Lenovo has chosen a name for its Android tablet that it says will be in the hands of consumers by the end of the year. The device will be called the ‘LePad,’ and will make its debut in China.
The LePad is likely to combine ideas from Lenovo’s Skylight smartbook that the company showed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and the IdeaPad UI notebook-tablet combination to create a new device that could potentially compete against the iPad.
Since Apple introduced the iPad in April, it has sold has more than 3 million devices. The company’s success with the iPad is forcing competitors such as HP and Dell to build similar devices. Dell’s tablet called the Streak has a 5-inch screen and is already available in the U.K. It is expected to hit the U.S. in summer.
ABI research estimates that 11 million media tablets will be sold this year. The forecast is based both on the broader availability of the iPad and the delayed introduction of competing products, says the firm.
“Assuming that competing tablets from other vendors do arrive in the second half of the year as expected, we believe that the iPad will account for a significant portion – but not all – of the projected 11 million units,” says Jeff Orr, principal analyst with ABI Research.
In China, at least, Lenovo hopes to step into the gap left by Apple. Lenovo has long offered convertibles–notebooks that can be flipped over to act as tablets. But the company has not released a touchscreen only tablet so far. Earlier this month Lenovo’s chairman Liu Chuanzhi told the Financial Times that Apple hasn’t focused on the Chinese market. Lenovo has seen success with its Android phone called ‘LePhone’ that’s currently available only in China.
With the LePad, Lenovo hopes to do the same, says PCWorld. After all, there are a billion potential customers in China alone.