Chinese company Lenovo is known in the western market for its continuation of the ThinkPad line ever since it bought it from IBM. As big a deal as Lenovo is in the business laptop sector, Lenovo is the big fish in China – and it thanks Apple for that.
"We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble," said Liu Chuanzhi, the head of Lenovo, in a Financial Times story.
"Steve Jobs is a genius. He is the exception to my rule," he said. "My theory is that a manager needs to be the string on which he puts one pearl after another. But Jobs himself is a big pearl."
Lenovo still has grips on about 30 percent of China's market as the computer company is now recovering economically. The company is thankful that Apple hasn't yet ramped up its distribution and marketing in China, for Lenovo fears that Apple could quickly take a bite out of the pie if it wanted to.
Lenovo has its LePhone competing against the iPhone, but Apple has the head start even with the exclusive deal with Chinese carrier China Unicom.
Speaking about the LePhone, Liu said, "This is a very practical thing. The iPhone has more than 100,000 content providers, and we have no more than 1,000, but our Chinese customers feel our applications are very convenient to use."
Apple will be opening a new store in Shanghai this coming weekend (and Flickr pictures make it look very futuristic), with plans to open 25 retail stores in China before the end of the year.