Lenovo CEO: We Can Take On Apple

Illustration for article titled Lenovo CEO: We Can Take On Apple

With the release of their IdeaPad K1 behind them and two more on the way, Lenovos CEO Yang Yuanquing sat down with the Financial Times to give his take on how far Lenovo's new tablet business can go. In short, this is divide and conquer.

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Yuanquing started out by essentially saying Apple remains a boutique brand. By targeting the less moneyed, Lenovo can become one of the strongest players in the game.

"Apple only covers the top tier," he says. "With a $500 price you cannot go to the small cities, townships, low salary class, low income class. I don't want to say we want to significantly lower the price, rather our strategy is to provide more categories, to cover different market segments."

Vague... considering that Apple has always been a leader in tablet pricing, and precious few people have beaten them on that front. And there's no reason to believe Apple can't lower their prices. So there's that? But he's pretty confident, stating that with a strategy like this they can make the tablet market resemble how the PC market looked more than a decade ago. To sum up:

"Lenovo firmly believes there is plenty of room for profitable growth, innovation and long-term success in the PC industry if you have the right strategy, great products and strong global execution."

Fine, sure, ok. But harder to pull off, right? After all, the verdict on the K1 was "It's decent." To make waves in the way he wants, Lenovo—and all other tablet makers for that matter—need to make tablets that people want. Not just marginally cheaper tablets for "lower class" people. Don't just make tablets that do things ok when compared to the iPad. Innovate and really stand out. Do that, and then we'll talk. [Financial Tmes]

DISCUSSION

jim-ryan
Jim

Honestly, it's not really up to Lenovo. It's up to Google. Android is not the best table OS on the market right now, it's that simple. Android can compete with iOS in the smartphone market, but iOS on a tablet (i.e. the iPad) is a much nicer experience than Android on a tablet. Part of that is due to the availability of tablet optimized applications on Android (or lack thereof). This is coming from someone who owns a first gen iPad and an HTC Incredible. I just prefer iOS on my tablet at the moment. I don't see any real benefit to Android tablets. Claiming that you can "take on Apple" is something that can come from someone like HP (had they not slashed webOS), or Google, but not an Android hardware manufacturer.

I'd really like to see Android become a better tablet platform, though, so that it forces Apple to improve the iPad. I thought the iPad 2 was pretty disappointing, and not worth the upgrade - which is rare, for Apple. I expected them to release something that would compel me to get rid of my relatively young first generation iPad, and they didn't. Over on the iPhone/iOS, the impact that Android has had on that platform is clear. Apple has tackled a few of the features that Android had and iOS didn't, and even threw in some of their own.