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China's Huawei unveils first PC aimed at businesses

AFP logoAFP 22-02-2016
Chinese company Huawei's CEO Richard Yu presents the new product Matebook at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 21, 2016© Provided by AFP Chinese company Huawei's CEO Richard Yu presents the new product Matebook at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 21, 2016

Chinese electronics giant Huawei on Sunday unveiled its first personal computer, a convertible tablet aimed at the premium business market that will compete with Apple's iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface.

The thin MateBook has a 12-inch pixel display, weighs just 640 grammes (1.4 pounds) without the keyboard although it looks heavier, and has a battery life of ten hours under standard use.

"Business people need a long lasting battery," said Richard Yu, Huawei's consumer devices chief, as he unveiled the new device in Barcelona on the eve of the start of the Mobile World Congress, the top annual trade show for wireless devices.

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The tablet fastens to its keyboard case using magnets and it features a fingerprint reader.

The entry-level model with 128 GB storage starts at 799 euros ($890) in Europe with the top model coming in at 1,799 euros.

Yu said last month that Huawei hoped to overtake US rival Apple and Korea's Samsung to become the world's leading maker of smartphones in "three or four years."

It is seeking to shed its budget supplier image to target higher-margin premium models.

Visitors take pictures of a Matebook during Chinese company Huawei's presentation on the eve of the official opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 21, 2016© Provided by AFP Visitors take pictures of a Matebook during Chinese company Huawei's presentation on the eve of the official opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 21, 2016

The firm became the first Chinese handset vendor to sell more than 100 million smartphones in a year in 2015, as it defied a market slowdown thanks to strong sales domestically and in Western Europe.

Huawei, founded by former Chinese army engineer Ren Zhengfei, boosted its global smartphone market share to 7.7 percent in the third quarter behind Samsung and Apple, according to research firm Gartner.

It launched its first Android device in 2009 to complement its main business of making networking equipment.

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