There are a number of handsets which will be vying for consumer attention this year. Two of the ones which are likely to be leading the charge over the next few months were announced and introduced earlier in the week, the LG G5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7. Of the two, the G5 is certainly the more novel as it is designed to be an innovative handset which allows for the hot swapping of components via its removable base. A level of innovation which LG is likely counting on to counteract straight sales of the latest Galaxy handset.
Of course, innovation is one of those buzzwords of now, with a number of companies looking to bring to market products which are innovative enough to generate sales. One device in particular which will certainly be innovative is the Lenovo/Google partnered Project Tango smartphone. This was a device which was announced back at CES during a joint press event and at the time was confirmed to be the first real consumer Project Tango smartphone. The big selling point with this one being its emphasis on being an augmented reality focused handset.
Now that MWC is here and ongoing, more details about the augmented reality smartphone are coming to light. According to Lenovo’s CEO, Yang Yuanqing, the augmented reality phone “will launch in July“. Furthermore, this seems to be a device which will be pushed extremely hard in ‘mature markets’ as a gateway device to further establish a Lenovo presence within those markets. Again, according to Yuanqing, “If you want to access the mature markets you need two things: innovative products and a premium brand.” Following which, Yuanqing believes this year and this product is what will satisfy the “innovation” and “premium brand” needs and help to cement Lenovo’s position. As Yuanqing puts it, “So far we haven’t done very well on both things. But with a couple of years of preparation, I think now we are ready to attack that market this year.” The augmented reality phone aside, Yuanqing did seem to make it clear that penetrating these mature markets is the goal generally for Lenovo this year, as they look to expand their presence worldwide. However, the company will be looking to the likes of the AR phone to really drive this point home, with its sales expected to boost both the mature market ambition, as well as continuing the company’s impact in China.