Ashton Kutcher

Two-and-a-half special-edition smartphones

It was back in October that Lenovo signed up Ashton Kutcher as their newest "product engineer", a move that was more marketing stunt than anything else. Or so we thought.

Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer David Roman says that Kutcher actually is going to be designing phones for Lenovo. He might not be a technical engineer that works with chipsets, sensors, and the like, but he's also going to be more than a hire-in-name-only (sorry about your luck with Alicia Keys, BlackBerry). Roman said in an interview with Re/code:

"I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real. He not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it."

What that's going to lead to at Lenovo is a line of special edition phones. Kutcher's going to be putting his stamp on the user experience of the smartphones, but how exactly that will play out (and how weird it will be having the man who played Steve Jobs in a movie designing Android phones) we'll find out later this year.

Source: Re/Code


Reader comments

'Product Engineer' Ashton Kutcher will actually be designing phones for Lenovo


Yeah.... this makes me really NOT excited to see what Lenovo bring to the table, especially with this self loving big headed douchbag involved

Have you ever seen interviews with him where he's able to actually get into a topic he cares about? He's a lot more intelligent than I thought he would be. I wouldn't be surprised if he and Lenovo come up with something worthwhile.

I think everyone thinks he's actually Kelso from That 70's Show, and you're right: he's smarter than that. But whenever someone brings up engineering, I think of a ton of math and science and dedicated study. Perhaps 'designer' might've been a better fit, not to downplay designing as if it's easy, but it might have more 'wiggle room' with the qualifications when it comes to ol' Ashton.

I don't think he stupid by any means, he is just full of himself. It really would not surprise me if the phone is called the Lenovo Kutcher and he has a big picture of his face as the home screen and his name engraved in the back

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The phones should be locked down and his face used as wallpaper so everyone at a glance can see who bought them.

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I am what many would consider smart. I have a biology and chemistry degree. Does that mean HTC should hire me as an engineer? No.

Actually as an engineer myself, a lot of "us" don't get what the average user's perspective is, often something is complicated or too hard to use because we assume the users are like us. So having a regular person in the final say can make it better. Technical skills is easily outsourced to China or India where they churn out real technical engineers a lot faster than in the U.S. Having the vision to unify complicated parts is what's needed in the Android world.

Could not agree more. Ashton Kutcher plays a genius Internet entrepreneur on TV and suddenly he's an engineer? Yeesh.

Jitterbug should have hired him instead. He knows what a elderly woman would need :-)

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Apparently not.
Demi kicked him to the curb and now he's back with Kunis.

Still, looks like a win for him.

Dude, Where's My Phone? Currently in production, Ashton Kutcher to play himself, the brilliant engineer risking it all and pushing design to the edge.

Dude, do you know him well enough to be credible with this sweeping statement? I know I don't, so I think he deserves a chance to prove himself with an actual product. Titles are just titles, not all certified engineers can guarantee a product that will be a hit anyways. Also: name-calling? Really?

That would be a "winning" combination Lenovo + Charlie Sheen.

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Maybe he'll be a more customer oriented designer, listening to the public is something Kutcher does often,, will wait and see what move he makes first before tossing out an in informed opinion,, he may surprise the techy spec sheet loving crowd

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Ashton Kutcher is by far a lot smarter than the vast majority of people, especially Americans, who post on these threads.

Moreover, he's very successful with his investments and participation in cutting edge technology.

Agreed, he has been instrumental in MANY tech based companies, most of which have struck gold. Dude knows what he is doing. You may not like him, but when it comes to his tech investments he is dead on.

You do realize that's a TV show he is on in which he plays a smart, intelligent, entrepreneur?

I have seen nothing from him helping MANY tech companies....

Again I'll hold out to see what he does, but I'm betting not much...

I agree to an extent. Are Americans inherently less intelligent or something?

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Yes. Yes they are.


I'm american and education in this country is really bad.

Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

Why is always with the American's..... we came from other countries dumb ass..... that includes yours lol

As far as Ashton goes I, as an American, have nothing against him and he has yet to prove himself in this field. But based on his track record, none.. other than being an actor which inherently qualifies you for... well... nothing more than a spokes person, I don't see him providing anything remotely close to what a seasoned engineer can do.

Again we shall see what this "American" thinks of him once he proves himself.

He did well in that flick. Even though the movie left out major parts of the story. Steve Jobs was a great man, but that movie danced around the biggest part of the story...


Everyone relax, this is all just a marketing ploy, just like Ashton did with Nikon.

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I seriously lol'd.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Some of us with engineering degrees and actually performing the role of an engineer dislike the diluting that is going on with the term 'engineer'. Heck, I've seen Customer Service Engineers. WTF does that even mean?

So Apple didn't quite work out for him?

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Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

There's is almost no information on his life prior to acting, for all we know he has a bachelor's in engineering or design. The people that design phones for a living for all you know are even bigger douches than kutcher's public image.

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He actually went to college for Biochemical Engineering....granted he dropped out to pursue acting, but you gotta have SOME brains to even attempt that kind of field.

I look forward to this not because I like Kutcher or care if he qualified as an engineer.

I look forward to this because someone from end-user point of view has a huge influence on next flagship form a major electronic manufacture. Instead of just some typical engineering designer just throw us something they think we would like.

Why is it that people assume celebrities can do anything? Evidently being a celebrity means that you are qualified to be a governor, president of the US, a nobel prize winner, an engineer, etc. I guess they teach a lot more than I thought in acting school.

Calling him a product engineer really gives engineers a bad name and really takes away the fact that real engineers have spent many years getting where they are.

Basically they are saying anyone is qualified to be an engineer regardless of education or training...

He went to college to be a biochemical engineer but dropped out to be a model.

But, I completely agree with you. It's annoying that anyone and everyone is an engineer today.

Things are looking up for Lenovorola! First Ashton, and now Kobe has an endorsement deal with them. This is good news right? RIGHT!?

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I'm going to wait till I see the products before passing judgment. Actor -> artsy guy -> designer? Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised. Just as long as they're not prohibitively expensive, I guess.

I never quite understand the hate towards Ashton. He was a biochemical student before he started modeling and becoming an actor, so he's a rather intelligent guy. You don't have to like his work, you don't need to watch his movies or tv shows if you don't like him. I'm not picking sides but I don't think Charlie sheen could ever do what Ashton does. For starters, being sober and drug free for once? Ashton seems to be a good kid who has a kind heart. And he seems to be able to take criticism or negative comments rather well.

I like the guy, personally. I think he's great on Two and a Half Men and based on an interesting interview with The Verge last year I'm curious what he has in mind for how a smartphone should be.

Sent via my Verizon Moto X

Had a yoga tablet for 2 and a half days and it then went back and I got a new Nexus 7....did you see what I did there?

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He did a good job in Jobs so I'm curious to see what he comes up with

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Wow, the hate for Kutcher on here seems mostly focused on jealousy.
As others have stated, he is an intelligent guy that zero of you know on a personal level.
You think because he acted stupid on That 70's show that he must be like Kelso in real life.
With the money and time this guy has, who knows what he does in his spare time. Maybe he actually Has an engineering degree. None of you know if he does or doesn't. And just because People magazine "quoted" something that made him seem like a tool, doesn't mean he is in REAL life. Hell, half you people are probably tools in real life, like you have room to talk.

I swear, people now days hate on inanimate objects, operating systems, and people for NO reason at all.
Half the people on here hate Apple and want the company to go bankrupt for NO real reason at all. Never mind how many people around the entire globe actually get a pay check from apple from working for them or developing for them.
They chose to not like a company because they "heard" something or read something on the interweb, which we all know, if it's on the web, it MUST be true, and decided they no longer like that company, operating system, or person.

People need to grow up and stop hating on phones makers, operating systems, and people you don't even know.
Take a look in the mirror before you criticize someone else. You might be a bigger tool than kutcher.

He's a celebrity, not just an actor, but a man who makes a good part of his living by making himself a brand. Sorry, but that garners very little respect in this world. Fair enough that he wants to do a real life role play of Steve Jobs, but he'll have to do a lot more before people will take him seriously. Even Lenvo is only using him for the celebrity name recognition. Respect waits on results.

Natalie Portman is a celebrity, yet she graduated from Harvard. So, does she deserve your respect or not? (Not that she would give a shit...)

Point is that there are many celebrities who had a great education (not the vase for Kutcher), and belittling them only because of their success is not fair.

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I'm just glad someone else said this. I don't think it's fair that so many people here are ready to dismiss this offering simply because it's someone even semi-famous and successful.

I don't hate Ashton (or anyone for that matter), but I don't think he's the best actor of our time. That said, why not give him a shot? He may very well be a good influencer for what may be the next big thing from Lenovo. Let's give this guy a shot first before we all point and laugh.

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This is kind of insulting to those of us that went to school for years to become an engineer.

Imagine Ashton Kutcher trying to tell you how to do your job when he has no experience or credentials.

It's how I feel about Brad Pitt being an "Architect" after having a few meetings width some famous Architects.

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Basically, he played Steve Jobs in a movie and he wants to be that character for real- or at least a real life role play. that's all it is.

Why? This douchebag has no experience in mobile or consumer electronics. Just because he is a celebrity doesn't mean he should give advice in fields he has no experience in. What's next? Miley Cryus is going to start making and marketing designer dental dams or condoms? How about we get Stevie Wonder to give Samsung input on their display technology too. That's a billion dollar idea right there.

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wtf... they could hav paid the sum they are paying this guy(marketing n service) to actual product engineer who could give actual product...

Wow I was really excited about the direction Google was taking Motorola but now I'm reluctant to buy until I see a few generations of phones under Lenovo control. I will need to see what specs, screen tech, and update history will look like and whether they will still keep a nearly stock experience. They really should have used the money they are paying Ashton to make a killer phone for their first release to wow people. Riding on Ashton for publicity is lame

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