Lenovo Group expects personal computers in tablet form-factor to account for from 10% to 15% of the PC market already this year. The company believes that PC vendors who will not be able to compete on the market of slates will be wiped out by competitors and vanish into oblivion.
“Tablets to represent 10% to 15% of the personal computer market this year,” said Rory Read, chief operating officer of Lenovo, in an interview with Reuters.
There are a lot of bold predictions about performance of tablet PC markets. Some analysts expect various PC vendors to ship as many as 51.3 million slates in 2011. According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 350.9 million units in 2010, a 13.8% increase from 2009. If the PC market grows by 13% in 2011 as well, it will total 396.51 million. Lenovo’s predictions are in line with estimates by analysts, but they still look pretty over-optimistic.
Even though Apple iPad appeared to be pretty popular among end-users, nobody knows how successful will be tablets based on other platforms. Apple has a lot of customers who do not create any content, need to respond to complex emails or use demanding software, which is why many of them simply do not need keyboards, which explains the success of the iPad. Customers, who use Windows PCs, Blackberry smartphones and other business-oriented devices use keyboards more often and tablets may not be the gadgets that they need.
Still, tablets will be a new form-factor for PCs, which means that any vendor, which plans to stay on the market in the long term, has to participate on this part of the market.
“We have an extreme focus on the innovation of LePad and LePhone because these products will dominate the future market. Anyone who loses this battle will be phased out from the history of this industry,” said Liu Chuanzhi, the chairman of Lenovo, in an interview with Bloomberg news-agency.