BARCELONA—Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese networking firm that has recently become the world’s third-
largest smartphone maker, is now jumping into the market for tablet-laptop hybrids—opening a new front in its
effort to expand in the competitive consumer-electronics sector.
At the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona on Sunday, Huawei showed off the MateBook, which comes with a
high-resolution 12-inch display, a keyboard and a stylus pen. The new product, powered by Microsoft’s Windows operating
system, is Huawei’s first tablet-laptop hybrid, targeting the business market.
The MateBook starts at $700 plus tax, and another $129 for the keyboard. But that is still about 13% less than
Microsoft’s entry-level Surface Book, a similar laptop-tablet hybrid. It is a signal that Huawei plans to continue its
strategy of aggressive pricing even as it attempts to move upmarket.
Huawei one of the world’s largest suppliers of telecommunications networking equipment such as base stations and
antennas, has growing ambitions in the global consumer electronics market. Last year, the Shenzhen-based company was
ranked number three by world-wide smartphone shipments with a 7.4% share, behind Samsung Electronics Co. with 23% and
Apple with 16%, according to research firm IDC.
Huawei’s sales are growing not only in China but also in overseas markets such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Other than handsets and tablets, Huawei also sells smartwatches powered by Google’s Android Wear software.
With the launch of the MateBook Huawei is entering a fiercely competitive product category. China’sLenovo Group Ltd.,
the world’s largest personal-computer maker, has already expanded in this area with its Yoga tablet-laptop convertibles.
So have other major PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. It is unclear how well a latecomer like Huawei
can compete in this market, analysts say.
The 640 gram light MateBook, which can be unlocked via fingerprint sensor, comes with a 6th generation Intel Core
processor. Huawei claims that the device’s battery allows up to 10 hours of working time at regular usage. It runs on
Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system and a comes with a stylus pen which also works as a laser pointer.
Huawei had been teasing the new product in the social media for the past week. Earlier this month, Mr. Yu, the head of
Huawei’s consumer electronics business, posted on his Weibo microblog page an invitation card for the company’s product
launch event in Barcelona, which has a picture of what looks like a stylus pen. The picture is also displayed on
billboards across the Barcelona airport, where most of the attendees of the Mobile World Congress arrive.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires 02-21-161955ET Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.