Can we get some Lenovo love in the U.S.?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| June 13, 2014


When you walk into any mobile retail store around here, there’s a lot to take in. You’ve got various types of phones ranging from flip phones to smartphones, and each phone is made by different manufacturers. At this point, many of us have had so many phones that we’ve been able to whittle down which types of phones and which manufacturers we prefer to use. The manufacturers we have here, in the States at least, are pretty stable; they don’t really change. It’s not very often that new ones are introduced at this point in time, but there is one that I wish would: Lenovo.


In all likelihood, Lenovo is going to be part of the U.S. market in a backwoods sort of way; with Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola well underway, Motorola products could technically be classified as Lenovo devices. But I’m not talking about Lenovo showing face through Motorola - I’m talking about real Lenovo hardware making way in the U.S. In all honesty, I think their products could have a place here.


The thing about Lenovo’s hardware is that they’re solid and well-built products. They already dabble in making Android phones for other parts of the world, so making the phones themselves isn’t the problem. The problem is getting the phones to work here, which is (as we’ve seen with Sony) a fairly tricky task. Despite the fact that Sony’s phones aren’t bad (and are actually some of my favorites on the market) they just couldn’t seem to generate that much interest here. While I’m not sure why exactly that is, it could be because either Sony hasn’t penetrated our market enough over the past several years when it was most crucial, or also because Sony’s smartphones usually were only available through one carrier.


Only one of those things could be fixed, and I do wonder if it would be too late for Lenovo to generate any interest from this side of the world for their phones at this point. The market is already saturated with Samsung, HTC, Apple, and LG. Motorola is now making a comeback, but they were a name that we were already familiar with. Of course, speaking of Motorola, it’s also probably a farfetched dream to hope for Lenovo to enter our market because of their acquisition of Motorola. Motorola probably will be Lenovo’s only presence here in the States. That being said, I still think there’s enough space for Lenovo to make some headway with their products. The way a Lenovo phone is designed is vastly different from Motorola’s recent designs, with Lenovo’s being geared towards a more premium audience.


Premium design seems to be a big deal these days, especially for Android phones. Android phones have, until recently, had a long history of being primarily “cheap” devices - especially compared to the price people paid for the more premium iPhone. Lately, though, that has changed. Android has expanded to cover cheap, mid-range, and premium handsets, with the importance of premium Android handsets still rising. That’s where Lenovo would fit in.


I do think there’s a very slim chance of it happening. Last year was the first year I really wanted Lenovo to show up in the U.S. phone market because I absolutely fell in love with the Lenovo K900. With Lenovo’s K920 being the new flagship for Lenovo, I find myself wanting Lenovo to sell phones here even more (even if the phone is way too big for my taste). If Lenovo did miraculously decide to start selling phones here, I think the phones could easily rival other flagships released here, and get a little bit more competition going on here stateside.


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