Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Lenovo has clarified a report last week that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business. In a statement, the company said it is not exiting that market.
In a report last week, PC World said that Lenovo "has stopped selling Windows tablets with screen sizes under 10 inches in the U.S. due to lack of interest." The story specifically cited the ThinkPad 8 and an 8-inch version of the Miix 2.
The publication also said that a spokesperson, Raymond Gorman, wrote in an email: "In North America, we're seeing stronger interest in the larger screen sizes for Windows tablets and are pleased with initial customer demand for the ThinkPad 10."
Toward Emerging Markets
He also said that the remaining ThinkPad 8 inventory would be directed toward emerging markets, such as Brazil, China and Japan.
However, in a statement issued Saturday, Lenovo said, "We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday."
The company added that "our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business as was reported by the media."
"In short," the statement continued, "we will continue to sell both 8- and 10-inch Windows tablets in both the U.S. and non-U.S. markets."
The statement thus clarifies the company's position, that it will no longer sell those models, but it is not getting out of those form factors. However, Lenovo's clarification, and the comments from its spokesperson, do not indicate the company is finding a robust market for its smaller Windows tablets.
Microsoft's Surface Mini
Although the Miix is sold out, that inventory will not be replenished, and the remaining ThinkPad 8 inventory is being directed elsewhere. Some Lenovo-watchers have speculated that the company is waiting for the new Intel Broadwell processors that will enable thinner models. The Broadwell chips will begin shipping later this year.
The ThinkPad 8 is priced at $400 and the Miix 2 at $300. The company's 7- and 8-inch Android tablets were not at issue.
Late last month, there were reports that Microsoft had abandoned previous plans to offer a Surface Mini tablet. According to DigiTimes, that decision was made because of intense competition in the small-size tablet market and a lack of interest from vendors. Microsoft apparently had already completed development of the Mini, but chose not to begin production in May as previously planned. The Mini reportedly had a display in the 7.5-inch to 8-inch range and ran Windows RT 8.1.
Meanwhile, in other Lenovo news, new stats from industry research firm IDC for the Asia/Pacific region show that Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker, is still tops in Asia/Pacific with 26.6 percent market share.