updated 11:30 am EDT, Tue July 20, 2010
Lenovo decides to take on iPad directly
Lenovo on Tuesday signaled that it's developing a touch-only Android tablet. The LePad has few details but should be available by the end of 2010, according to the company's consumer group President Liu Jun. No details of American availability were given to IDG, but Lenovo may follow the path of the LePhone and concentrate on good sales in China before moving abroad.
The decision to create a pure tablet reflects an increasing pressure on Lenovo to compete with Apple as it tries to move to devices smaller and lighter than netbooks. It recently delayed the Skylight and IdeaPad U1 to switch to Android in the face of "market conditions" and is widely, if unofficially, understood to have done so to use a mobile OS more competitive with iOS on the iPad.
Within its home country, Lenovo is in a race to establish as much of a presence for itself as possible before Apple enters in earnest. Lenovo has so far teased Apple for not committing to China in a serious way but is now facing an expanded Apple retail presence and new product launches. The LePad as of yet doesn't have direct competition from Apple, but the iPad reaches Hong Kong Friday and is likely to reach the mainland at a later date.