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Lenovo Wants a Piece of that Top-Tier Phone Vibe

Lenovo Wants a Piece of that Top-Tier Phone Vibe
September 5, 2013 3:48PM

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Although not well known in the U.S. for smartphones, Lenovo says it is the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the world and is No. 2 in China. Of all the things announced today by Lenovo, the most disappointing was that Lenovo was not likely to sell the Vibe X in the U.S. Lenovo says it will first sell the Vibe X in China, then expand to other regions.

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While Apple and Samsung dominate the high-end smartphone market, other companies are trying to grab a piece of the pie, the latest being Lenovo. To accomplish that, the well-known Chinese PC manufacturer Thursday unveiled the Vibe X, which will be released in October.

The Vibe X has a 5-inch, 1080p IPS LCD display, which Lenovo calls "20/20 Vision." A 5-inch display is still on the large side, but with smartphone manufacturers making phones even larger than 5 inches, it appears to be a good size for Lenovo.

The Vibe X includes relatively standard-issue specifications, with a 1.5-GHz MediaTek processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and a 13-megapixel camera. No specs really stand out as surpassing a typical flagship device.

Similar in Size

The large, yet slim design on the Vibe X is similar to popular smartphones such as Samsung's Galaxy S 4 or the HTC One. With the phone only weighing slightly more than 4 ounces, it is slightly lighter than the S 4 and about three-quarters of an ounce lighter than the One.

Lenovo did include a Gorilla Glass display which should protect against accidental scratches. The specs are fairly average, and the Vibe X only runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but the overall look and feel may make it a lucrative device.

Although not well known in the U.S. for smartphones, Lenovo says it is the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the world and is No. 2 in China. Of all the things announced Thursday by Lenovo, the most disappointing was that Lenovo was not likely to sell the Vibe X in the U.S. According to the company, it will first sell the phone in China and then expand it to other areas of the world that already have Lenovo phones available -- which does not include the U.S.

A Tough Market

Samsung accounts for 47.5 percent of the Android market, according to a July study by OpenSignal, which looked at data collected from nearly 700,000 devices. Followings Samsung, OpenSignal said, were Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola.

There are many Android phone manufacturers, and OpenSignal analyzed data from dozens of them. Between the crowded nature of the Android smartphone market and the sheer dominance that Samsung exhibits over it, opening up shop in the high-end sector of the industry is not easy.

Beyond that, Apple still has control of 13 percent of the market with just one set of devices. That number is minuscule compared with Samsung's, but together, Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, and others have made the market a difficult place for other phone manufacturers to enter, especially with high-end phones.

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