Lenovo sees 7-inch tablets vying with phones, not PCs

The burgeoning 7-inch tablet market will do battle with large-screen smartphones, says Lenovo.

Lenovo 7-inch IdeaTab A2107.  7-inch tablets will go up against large-screen smartphones, not PCs, said Lenovo's CEO.
Lenovo 7-inch IdeaTab A2107. 7-inch tablets will go up against large-screen smartphones, not PCs, said Lenovo's CEO. Lenovo

Lenovo expects the growing market for 7-inch tablets to compete with large-screen smartphones, not PCs.

During the company's second-quarter earnings conference call Thursday, Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing said he had just read a report on Apple's iPad Mini and was encouraged about the trend in the tablet market.

"The market accepts the 7-inch [tablet] better than the 10-inch. That's a very strong signal, the tablet will not replace the traditional PC," he said during the conference call.

Yuanqing continued. "Probably, the tablet will compete with the large-screen smartphone rather than the PC," he added.

Popular smartphones, like the 1,280x720 resolution 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S3, sport large displays that are approaching five inches in size.

And DisplaySearch said in a research note today that future smartphones will have 5-inch displays with a stunning 1,920×1,080 pixel density.

Yuanqing also commented on touch screens coming to Windows 8 laptops.

"Touch will become a very popular feature on the traditional PC," he said, adding that Lenovo is trying to secure a steady supply of these screens. "We can't guarantee we'll get 100 percent of what we want to get [but] we are definitely trying our best to get enough supply," he said.

That said, Lenovo believes that so-called convertibles -- laptops that can be converted to a tablet -- will become more popular than traditional clamshell laptops with touch screens.

And he cited the company's Yoga convertible as an example of how they're aggressively addressing this new market.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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