Lenovo shows off smartphones

Lenovo has been showing off smartphones which are being seen as a prelude to the much rumoured Intel-based IdeaPhone K900.

According to ComputerWorldthe semi-mythical IdeaPhone K900 is going to be the first of Chipzilla’s significant moves into the smartphone world.

The phones that Lenovo was showing off yesterday at a preview event at CES were ARM loaded. They are also targeted at emerging markets rather than the cut and thrusting US and European arenas.

The models Lenovo displayed included the S720, A800, S890 and K860, which all run recent versions of Android, either Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean. But what was interesting is that these machines are all supposed to be predecessors to the K900.

Intel has been promising Atom-based smartphones for two years and showed a prototype at CES in 2012. The fact that Lenovo signed up to the dream was big news. Certainly if Chipzilla can get a toe hold into China it could do well. China is one of the emerging markets where low-cost smartphones are driving enormous global smartphone growth, and could be a good base to launch into the mobile market.

Smartphone penetration is only 40 percent of the Chinese market compared with 80 percent in the US. 

Intel has, however, been laying down the groundwork for China’s market over the last couple of years. It struck a deal with ZTE and tencent, while Sean Maloney said in early 2012 that the company plans to win in that market and is well placed to do so.