Like IBM in the PC sector, Apple won't always rule the Land of the Tablets.
For the first time in over a decade, Apple sales surpassed Lenovo in revenue within greater China. Lenovo's China sales – which doesn't include Hong Kong and Taiwan – rose 23.4-percent from a year ago to $2.8 billion whereas Apple's same quarter – which does include Hong Long and Taiwan – jumped sixfold compared to this time last year, ending at $3.8 billion. Analysts suggest that Lenovo needs to beef up sales in Hong Kong and Taiwan in order to catch up with Apple.
But Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanquing dismissed the fruity "achievement" by saying that the two revenues can't be compared, that it's not apples to apples because the Cupertino, CA-based company's numbers also include iPhone sales – Lenovo's phone business isn't all that great even in China, as its primary focus is on the PC sector.
"If you compare the PC business we still have a lead far ahead of any of our competitors,” Yang told Financial Times.
But seemingly like all other tablet makers, Lenovo plans to tip the scales against Apple by launching its own line of Android and Windows-based tablets that will hopefully put an end to Apple's domination of the tablet sector.
"We will be one of the strongest of the players in this area," he said. "Apple only covers the top tier. 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."
If anything, HP proved the need for addressing the low-income market when it hacked the price of its TouchPad down to $99.99 and $149.99 over the weekend. As the quick sell-out revealed, everyone can't afford to shell out $500 for a new tablet, and even if they do have the resources, they just may not be willing to part with that kind of money given the current state of the economy.
Nevertheless, while acknowledging Apple's 70-percent claim of the tablet sector, Yang also pointed to the PC sector, how it began with a market controlled by IBM to a market that's very diversified. This is also expected of the tablet sector – that Apple won't always serve as the supreme ruler.
In addition to the tablet sector, Lenovo is going after Apple on the smartphone front with Android-based devices. "We have a smartphone in the same price band as the Apple (iPhone) but we also just released a $150 Android-based handset aimed at those with lower incomes," he said. "We think we can achieve more volume with that product."