Lenovo heats up price war with $199 IdeaPad tablet
Lenovo is launching its 7-inch IdeaPad A1 tablet in a market hungry for inexpensive tablets
IDG News Service - Lenovo announced a new $199 IdeaPad tablet with a 7-inch screen and Google's Android OS in response to the surge in demand for inexpensive tablets, the company said Thursday.
The IdeaPad A1 tablet weighs around 400 grams (0.88 pounds) and is under 0.5 inches (1.27 centimeters) thick, and will become available in specific starting around the end of September, said Nick Reynolds, executive director of global marketing at Lenovo. The tablet provides seven hours of battery life.
The tablet will be among the cheapest 7-inch Android tablets available from a top device maker. Many competitive products cost more than $250. Acer last month started shipping its 7-inch Iconia Tab A100 tablet for $329, and Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab screen sells for $279 through Amazon.com and Fry's Electronics.
"This is a very accessible price point starting at $199," Reynolds said. Lenovo views the tablet as a companion to PCs, and a low price will open up demand for tablets, especially in emerging markets, Reynolds said.
Lenovo's new tablet comes as prices for Android tablets drop in an effort to challenge the market dominance of Apple's iPad 2, whose rock-steady $499 starting price has not changed since its launch earlier this year. One of the first Android tablets, Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab, went on sale late last year through Verizon starting at $600 without a contract, and was considered overpriced. But Android tablet prices have fallen. Unbranded tablets sell for as little as $100. Consumers last month scrambled to buy Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad tablet, which was priced starting at $99 in a fire sale after the company announced it would stop selling webOS devices. Buyers' frenzy over the TouchPads was such that HP on Tuesday said it would make a final round of the devices and have them ready for sale in coming weeks.
Android tablet prices are falling because the supplier base is large while the demand is little, said David Daoud, research director at IDC. But at $199, Lenovo may be willing to forgo profits in lieu of building consumer awareness around its tablets, Daoud said. That is a challenge other Android tablet makers have failed at with Apple holding a firm grip on the market.
"The price point could put Lenovo in a very competitive position," Daoud said.
But Lenovo needs more help beyond a low price to succeed in the tablet market, Daoud said. Apple's iPad success comes from a cohesive set of hardware, software and services, and Lenovo has to provide reasons beyond just hardware for people to buy its tablets, Daoud said. Lenovo earlier this year launched three tablets, including the ThinkPad Tablet, for consumers and enterprises.
- IDC drops tablet sales forecast, sees phablets encroaching on the market
- Samsung to offer 3 new tablets starting Feb. 13
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- 'Phablets' are eating into the tablet market, IDC says
- Apple springs Retina iPad Mini on customers
- The puzzling Lumia 2520 tablet: Will it disappear when Microsoft buys Nokia?
- Dell launches four new tablets -- all on Intel chips
- Few use tablets to replace laptops
- New Kindle Fire HDX's tech support button could push IT to yell 'Mayday!'
- Kindle Fire HDX tablets show big push for business users
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- AIIM Trendscape: The New Mobile Reality This AIIM Trendscape report shares data, expert opinions, and a unique perspective on the impact of cloud and mobility in the enterprise, surfacing...
- Empowering Your Mobile Workers A modern mobile IT strategy is no longer an option, it is an absolute necessity. Here's how some of the nation's most progressive...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator...
- Technology for Everyone A Kansas school district modernizes teaching and learning and paves the way to a one-to-one program with a comprehensive upgrade of its wireless... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts