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Lenovo buys mobile patents from Unwired Planet for $100M

Lenovo on Thursday continued ramping up its mobile arsenal.

The Chinese computing giant, which in January agreed to buy Motorola for $2.9 billion, now has reached a deal to purchase 21 patent families owned by Unwired Planet for $100 million in cash. Those patents include 3G and LTE mobile technology, as well as "other important mobility patents."

"This investment is an extension of Lenovo's existing intellectual property portfolio," Lenovo General Counsel Jay Clemens said in a statement. "It will serve the company well as we grow and develop our worldwide smartphone and mobile … Read more

Motorola's new Moto X coming this summer?

Some have feared that Lenovo buying Motorola from Google meant the end to the company's popular low-cost phones, such as Moto X and Moto G. But it appears the Moto X will stay the same at least for a while longer.

During this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Motorola held a Q&A on Twitter letting people ask what's the deal with the company's line of phones. One follower asked, "When is next version of Moto X?" and Motorola coyly responded, "Keep posted - hint - late summer."

Q … Read more

Motorola wants in on the smartwatch game, too -- and soon

BARCELONA, Spain -- Motorola Mobility may be a lame duck waiting for Lenovo to take the reins, but that doesn't mean it can't make a little noise.

Motorola, for now still a unit of Google, said Tuesday that it will build a smartwatch for later this year. The product will "solve real user problems," will be treated more like an item of jewelry, and will be announced in a few months, according to Rick Osterloh, vice president of product at Motorola.

"Right now, there are no wearable products you actually want to wear, and it'… Read more

Intel launches new Atom processors, touts mobile wins

BARCELONA, Spain -- Intel on Monday launched its new Atom processor for smartphones and talked up its progress in mobile as it tried to alleviate worries about its continued struggles in the market.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company unveiled two new 64-bit Atom processors and an LTE-Advanced chip during a press conference at Mobile World Congress. It also announced multiyear agreements with Lenovo, Asus, and Foxconn to develop mobile devices that run on Intel chips. Lenovo and Asus have partnered closely with Intel in PCs, and both also have introduced tablets with Intel chips inside. Lenovo introduced a smartphone with … Read more

Lenovo's S850 is a hot pink phone with glowing glass and a low price

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lenovo's second phone of MWC, after the heavyweight S860, is the more svelte S850. Despite the similar monikers, they're very different phones.

Where the S860 is over 10mm thick, the S850 comes in at a very slender 8.2mm. Its colour scheme and design are different too, with the S850 only available in white and pink, and its chassis is all glass, like the iPhone 4 and 4S.

It's cheaper too, with a US price of $269 unlocked, compared to the S860's $349, although it won't see a US release.

On the … Read more

The Lenovo S660 includes expandable storage, a quad-core processor, and is coming in June for only $229 (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain -- The Lenovo S660 is a $229 phone designed to feel like a device twice that price. And in my brief time with the device, it seemed to do a fairly believable impression.

The S660's 4.7-inch IPS screen fits a 960x540 resolution display. Obviously not the highest phone resolution, but the smaller-than-average screen does a good job of balancing the trade-off in ultra sharpness compared to more expensive phones.

The phone houses a 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek processor of unknown specificity as its brains and it's at least fast enough to make menus and apps … Read more

Lenovo S860 is a beefy bruiser with a blockbuster battery

BARCELONA, Spain -- Just when Lenovo was starting to make its name as a phone maker, with chunky, big-screen handsets such as the Vibe X we saw at IFA in September, and the Vibe Z that was unveiled at CES, the Chinese company went and bought Motorola.

It's unlikely to give up making own-brand phones in favour of pumping out new Motos, however, and three new mobiles are on show here at MWC.

The S860 is the most high-end of the bunch. Retailing for $349 unlocked later this year, its headline feature is prodigious battery life. Its massive 4,… Read more

Lenovo tries again with the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ with improved specs, coming in April for $349 (hands-on)

The best thing about the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and 10 were their impressively long-lasting batteries. As for performance and value, well let's just say the tablets struggled to justify their respective prices. The new Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, however, at least attempts to offer something better. At least on paper.

The new tablet follows nearly the exact design as its elders, featuring a similarly thin aluminum body that leads to a cylindrical edge. The offbeat layout gives the tablets a well-weighted comfortable feel. Akin to folding back the pages of a magazine and holding it in one hand. … Read more

Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices

Microsoft will implement a 70 percent discount on the price of Windows 8.1 for inexpensive devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows a similar report last year.

Device makers will be charged $15 "to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50," according to Bloomberg.

A similar report emerged from Asia last year. But that report cited size and device-type restrictions. That will no longer apply, however, said Bloomberg. (Other reports last year also cited discounts.)

Some observers see this as … Read more

Google's Woodside said to be hired as Dropbox's new COO

Motorola Mobility's chief executive officer is said to be leaving the company to become Dropbox's chief operating officer, according to The Wall Street Journal. This news comes on the heels of Lenovo's acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion.

Dropbox is a popular online storage company launched in 2007 but to date has not yet had a COO. If Woodside becomes the company's COO, he'll be in charge of working to grow the service worldwide, along with hawking Dropbox's business software in an increasingly more competitive environment, according to the Journal.

Woodside has … Read more