Industry pressure forced Lenovo to make P30 and iPhone X ‘lookalike’

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Lenovo was pushed to emulate the design of the iPhone X in the widely slammed Motorola P30 according to an industry expert.

Motorola brand holder Lenovo launched the Motorola P30 smartphone on August 15, only to be the target of criticism for allegedly copying the design of the notch-less Apple flagship device.

In defence of Lenovo, Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said vendors outside the top three face pressure from operators to emulate Apple’s design to be marketable, to then maintain a variety of brands at different price points and, essentially, decrease the bargaining power of the three largest manufacturers – Apple, Huawei and Samsung.

“It is very important for operators to have a strong fourth and fifth vendor, so that they have more power in negotiations with the big three. Mobile operators are putting an incredible amount of pressure on brands like Motorola, and many others, to develop clones of the best iPhone and Samsung devices”, said Stanton.

“The Motorola P30 is certainly a rip-off of the iPhone X, but it is not fair to direct all the blame at Lenovo when there are rival vendors doing the same thing, and there is significant external pressure for them to do so. This is an industry issue, not something that can be solved by slamming one vendor.”

A UK Lenovo spokesperson told Mobile News there was “no news to share” on the P30 when requesting more information on the device.

Ovum consumer technology senior analyst Daniel Gleeson said it was “disappointing” to see Motorola “stoop” to copying Apple.

However, he said the P30 could do well in emerging markets in South America.

“Lenovo choices here show that it has basically zero faith in its own design team or any of the key design elements that make a phone a Moto phone. This is not hugely surprising given Lenovo’s continuing failure to turn the business around.”

Affordability

CCS Insight analyst Laura Simeonova added: “The lack of innovative design is not likely to be an issue in the Chinese market, where affordability is an important consideration. We however question its success in western markets, if it is to be released here.”

The mid-range smartphone will be released in China for around £275 (CNY 2,499) – the iPhone X is more than treble that at £999 (CYN 8,811). Lenovo has not confirmed whether the P30 will be released in other territories.

The P30 features a rear fingerprint sensor but does not have face unlock, a feature the iPhone X popularised when launched.

The LCD display is 6.2-inches with full HD resolution (1,080 x 2,246). Under the hood is the octa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 636 processor coupled with 6GB RAM. Internal memory stands at 64GB and 128GB with the option to expand via microSD up to 256GB.

The main camera features a dual-camera system at 16MP and 5MP, with aperture sizes of f/1.8 and f/2.2 respectively. Present is phase detection autofocus, HDR and dual-LED flash.  On the front camera is 12MP with LED flash and capable of recording at 1080p.

Other features include 3,000mAh battery, splash resistance and a USB Type-C connector.

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