updated 10:55 pm EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
Lenovo said planning smart TV entry
Lenovo may be entering the TV market with an Internet-aware model of its own. Sources claimed late Thursday that the company wanted into the smart TV field and would wield its existing PC assembly relationships with Taiwan's Compal and Wistron, among others, to get them made. Orders would be "released" in the second half of 2011, Digitimes said, presumably referring to when they would ship.
Virtually all details were unmentioned, including the choice of platform. Lenovo's experience as a computer builder and fledgling Android device maker would raise the possibility of it using Google TV. Google has remained silent on the future of its TV platform and still doesn't have third-party app support, but it may show the future of the OS at Google I/O in mid-May.
Regardless of the choice of software, the decision to get into TVs would be unusual given poor uptake in the category and a relative slump in TVs as a whole. Compal and Wistron still reported significant boosts to their shipments in early 2011, according to the sources for Lenovo's plans, suggesting the market might be recovering at the right time for the ThinkPad designer to expand into TVs.
The company already has partial experience in the field after developing its IdeaCentre all-in-ones, where large screens and media playback are both strong focuses.