Lenovo confirms Windows Phone 8 handset plans

Lenovo confirms Windows Phone 8 handset plans

Summary: JD Howard, vice president of Lenovo's Mobile Internet and Digital Home unit, confirms it is planning for a Windows Phone 8 device and, if approved, there's a "good chance" of a 2013 release.

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LAS VEGAS--A senior Lenovo executive has again reiterated the Chinese company is planning for a Windows Phone 8 handset and, should the plans be approved, consumers have a "good chance" of seeing it released this year.

JD Howard, vice president of business operations & worldwide business development at Lenovo's Mobile Internet and Digital Home (MIDH) business group, told ZDNet Asia in an interview here Wednesday that as a device manufacturer, the company will go where the market leads in terms of deciding which operating system (OS) to include in its handsets.

Android is currently "very solid" and Lenovo is riding the OS' success with the latest portfolio of six phones it unveiled at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), including its flagship K900 smartphone and the enterprise-ready IdeaPhone P770, he said.

However, Howard said should consumers be concerned over any possible security vulnerabilities in Android OS, or that the phones are made in China, the security features in Windows Phone 8 should help mitigate many of their fears. This is why the MIDH unit has put in a proposal to develop smartphones running Windows Phone 8 OS to the management, given that it is Lenovo's planning cycle now. He said its fiscal year ends in March 2013, and any concrete decisions will only be known in April.

That said, should the management give the greenlight, there is a "good chance" consumers will see a Lenovo-branded Windows Phone 8 handset in 2013, the vice president stated.

News of the company's plans to produce a Windows Phone handset proved premature in 2012, when online news site ChinaTechNews.com reported in June the company will launch the device last autumn.

Rival Huawei Technologies on Tuesday unveiled its own Windows Phone 8 phone--the Ascend W1--at CES. The Ascend W1 is 10.15mm thin and features a 4-inch 480x800 LCD screen with OGS technology. It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.2GHz processor and Adreno 305 graphics processing unit (GPU), the company stated. 

Ascend W1
Credit: Huawei

The Ascend W1 will be available in China and Russia from January 2013, followed by western Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and other selected markets, it added.

Kevin Kwang of ZDNet Asia reported from the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in Las Vegas, United States.

Topics: CES, Lenovo, Microsoft, Smartphones, Huawei, Windows Phone

Kevin Kwang

About Kevin Kwang

A Singapore-based freelance IT writer, Kevin made the move from custom publishing focusing on travel and lifestyle to the ever-changing, jargon-filled world of IT and biz tech reporting, and considered this somewhat a leap of faith. Since then, he has covered a myriad of beats including security, mobile communications, and cloud computing.

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11 comments
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  • good move to become a single supplier for corp

    mobile hw. Enterprises need to ban android phones and tablets due to security holes and malware both. Lenovo could then provide secure alternatives for both with W8 and WP8.
    Johnny Vegas
    • i agree

      this looks like something corps would buy, specially a company that already supplies lenovo laptops to all employees. lenovo has a huge following in corporate world.
      Master Wayne
    • Paranoia!

      Now all you need is any form of proof of any damage done by so called Android security holes, don't have any ? Didn't think so ......
      fourthletter
      • Android Security

        I do not agree with the OP, however do not be ignorant of the risks that go along with using mainstream operating systems. Android has its share of risks and its architecture will pave the way for many more in the future.

        Here a couple of links explaining some of the risks. I got to them with a quick search and have not read through all of it yet:
        http://www.esecurityplanet.com/views/article.php/3928646/Top-10-Android-Security-Risks.htm

        http://blogs.cio.com/mobile-security/16927/android-security-threats-overhyped-not-so-fast

        http://blogs.cio.com/mobile-security/16804/android-security-woes-google-wallet-threat-bad-news-nfc-payments

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/2013524/study-finds-25-percent-of-android-apps-to-be-a-security-risk.html
        mikeh810
  • The K900 is 'EXECUTIVE CLASS'!

    makes the iphone look like a hockey puck!
    Mujibahr
    • Not everyone is a moth

      We're not all attracted to bright lights that lack substance.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • Yes and no...

      In security and corporate features yes. But in some of the still basic features, Windows Phone still has a way to go. Heck, even Exchange integration is still better on iOS than it is on WP8, amazing as it may seem...
      Narg
  • ThinkPad Phone!!

    I would kill for a ThinkPad phone. A bullet proof phone with the same texture as the ThinkPad laptops. Please Lenovo!
    dmacke
    • YES!

      tough phone, non-reflective display, no BS operation. Lenovo could easily do it right.
      Narg
  • Lots of us thought Lenovo wouldn't remain first tier post IBM.

    Lenovo has been proving me wrong. I am still surprised. Thinkpads are still among the best. Lenovo could succeed in the competitive world of smartphones. No denying this would be great for Microsoft.
    rp518
    • Lenovo Phone 8

      And now the Apple iFan-boys start sweating, as they may have to eat crow about their predicted failure of Windows 8
      abt187@...