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Lenovo bets big on huge smartphone

Lenovo bets big on huge smartphone
Jeffrey Meredith demonstrating the Lenovo Phab Plus

Dubai - Dubai has heightened interest in new technologies and is a market that Lenovo will continue to focus on.

By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Wed 30 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 30 Sep 2015, 10:25 AM

Chinese technology giant Lenovo has gone big - literally - with the launch of a new smartphone that may have further blurred the line between a phone and a tablet.
The world's No. 1 PC vendor on Tuesday unveiled its new Phab Plus, a 6.8-inch device that is a new category that Lenovo has ventured into - though it is very bullish on it and is determined to be successful with it, a top official said.
"We have a lot of optimism relative to the projected performance of the Phab Plus," Jeffrey Meredith, general manager and vice-president of the tablet business unit at Lenovo's mobile business group, told Khaleej Times at the event in Dubai.
He says that this type of device is "deeply-rooted" in consumer behaviour; citing research data, Meredith, in his presentation, revealed that smartphone users utilise their devices on calls - including voice mail and other related things - for only seven per cent of the time. A huge chunk of it - 70 per cent - comprises other activites, with watching videos (18 per cent) leading the way, followed by trolling social media (13 per cent), playing games (12 per cent), keeping up with news (10 per cent), reading books and watching sports (both at seven per cent) and using the camera (three per cent).
For this large share of the pie, the so-called bigger-sized "phablet" will definitely benefit a user, Meredith pointed out.
"[The Phab Plus is] not a techology that we brought in hopes that it might have some consumer appeal, but rather that it's really founded in this idea that consumers have changed the nature in which they use their mobile device," he said.
"And those aspects that they care most about actually benefit from a larger screen."
Even more, Meredith said that while the global phablet market has grown 148 per cent year-on-year, the Middle East region - an area that he says is "very important" to the company on a global scale - has outpaced this figure at 170 per cent. And with the Phab Plus priced attractively at Dh999, this is a golden opportunity for Lenovo in the region.
"We also wanted to make it more accessible with its price and reach out to a wider mass audience," he added. The dual-SIM, 4G LTE-enabled Lenovo Phab Plus has a full-HD 6.8-inch display and runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop. It is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8939 1.5GHz octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM, plus 32GB of internal memory and up to 64GB micro-SD support. It has a 13MP main camera and 5MP front camera, and its 3500mAh battery can give up to 24 hours of power. It will be available beginning at this weekend's Gitex Shopper.
The Middle East and especially Dubai - has heightened interest in new technologies and propensity to adopt to these quickly - is a market that Lenovo will continue to focus on.
Meredith, who is in Dubai for the first time, was "impressed" with the "in-store intellect" of retailers with regards to product knowledge, something that he "doesn't see in a lot of markets".
"It presents a challenge to us as a brand to clearly convey our value proposition... and make sure they can find us in the midst of all the brands," he said.
- alvin@khaleejtimes.com

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