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Wednesday, 23 July 2014 09:59

Why Lenovo cannot be a contender in Europe

Written by Nick Farrell



Needs to lose its China focus

Lenovo wants to get its foot in the door of the smartphone market in Europe and the US, but it is killing off any chance by refusing to lose its China focus. Lenovo’s Android smartphones should be doing extremely well in Europe. Not only are they good quality phones with a reasonable spec, they are also cheap as chips. However they are being let down by poor distribution and a refusal to adapt to European specifications.

If you buy a Lenovo through a normal supplier, you can expect to pay a huge premium. Take for example the Golden Warrior S8 smartphone which emerged out of China where it had an octa-core MediaTek chipset and a price tag of $130. In the UK you find them for about £150 - £ 352.70 and in Italy for EUR 170,77.

What is crippling this particular phone is that Lenovo could not be bothered changing the 3G standard. The phone comes with the TD-SCDMA. This is a China only standard which is brilliant if you live in Beijing, but if you try to use it in Europe the phone will only work on a miserable 2G setting. We have seen some suppliers advertise the phone as 3G only to admit in the fine print that it will only work on 2G settings.

Some Lenovo phones, such as the S650 do work on WCDMA but Lenovo is contaminating its brand by insisting on sticking to the Chinese 3G standard. While many would think it is fair enough, as Lenovo flogs most of its phones in China, it is effectively killing off its business by allowing TD-SCDMA into Europe. All it will take is a few angry customers who accidently buy something which is only useful on wi-fi and Lenovo’s European ambitions will be stuffed. Luckily new models like the Vibe Z could do well in Europe, provided they were distributed properly which they are not, at least not yet. The Vibe Z is a quad-band phablet with a Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, LTE and a 13-megapixel camera. The asking price is €290, which is very competitive given the spec - the likes of Samsung, HTC or Sony charge upwards of 500 euro for similarly specced devices. 

Certainly anyone who is thinking of buying a Lenovo smartphone will have to go through the spec with a fine tooth comb before buying and how many customers are looking for a cheap phone will know about the different 3G specs?

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