high end Apple or Samsung when the Moto G does almost as much for a third or less of the price. I think if Lenovo can tap into this market with similar products they might just do ok

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Anonymous Coward

The reason you don't see stock android much is simple, features and sales people.

If their phone has exactly the same features as a rival how on earth do they talk a shop into stocking it?

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Differentiate by CPU, memory, screen specs, battery life, camera and flash, waterproofing, sound quality, storage, SD, removable battery, quality, warranty, wireless charging, NFC, bluetooth features, biometrics, build materials, distribution channels, or do something really different like dual boot to sailfish or tizen or something, physical size or form factor or colour. All if all else fails then sell yours for less.

The current state of things is akin to each car maker deciding to ignore the steering wheel and pedals and invent their own.

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Anonymous Coward

They might have more than half a clue...

They're not exactly new to the phone market, they just don't sell them in the West.

http://shopap.lenovo.com/in/en/smartphones/

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Anonymous Coward

Price

If Motorola could do it for around £120, surely, Lenovo can do it for uner £80 (retail - mind).

Whats not to like about their acquisition ?

Oh wait, I forgot, its the cartelised distribution models of our country (where they need 3 times the fat in the deals) to offer as cashbacks and incentives, to not allow other players an entry.I bet they hate Google for upsetting the Applecart (pun intended) and gravy train, that have got ued to milking millions out of RIp OFF Britain culture.

I will buy Lenovo anytime at a reasonable price point and avoid the high street (If i can help it).

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Lenovo's Plans

Smartphone is a potential market for Lenovo, and a crucial part of their strategy. Here's why:

The PC+Tablet market is currently this:

1.) Apple

2.) Lenovo

3.) Samsung

What do #1 and #3 have that #2 does not? A smartphone practice. The global smartphone market is oversaturated, but what it the key market left everyone (especially Apple) is trying to crack? China. Which of these three companies is a Chinese firm? Lenovo. Lenovo doesn't need a foothold in the USA/Euro market. They're going to own the China market. They will introduce a fully functioned, low cost Android phone and take the market by storm.

Google kept the patents when they sold Moto to Lenovo, because Lenovo WILL sell Android phones, not Windows Phones (sorry MS). This is important to consider when you look at Apple's foothold in the "PC" market: tablets. The Lenovo Yoga tablets have mostly been MS Surface type ventures and have been growing decently. The Moto biz will allow them to dive right into Android tablets and take Samsung to task overnight, before Samsung takes the #2 spot from Lenovo. Then all eyes turn to Apple, where the #1 spot is fated to fall to Lenovo as Apple shrinks away from the margin closing mobile market, doomed to their 2% bit player share like they see with laptops.

iOS share has fallen from 49% to 35%, while Google OSes now rank in at 61%. Windows 8 is forcing Lenovo to leave the ChomeOS window open, as Chromebook sales skyrocket in our increasingly cloud world.

Apple and Microsoft are on notice. Google+Lenovo+Samsung is a force to be reckoned with. Microsoft is fleeing into enterprise software and clinging to the gaming market. Apple has no where to hide (other than music sales, which is somewhat platform dependent). Expect the next 5-10 years to change the IT landscape a bit, possibly leaving Lenovo the king of hardware from PCs to tablets to phones to servers.

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Re: Lenovo's Plans

But Lenovo is already selling _lots_ of smartphones in China. Why would they want Motorola, except to get a foothold in the US market? Lenovo is arguably scared of Huawei as much as Samsung.

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Lenovorola?

...as opposed to Googerola?

Reg headlines could get confusing.

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Grown up

What you're describing is a mature market. Most people work in such an environment and make a decent living.

A competent manager can make a company pretty profitable there also. He'll have to put a leash on his ego though.

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