Lenovo expects convertible PCs will rise past tablets
Lenovo's CEO said interest in tablets is starting to fade
IDG News Service - Lenovo's CEO said on Thursday he expects the market will gradually move away from entertainment-focused tablets in favor for convertible PCs, which he said can strike a balance between the functions of touch-based tablets and the productivity of a laptop.
"From our competitor's recent earnings announcement, you can find that the emotional attachment to tablets has gone down," said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing in a Thursday conference call.
While he did not name the specific company, Yang appeared to be referring to Apple and how it sold 14 million iPads in the last quarter, a figure well below Wall Street's projections.
During the quarter, Apple also saw its tablet market share drop to 50.4%, according to research firm IDC. But Apple's iPad sales are expected to pick up with the release of the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad, IDC added.
Lenovo's CEO, however, questioned whether consumers would continue buying tablets. In another apparent reference to Apple, Yang said people would think seriously about buying a tablet from an expensive brand with less innovation than before when they could buy a more powerful convertible PC.
"I think the market will become more realistic in the future," he added.
With the arrival of Microsoft's touchscreen-friendly Windows 8, Lenovo is launching two convertibles under its IdeaPad Yoga family and the devices work as laptop/tablet hybrids. "I still believe the Yoga type of convertible is more usable, more user-friendly," Yang said. "Definitely that's the better product. That will be the future of the PC."
But at least in the short-term, PC convertibles are expected to be priced higher than tablets, according to analysts. Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 starts at $999.
Outside the PC market, Lenovo is seeing success selling smartphones in its home market of China. The company sold 7 million smartphones in the previous quarter, with its market share in China reaching second place behind Samsung, according to research firm Canalys.
Last quarter, Lenovo began launching smartphones in the emerging markets of India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. After expanding into emerging markets, Lenovo will then move on to sell handsets in mature market including the U.S. and Europe, Yang said.
Yang noted that its smartphone business in China has yet to make a profit. "Our strategy is to achieve a critical share first, and then drive profitable growth," he said. "I believe in just a couple of quarters, (Lenovo's) smartphone business in China will also reach that stage."
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!