Another day, another new smartphone manufacturer springs up in China. It’s like d©j vu all over again, some might say. The media in China is reporting that yet another startup is about to join the already crazy long list of Chinese smartphone manufacturers. The brand new startup is called Zuk, and it’s backed by China-based multinational tech giant Lenovo and Chinese software major Qihoo 360. The first ever phone from the brand will reportedly be a high-end one, and will be called the Zuk Z1. While not much else is known about the upcoming device, there are reports suggesting the phone will ship with a fingerprint scanner, a large battery and will run on Cyanogen OS. Zuk is slated to release the device sometime later this year. While bundling Cyanogen OS with its phones does indicate international aspirations of the new startup, it will be interesting to see whether it can fill the void felt by millions of Cyanogen aficionados when OnePlus had an acrimonious fallout with the famed custom ROM maker.
The latest venture also presents an interesting predicament for Lenovo. The company already has two different smartphone brands under its belt with the acquisition of Motorola’s smartphone division last year, thereby becoming the world’s third largest smartphone vendor in terms of worldwide sales. So, it will be fascinating to see how these many different brands will fit into the Lenovo scheme of things going forward. Meanwhile, security software vendor Qihoo has also recently announced a tie-up with China’s fourth largest smartphone maker Coolpad, to release smartphones under the QiKU brand, but Qihoo meanwhile, is rumored to have invested $409 million on the Zuk project, and going by the looks of things, is extremely serious about breaking into the smartphone biz.
Speaking to the media on the occasion of the brand’s launch, the CEO Mr. Chang Cheng claimed he intends to make Zuk more than just a hardware vendor. He said, “We’ll be more than just a phone company. We’re going to be a software company, and the phone will just be a carrier of our software. ZUK’s business strategy will revolve around getting users to use our software services”.