Hey, remember when BlackBerry hired Alicia Keys to be its “creative director?” Well it looks like Lenovo is going one step farther because it’s decided to let actor Ashton Kutcher design a new line of smartphones that it will launch later this year. Re/code reports that Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer David Roman confirmed Kutcher’s involvement in new smartphone designs and said that “I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real.” Roman added that Kutcher “not only sees himself as an engineer but he is an engineer.” However Kutcher decides to design his phones, he’d be wise to stay away from cross-promoting them with fellow celebrity Ryan Seacrest’s knockoff BlackBerry keyboard, since doing so would certainly anger BlackBerry CEO John Chen. And you wouldn’t like John Chen when he’s angry.
Selling computers is a tough racket to be in right now, and it looks like Sony might be nearing the end of the road. A report from Reuters on Tuesday morning suggests that Sony is currently in talks to sell its Vaio PC operations to Lenovo, which seems to be linked to any and all consumer tech M&A chatter in the market these days. Lenovo just acquired Motorola Mobility from Google for about $3 billion and the company’s buying spree could continue with Sony’s computer division. Why would Lenovo buy Sony’s loss-making computer biz? Good question, and it’s one that investors in Japan pondered as well while they drove Lenovo’s share price down more than 16%. A separate report from Nikkei said that investment fund Japan Industrial Partners is actually eying Sony’s PC business, not Lenovo, and the deal could be worth between $391 million and $489 million.
Motorola launched two Moto-branded phones last year that each received critical acclaim. The Moto G was a remarkably affordable entry-level smartphone with a design and performance that surprised reviewers. The Moto X was a customizable beauty, built to order right here in the United States. But as we learned on Thursday afternoon when Google reported its fourth-quarter earnings, Motorola still couldn’t find a way to stem the bleeding as the phone maker recorded yet another quarterly loss.
So now, Motorola is someone else’s problem. More →
Remember how much fun the Android phone market used to be, back before Samsung completely stomped out the competition and back when HTC, Motorola and LG all released hit devices? Well those days are long gone since the Galaxy Note 3 and the nine versions of the Galaxy S4 ruled the Android market with an iron fist last year and made Samsung the only company to consistently make money selling Android phones. More →
Was the Lenovo-Motorola merger a shotgun marriage? It certainly caught many people by surprise when it was announced on Wednesday and now Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing tells The Wall Street Journal that his company doesn’t “have an effective plan yet” to return Motorola to profitability. Nonetheless, the executive tells the Journal that his company “can make money” on Motorola because “we definitely have that kind of confidence to turn around the business, and to expand the business.” Lenovo, which was one of the few PC OEMs to actually see its PC sales increase last year, wants to make a big splash in both American and European smartphone markets this year. The company has already had terrific success selling Android handsets in China and the latest numbers from IDC show that it’s become the No. 5 smartphone vendor in the world.
On Wednesday night, Google announced it is selling off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for just $2.91 billion, a couple of years after acquiring the business for $12.5 billion. On the surface it looks like a massive loss for Google, but after taking a deeper dive, this might actually be a great deal after all. More →
In an unexpected move, Google on Wednesday announced that it sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for close to $3 billion, although the Search giant will still keep some parts of Moto, including the patents it acquired to defend Android. However, Lenovo may also walk away with a perk of its own, an inclusion in the Nexus family, if one of Eldar Murtazin’s newest tweets is to be believed. More →
Google won’t have the Motorola albatross hanging around its neck for much longer. Unnamed sources tell Reuters that Chinese computer vendor Lenovo is close to buying Motorola Mobility from Google for around $3 billion, which backs up a similar report from China Daily claiming that Lenovo would buy the one-time mobile phone titan for $2 billion. Although we don’t know when a deal to buy Motorola will be finalized, Reuters‘ sources say that an official announcement could come as soon as Wednesday. Reuters also says that the deal is expected to include “some” of Motorola’s patents. More →
Lenovo may have been one of the few winners of the great 2013 PC sales crash but that doesn’t mean the company is blind to the writing on the wall, which is why it’s put more of its resources lately into developing Android smartphones. And now CNET reports that Lenovo is planning to aggressively expand its Chromebook lineup this year by launching several new low-cost Chrome OS laptops this summer. More →
Ultra HD has been all the rage at CES once again this year, but much of the coverage has focused on outlandishly expensive televisions that would hardly fit in the average living room. As it turns out, plenty of companies were quietly revealing reasonably sized displays as well, so 9to5Mac assembled a list of a few of the more affordable options for those who want 4K without breaking the bank. More →
Late last year, Lenovo announced that it would be charging into 2014 with a new smartphone strategy that might give the company a much-needed competitive edge. Lenovo didn’t waste any time either — four new smartphones were unveiled on Thursday, each of which will see an international release this year. First up is the Vibe Z, Lenovo’s premiere LTE-enabled smartphone. The Vibe Z features a 5.5-inch, 1080p display, 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, up to 16GB of internal storage, 13-megapixel rear camera and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Vibe Z will be available in February in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines for $549.
The past couple of years have seen tablets compete over which one can deliver the best display. However, the big battle over the next year may be over which tablet can deliver the best battery life, especially once manufactures start shipping more tablets Intel’s low-power Haswell tablet processors. And a new dispatch from Consumer Reports suggests that the next generation of tablets will have battery life beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. More →
One of the biggest surprises in the tech world this year came when Apple decided that it wouldn’t try to attract consumers in emerging markets by releasing a truly low-cost iPhone. Instead, the iPhone 5c that the company launched in September is mostly another high-end smartphone that’s slightly less expensive than the iPhone 5s off-contract because of its older hardware and cheaper plastic casing. Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, which has been the one company to actually thrive during the great PC sales collapse of 2013, now sees an opportunity to deliver to consumers in emerging markets and is planning to target consumers whom Apple has failed to reach with the iPhone 5c. More →