The worlds first consumer Tango phone, the Phab2PRO, which Lenovo announced at their Tech World event back in June won’t be coming to Australia, Lenovo announced. For fans of the Tango phone in the US there’s further bad news with the phone launch delayed.
Google’s Tango platform uses an array of advanced sensors and imaging sensors embedded in devices to map the world around it. Developers have previously been working on a developer device in a tablet form factor, but the release of the Phab2PRO is Google’s next step in bringing the technology to the masses.
The Tango platfrom combines the sensors in the phone with a software platform that enables the device to become aware of its physical location in the world. Real world applications range from gaming through to mapping, as well as applications such as that built by US-electronics retailer Lowes which puts 3D models of home appliances like fridges in your home using augmented reality on the devices screen.
The Phab2PRO was set for a global release in September, with the phone priced at $499USD, but this has now been revised to a later ‘Fall’ release. Lenovo Australia has advised Ausdroid that their Asia Pacific plans now only include launching the phone in markets that Lenovo has previously launched phones in, this includes Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Hong Kong and the Phillipines, where it will launch in the next month.
In the US, the delay has been advertised on the Lenovo US micro-site for the Phab2PRO, which had until late last month been listing a ‘Summer’ release. The goalpost has now been moved however with Lenovo updating their site, amending the projected release date to ‘Fall’.
Further, when talking about the Phab2PRO on the Lenovo Blog, Herman Cheng Manager, Global Tablet Marketing Communications for Lenovo, also hinted at the revised launch date listing the date for release of the smartphone as ‘available in stores this holiday season’.
All in all, a far cry from the September global release Tango fans had been hoping for.
A key part of Tango is the specialised imaging sensors provided by manufacturer Movidius, who this month announced they had been purchased by Intel. Whether this acquisition has anything to do with the delay is pure speculation, the Movidius components are but one part of the phone.
Lenovo has previously had trouble launching their own branded handsets globally, this was one of the key factors it’s believed behind their acquisition in 2014 of the Motorola brand from Google. Lenovo as a global giant in the PC manufacturing business has the potential to turn their famous ability to scale production into a great partnership with Motorola, a name which Lenovo has scaled back to simply using the Moto brand in recent times.
Lenovo does have other Android offerings launching quite soon, with the Lenovo Yoga Book announced at IFA, arriving next month for $799. The Yoga Book which is available in a Windows 10 variant as well, uses an innovative touch sensitive panel that can act as a keyboard as well as a slate for drawing with a stylus. While it’s not a Tango device, at least we’re getting their other high end devices here in Australia.
If you were looking to get a Tango phone when it launched, it looks like the grey import market is about your only option.