updated 08:30 am EST, Fri November 12, 2010
Lenovo LePad due in US next year
Lenovo's LePad tablet will have a US launch sometime in 2011, CEO Yuan Yangqing said on Friday. The company leader didn't provide a price or a ship date to the WSJ, but he also delayed the Android device's release in China, where it would now ship early in 2011 instead of the originally planned December. As much as $15.1 million was already being invested in mobile app developers to foster a custom app store that would launch with the LePad.
The 10-inch slate would originally have been powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 16GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. Whether or not the details will remain the same isn't as clear since the device would be shipping past its original release date. Lenovo still plans to make its cornerstone feature a dock, though it may not necessarily follow the previous pattern of having a full Windows 7 notebook (the IdeaPad U1).
Lenovo's mobile ambitions have struggled to get off the ground in 2010. While it did ship the LePhone to China, the LePad and its dock now won't have shipped for over a year after being unveiled at CES this past January. The Skylight smartbook has also undergone a complete overhaul with a switch to Android and a plan to use a dual-core Snapdragon. It too was pushed back to the end of the year but didn't get a 2010 ship date from Yangqing.
Its timing could put it up against a next-generation iPad as well as a slew of competitors arriving at roughly the same time as the LePad, including the BlackBerry PlayBook, the LG Optimus Pad, the Motorola Stingray and a possible HTC tablet.
Outside of the tablet space, the Lenovo CEO also hoped for his company to eventually claim the top spot in PC makers and move up from fourth place, mostly by accumulating market share in developing areas even at the risk of taking a loss. The company might acquire other computer makers to achieve its goal, Yangqing said, but he didn't name prospective targets.