updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue March 29, 2011
Lenovo plans quick LePad follow-up in September
Lenovo's chief Yang Yuanqing in a presentation at the Chinese IT Leadership Summit revealed that the company already has a sequel to the LePad in development. He claimed that the new Android tablet had been developed almost side-by-side with the original in a distinct group and was due to ship in September or October, as little as three months after the original's world debut. While CCIDnet and others at the summit didn't get most hardware details, the CEO promised a thinner tablet to compete with the iPad, not unlike Samsung's reactionary approach with the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
It wasn't explained how Lenovo expected to get significant sales of the original with its sequel just a few months away. The 10-inch slate's sub-$500 price may be its strongest attraction.
The LePad has had a troubled history at Lenovo. It was unveiled first as half of the IdeaPad U1 in January 2010 before being broken out as its own device. Lenovo had first tried to use its own custom Linux interface but ended up switching to Android. Delays beyond this ended up moving it to June this year.
Yang has seen having a tablet as vital to fending off Apple. Although he has argued that Apple was lax in China, not having an entry worldwide would have risked removing Lenovo from the modern market and let Apple dictate much of the conversation with the iPad. [via Engadget Chinese]