Lenovo is super serious about becoming a major force in the mobile device making industry, as made evident by its $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola last month. That said, it’s a bit surprising to hear that the company’s next big announcement about mobile is a partnership with celebrity / Nikon camera commercial guy / startup investor Ashton Kutcher.
Lenovo and Kutcher are apparently teaming up to produce a new line of smartphones in the near future. Additionally, this won’t just be another situation where Kutcher acts as brand ambassador like he’s doing with gagworthy snack PopChips.
“I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real,” Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer David Roman told Re/code. “He not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer*. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it.”
While Kutcher won’t be doing anything to develop the hardware, he will be heavily involved in the phone’s user interface, according to Re/code’s report.
I’m not entirely sure I buy the idea that Kutcher is an “engineer” beyond Lego architecture and an hour of goofing around on a code-for-kids site, but Lenovo obviously trusts his judgment. Kutcher previously partnered with the company on Lenovo’s Yoga tablet, and he’s made a number of successful investments in startups over the last few years.
At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see how the Kutchnovo smartphone turns out.
*Kutcher is learning to code, he says. Check out this clip from late last year: