When Lenovo first tapped Ashton Kutcher as a “tech engineer” to help design its new Yoga tablets last year, we assumed it was just another publicity stunt. Apparently we were wrong. The actor, who portrayed Steve Jobs in a recent role, will reportedly play an active part in developing a new line of special edition smartphones for Lenovo, the company told Re/code.
Unlike BlackBerry’s questionable partnership with Alicia Keys, Kutcher may actually be more than just a pretty face. Before becoming a model and eventually an actor, he studied biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa – before dropping out. Kutcher’s also invested in a number of popular startups including Uber and Foursquare through his venture capitalist group A-Grade Investments.
“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.”
The company doesn’t offer any details on the phone itself, suggesting it’s still in very early development. It’s also unclear if the device will be a Lenovo branded product or launch under Motorola. The official release is slated for sometime this year, so hopefully we’ll learn more soon.