Lenovo pulls ThinkPad 8 from U.S. market but Windows tablets will be back


First Lenovo isn't selling an 8-inch tablet in the United States, then it says it will stock new 8-inch and 10-inch tablet versions by the holidays.

After Lenovo's initial announcement that it will no longer be selling the ThinkPad 8 tablet, an 8.3-inch device, in the United States, it issued a clarification.

"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," the company said in a statement on its web site. "Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling 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 was 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-U.S markets."

The announcement that Lenovo was no longer going to sell the 8-inch Windows tablet in the U.S. came on the heels of Microsoft's announcement that it was laying off around 18,000 workers worldwide in a restructuring effort. The news appeared to highlight Microsoft's struggles in the market.

While reviews for Windows tablets are positive, the ThinkPad 8 has done little to push the envelope and with other, cheaper options, Lenovo appeared to be moving toward selling more popular tablets. It said it would send the smaller tablets to developing markets where interest in them was higher.

Lenovo said in a statement that the ThinkPad 8 would be removed from shelves across the U.S., which means that since the 8-inch Miix 2 tablet already sold out across the country, Lenovo would have no small-screen Windows tablet option available for purchase in the U.S.

That seemed to bolster a trend toward consumers wanting larger machines."In North America, we're seeing stronger interest in the larger screen sizes for Windows tablets and are pleased with initial customer demand for the ThinkPad 10," said Raymond Gorman, a Lenovo spokesman.

While the ThinkPad 8 had a number of positive features, including a full HD display and was fully equipped with Windows software, it faced a myriad of problems with charging, screen issues, connectivity and battery life, making it quickly fall off the market.

Many observers argue that Lenovo is understanding the current market outlook by letting go of the smaller display tablets to focus on the larger, 10-inch models, including the Miix 2 with a 10.1-inch screen.

"It's impossible for Windows devices to compete," said Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research. "It's easier to use Windows 8 with screen sizes of 10 inches or more."

Tablets are quickly becoming the top means for computing needs. They are easier to grab and go on the run, but have options similar to those offered by a traditional laptop computer. That means that for many individuals not wanting to dish out massive amounts of money for a laptop, the tablet, especially those 10 inches or larger, are dominating the marketplace.

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