updated 12:05 pm EDT, Fri August 3, 2007
Lenovo's $199 Chinese PC
Lenovo, the current maker of the popular ThinkPad laptop, has announced its intentions to market a new computer towards China's rural poor. The system will just bundle a keyboard and use an owner's television as the monitor, with costs ranging between 1,499 and 2,999 yuan ($199-$399). The Associated Press observes that this pricepoint is critical for pushing sales onto China, as while the cities are increasingly rich, the average income in rural areas is just 4,200 yuan ($560) annually.
The rural market is considered important to due to its population, which at 800 million is more than half of the entire country.
Lenovo is stringently denying that its decision is related to Dell, who in March declared that it would enter the Chinese market with systems priced between $223 and $515 (right). Spokesman Jay Chen claims that Lenovo has been selling at least one brand of "rural" PC since 2004. "It's a natural evolution. We are not responding to our competitors," Chen says.