Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo has finally realized that tablets will soon be replacing netbooks, and so it plans to unleash a total of 3 tablets before the summer sun sets. The company is targetting the U.S. market with its planned release of 2 Android tablets and a third one running Microsoft’s operating system.
The two Android tablets will be running Honeycomb and will sport 10-inch display screens. One will be configured for consumer use, the other for business use. Lenovo expect mainstream prices (i.e., somewhere between USD$400 and USD$900) for the tablets, which will vary according to specs and configuration.
According to Lenovo President Rory Read, the consumer tablet will most likely appear in early summer (probably July), while the business tablet will come a little later in summer (probably August). The consumer version will be launched under Lenovo’s IdeaPad series and the business version will come under the ThinkPad series. The ThinkPad version will have a stylus.
Smaller tablets are also being prepped for launch “later in the cycle,” according to Read. The said tablets will have 7-inch screens.
Read admitted that some earlier Android devices were too advanced for their time. Lenovo has been hard at work with customizing their devices to meet expectations of a smooth user experience and the company wants to make sure that their Android tablets are strong. After all, the company has only one chance to make a good initial impression, said Read.
Read also said that Lenovo will not likely push into the smartphone market in the U.S. at this time, as he believes the smartphones market in the U.S. is already very crowded. But, the company probably will venture into smartphones in the U.S. after a year and a half. Lenovo plans to first conquer Chinese markets before spreading to other emerging markets. Lenovo has released an Android smartphone named LePhone in China, as well as an Android touchscreen tablet–the LePad.
According to Read, tablets are fast taking the place of netbooks. “Netbooks are pretty much over,” he said, and in the next three or so years, tablets will have taken 15% of the market for computers. He doesn’t think the computer market will go away, though. Instead, he expects the computer market’s growth to continue as prices go lower, making the devices affordable to emerging markets.