Huawei takes aim at global laptop and tablet computer markets

Huawei’s latest generation of Matebook products began selling in China on Wednesday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 June, 2017, 6:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 July, 2018, 7:27pm

Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s top three smartphone makers, is bent on expanding its footprint in the laptop and tablet computer segment to mount a challenge against global rivals after launching its latest Matebooks on the mainland.

Wan Biao, chief operating officer of Huawei’s consumer business group, said the company would currently focus on “efforts to make the laptops sell well,” a move to help the Chinese technology giant to expand revenue sources.

“Our strong sales growth was driven by Huawei’s substantial investment in design and manufacturing,” he said. “The investment paid off as consumers were convinced of the quality and customer experience.”

Sales of Huawei’s laptops and tablet computers jumped 70 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago, bucking the downward trend in the global laptop and personal computer market.

Huawei did not reveal the absolute sales figure for the laptop segment.

Wan declined to disclose a sales target on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Asia in Shanghai on Wednesday.

Worldwide, shipments of laptops and personal computers dropped 6.2 per cent in 2016 to 269 million units, the first time that annual PC shipments has fallen below 300 million units.

For the first quarter, worldwide PC shipments dropped 2.4 per cent to 62.2 million units.

“Huawei could report growth due to its low base, and it could also bank on its established brand awareness to boost sales,” said Xin Haidong, an independent IT analyst. “Developing the PC segment is obviously part of its global strategy.”

In May Huawei unveiled three new Matebook products in Berlin, its latest efforts to bolster the PC business.

Huawei debuts in the laptop world with three new models

The Matebooks which began selling on the mainland on Wednesday are targeted at the mid-range market.

Huawei said the new Matebooks would complement its smartphones, wearables and smart internet of things solutions.

“They represent Huawei’s ambitions of becoming a horizontal consumer electronics giant in the world,” said Xin. “Huawei has already had qualified vendors to ensure supply of the major parts of the products.”

Huawei introduced its first Matebooks in 2016.

The three new Matebooks include Matebook X, an easy-to-carry 13-inch fanless laptop starting from 6,988 yuan (US$1,027), a 2-in-1 tablet Matebook E priced at between 4,988 yuan and 7,388 yuan and Matebook D, a 15.6-inch laptop starting from 4,988 yuan.

Huawei shipped 34.55 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, up 21.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

It trailed Samsung and Apple worldwide.

In 2016, the company’s shipments of smartphones hit 139 million units.

Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, said earlier that the Chinese company aimed to become the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones in two years.