updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu April 7, 2011
Lenovo says tablets to take 18pc as netbooks end
Lenovo COO Rory Read in an interview Thursday was optimistic for tablets. He predicted slates like the LePad would have 15 to 18 percent of the computer market in the next five years. Netbooks were on their way out, he argued to Forbes, in part because the category was being swallowed up as the computers got larger or faster.
"Netbooks are on the wane," Read said. "You see them blurring back into the notebook category."
He added that the LePad's June timing, while putting the tablet a year and a half out from its original unveiling, was explicitly to wait for Android 3.0. Lenovo wouldn't be like Samsung and release a tablet "before the right time" using a version of Android that wasn't made for larger screens.
Lenovo would be selective with other areas as well. Its decision to scrap the Skylight smartbook came after long delays, but Read said something like it could come back since it was essentially a tablet in "clamshell form." No plans were underway to bring the LePhone or other Android phones to the cutthroat US market.
The China-native company had yet to compete in earnest in tablets but had a smarter strategy than other traditional computer companies, Read said. He made an indirect jab at Acer's complete upheaval as its refusal to adapt to the iPad cost it both a CEO and its existing structure. "We have no disagreement on strategy and what we want to do to win," he explained.