Huawei begins sales of its tablet PCs in Korea

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Huawei begins sales of its tablet PCs in Korea

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Left and above: Oliver Wu, Huawei Technologies’ business head in East Asia, presents the company’s latest products to the Korean media on Wednesday at the Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul. Right: Huawei’s Matebook, which was unveiled at the event. [SEO JI-EUN, HUAWEI KOREA]

The Korean unit of Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies on Wednesday unveiled two premium tablets, the company’s first in Korea, the home turf of Samsung Electronics.

Johnny Lau, head of Huawei’s Korean consumer business, spent the most time introducing the MateBook, a 12-inch tablet PC powered by Windows 10 Home, during a media presentation at the Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul. The event for the Korean press was the biggest since Huawei, the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, entered Korea at the end of 2014.

The MateBook won 21 awards at this year’s Mobile World Congress in February, the most accolades among all products unveiled there. It marked Huawei’s first foray into the tablet PC segment. The Matebook weighs just 640 grams (23 ounces), lighter than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro at 713 grams, and boasts a slim design, with a thickness of 6.4 millimeters (0.25 inches).

The device will be sold for 889,000 won ($810) for the 128-gigabyte model and 1.29 million won for the 256-gigabyte model. In the United States, where the device was launched in July, the two models are sold for $666 and $999 each. An optional keyboard will go for 129,000 won, and a stylus will cost 79,000 won.

“Huawei has emerged as a world-top brand since 2015,” said Oliver Wu, Huawei’s head of business in East Asia. “One-third of the population across 170 countries uses our service.”

He added that the company filed the largest number of patents in the world in 2014 and 2015, saying the company’s mission lies in “investing in the future.”

Huawei recently filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics.

The Chinese device maker has recently seen rapid growth in sales of its tablets. Shipments of Huawei tablets shot up 66 percent year on year in the first quarter to 2.1 million units worldwide, when global shipments of tablets were down 10 percent over the same period, the company said, citing GFK data.

The Korean unit is also launching its MediaPad M2 8.0 tablet, 13,000 mAh Powerbank AP007 portable battery charger and AM08 wireless Bluetooth speaker through online retailers 11st, SSG.com and Ticket Monster, starting today.

The company did not showcase its 6.6-inch Honor Note 8 phablet, which it introduced in the United States on Aug. 1.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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