So, I found myself with nothing better to do on a Tuesday night so I tuned into the livestream of Lenovo’s #betterway announcement. Before knowing too much about what was going on, I looked at a bit like Ashton Kutcher teamed up with Lenovo to produce a tablet that would possibly be identified with his brand. I was expecting an Ashton Kutcher device, sort of like Dr. Dre’s Beats. However, that certainly wasn’t the case.
So, if you missed it, what Lenovo did was try to pump up the launch of a rather uninspired and awkward Android tablet with a marketing push around Ashton Kutcher.
The presentation was thankfully short. Lenovo’s guy was stilted and awkward. He wasn’t very well rehearsed. A friend of mine watching as well commented that it really showed how good Apple’s product announcement events are. So, Lenovo’s marketing guy introduces Ashton basically. Ashton gets up and instead of talking about whatever he’s supposed to introduce, he rambles on aimlessly about tech and plays some pre-recorded marketing videos.
We finally get to the device, and Ashton barely shows it off, and then a band starts to play. Other than mentioning the battery life and eventually Android, there were no product details. No demos, nothing.
Honestly, I don’t think the market is going to be excited about another novelty Android tablet. I think Lenovo’s presentation, or lack of one, underscores how little they bring to the table. Without being able to show off software and people using the device there’s nothing compelling. And since Lenovo is purely making hardware and some customizations to Android what do they really have to show?
If someone is going to introduce a tablet they need to be able to show what it can do. They need to be able to demonstrate how it will be beneficial. Right now only three companies are really capable of doing that. Apple, Microsoft, and Google. They’re the only three companies that are involved in producing a complete system.
John Lilly talked about this in his article Cups of Water. Although, he left Google out of the systems category. However, in the tablet market I believe Apple with iOS, Microsoft with Surface, and Google with Android and Nexus, are all competing at the system level.
Companies like Lenovo are going to have a hard time finding their niche in the post-PC world unless they can develop a complete system that’s capable of competing.