By Chris Donkin

Huawei consumer chief pledges fightback

Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu (pictured) backed the under-fire Chinese vendor to survive its current “hard winter”, unveiling a range of new products aimed at the B2B sector and consumers under its Smart Office brand.

At its pre-MWC product launch held yesterday, Yu said the company was determined to survive and “look forward to enjoy the warmth of spring”.

The company has had well documented issues with its smartphone business hammered by US authorities restricting its access to parts and software. It also suffered a slump in handset sales after divesting sub-brand Honor in late 2020.

However, it has continued to bring high-end smartphones to market and is also pushing ahead in other segments.

One of its most important areas, Yu said, was in the so-called Smart Office space, where it focused the majority of its pre-MWC event.

The central theme of its launch was around its new Super Device software, which connects laptops to a range of other devices including mobile phones, earbuds and a range of office-centric kit such as keyboards, mice and its newly-launched first laser printer.

Alongside the software, the company unveiled a range of so-called “super devices” which included a reading and work-focused tablet the MatePad Paper. The device, using its E Ink, is being launched with 2 million books available and text in 20 languages.

Yu noted it provided ease of reading and clarity of text compared to traditional tablets and rivals currently in the same product category, while providing enhanced images and the ability to write and sketch in monochrome. The MatePad Paper is 10.3-inches and will retail for €499 including its latest generation of stylus. In its wide-ranging announcement, Huawei also unveiled the Sound Joy speaker and upgraded versions of existing tablets, PCs and peripherals.

Alongside the work-focused kit, Huawei Consumer Business Group Western Europe President William Tian revealed the company planned to chase the B2B segment in the region with bundles of its sma­­rt office products.