Contrary to reports, Lenovo have today confirmed that they will in fact continue to produce smaller 8 inch Windows 8.1 tablets, remaining one of Microsoft’s most important hardware partners and a valuable strategic asset as Microsoft continues to compete in the highly competitive 8 inch tablet space.
Yesterday we saw news spread that Lenovo, one of the world’s biggest PC manufacturers, was abandoning the 8 inch tablet segment due to increasing competition from Apple’s iPad mini and cheaper Android-based devices. Lenovo spokesperson Raymond Gorman painted a picture where the US was seeing little demand for 8 inch devices, but “…seeing stronger interest in the larger screen sizes for Windows tablets.”
Lenovo have since released a statement to clarify its position:
Clarification on Lenovo Statement on Sales of Small Screen Windows-Based Tablets
We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday. Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and we are no longer selling Although ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business as what reported by the media. In short, we will continue to sell Both 8 and 10 inch Windows tablets in Both the U.S. and non-US markets.
This year we know that Intel is very keen to become a major player in the smaller 7-8 inch tablet territory, and that Microsoft is also very aggressively pushing its Windows 8.1 platform in this space too. Both companies are willing to forgo immediate returns in return for market share. Lenovo is doubtless a very important partner, and one that Microsoft and Intel will be keen to leverage as they aim to dominate the 8 inch segment.