Lenovo unveils a blockchain phone (but doesn’t explain what that means)
Chinese PC giant Lenovo is trying to save its stumbling smartphone business -- by launching a blockchain phone.
Lenovo's Vice President Chang Cheng said at an event in Beijing that their new S5 is “the first blockchain phone”, where blockchain technology is used to improve payment safety. But they didn’t explain how that worked, and said that they couldn’t reveal more.
Apart from having “blockchain” in its name, the S5 doesn’t really stand out from other Android phones on the market. It has a 5.7-inch screen, dual 13-megapixel rear cameras, and uses a Snapdragon 625 chip. The price ranges from 999 yuan (about US$157) to 1499 yuan (about US$236) depending on storage size. The S5 product page also doesn’t have any more information about how it uses blockchain.
Most seem doubtful about the phone. On microblogging platform Weibo, a poll about the phone showed that over two thirds think Lenovo is just using a hot buzzword to hype up the phone. And some blogs say attaching blockchain to the handset is a publicity stunt.
But Lenovo isn’t even the first company in China to claim they have a blockchain phone.
Sugar Phone -- a Shenzhen-based company that brands itself as a French company and sells handsets covered with Swarovski gemstones, released a phone “built on blockchain” that supposedly lets users mine cryptocurrency.
And earlier in March, Chinese TV-manufacturer Changhong said it was releasing a blockchain phone, but the product was never seen on either Changhong’s official site or any online stores.