updated 08:00 am EST, Fri December 12, 2008
Lenovo Android Phone Leak
Lenovo will enter the touchscreen smartphone arena by using Google's Android and with a very iPhone-like appearance, a leak from modmyGphone shows. The unnamed device has a full touchscreen flush with the main body, like its Apple rival, and will have just a minimum of extra buttons for calling, answering and stepping through menus. No keyboard is immediately visible and suggests instead that the phone may use a planned virtual keyboard for Android rather than the hardware keys required on HTC's G1.
The Linux-based mobile operating system is also seen as key to the phone's overall role in the market. State-supported carrier China Mobile is specifically said to be backing the concept of "OPhones," or devices running a custom version of Android known as the Open Mobile System that would also support China's native TD-SCDMA standard for 3G data.
Lenovo's example would serve as a key introduction to the strategy and would reportedly give China Mobile greater leverage in negotiating phone deals with companies like Apple, whose initial attempt to introduce the iPhone to China is known to have stalled as China Mobile refused to share profits with a foreign company. Apple has since changed its business model but, if the leak is supported, would now face a government-sponsored alternative.
Little is known about features beyond 3G or the hardware's release date.