Apple woes to boost competition in China
Lenovo, Samsung likely to benefit from iPads being banned in parts of the country
Apple's ongoing battle with Proview Technologies in China is opening the Chinese tablet market up to other players including Samsung and Lenovo, according to Reuters.
Apple is currently fighting lawsuits brought by the debt-laden Chinese electronics maker, and several retailers and resellers in over 10 Chinese cities have taken iPads off their shelves, according to media reports.
Last week, Proview won a ruling in Guangzhou to prohibit an electronics appliance chain from selling iPads, just days after authorities in Shijiazhuang city near Beijing banned sales of Apple's tablet PCs.
This week Proview has asked the commerce departments of some 40 more cities to do the same, the company's lawyer Roger Xie, from law firm Grandall told Reuters.
Amazon.com in China, electronics retailer Suning and 360buy.com have also stopped selling iPads.
However, buyers can still log on to Alibaba Group's Taobao mall and Dangdang.com to get an iPad.
Apple's iPad holds a 76% share of the Chinese tablet market, with Lenovo and Samsung trailing behind at 7% and 3% respectively, according to data from IDC.
Samsung is likely to have the most to gain, as its Galaxy Tab competes directly with the iPad and is in the same price segment.
A basic iPad 2 typically costs $585 in China, approximately the same price as the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. Some of Lenovo's tablet devices sell at half that price online.
IDC has reported that Apple sold about 1.3 million iPads in China in Q3 2011, while Lenovo sold around 120,000 Lepads in its home market and South Korea's Samsung sold 58,000 Galaxy Tabs.
The Lepad and Galaxy Tab both run on Google Inc's Android operating system.