Lenovo: Apple Can’t Dominate Tablet Market Forever

Published on August 22, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Last week, Apple overtook Lenovo in revenue in greater China for the first time in about a decade, and the Chinese company’s leadership seems to be having a difficult time accepting the news.

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing’s first response to Apple’s achievement? To dismiss it. In his view, any comparison of the two companies’ revenues is incongruent.

“That is not an ‘apples to apples’ calculation,” he said. “Their calculation includes the phone business but Lenovo’s main focus is in PCs; our phone business isn’t that strong even in China.”

But then that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? If that business were stronger and Lenovo’s Android-based Lephone was better established in the market, Yang might not have cause to take issue with the assertion that Apple’s sales have overtaken Lenovo’s own. The fact is that Cupertino’s third-quarter sales in greater China hit $3.8 billion, and Lenovo’s did not.

But Yang intends to change that, and soon, with a portfolio of Android and Windows tablets that he hopes will end Apple’s domination of the tablet market. “We will be one of the strongest of the players in this area,” Yang told the Financial Times.

But how, when even once-promising tablet challengers like Hewlett-Packard’s webOS-based TouchPad have failed so miserably? By targeting every single stratum of the tablet market.

“Apple only covers the top tier,” Yang explained. “With a $500 price you cannot go to the small cities, townships, low salary class, low income class. … Apple is very strong, but when IBM created the PC market there was just IBM; if you look at the PC industry now it is very diversified. I believe that will happen in tablets as well.”

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