Exclusive: Huawei could be preparing to kill off its budding laptop business
Things may be going from bad to worse for Huawei, as a rumor shared with Notebookcheck appears to point at the impending demise of the company’s laptop production. Industry insiders at this year’s Computex event, from both manufacturers and suppliers, talked about Huawei’s situation and some revelations were made that could see the MateBook maker depart from the laptop market.
We were informed that Huawei had canceled an order for 16-inch laptop panels, and this could be taken as a sign that the manufacturer is slowly ceasing operations. However, apparently Huawei has been making overtures to non-US technology companies to try to bypass the crippling business restrictions, so it could be that the 16-inch laptop panel order was canceled in compliance with the US orders and Huawei is now looking for a new supplier.
More damning, however, is the rumor that Huawei is simply planning on cutting its losses and backing out of the laptop business altogether. Although this rumor is based on speculation, it wouldn’t be entirely shocking considering the difficulty Huawei will have in getting all the components necessary to create a competitive range of laptops. We already reported that the Chinese tech giant has a solution in place to deal with the absence of Google’s Android OS from Huawei's future smartphones, but it’s much more of an uphill challenge for Huawei to cope with losses of integral laptop-related products created by companies such as Intel and Microsoft.
DigiTimes has just reported that Huawei’s laptop deliveries and development have been suspended, with the company requesting that its supply chain partners halt further deliveries. Future laptop projects seem to have been affected too, so unless the current sanctions are eased soon, which could happen as US and Chinese G20 officials have been discussing trade in Fukuoka, Japan, then the death knell could be tolled for the Huawei MateBook range.
Whether the rumors end up being true remains to be seen. Huawei could simply sell its laptop business to another manufacturer, in a similar manner to IBM when that company sold its PC division and the ThinkPad branding to Lenovo in 2005. Huawei may be afforded a rescue line yet, although in the current climate things don’t look too promising for the future of the still nascent MateBook laptop series, which would be a shame as some of its members have thoroughly impressed in our reviews.
Our German Notebookcheck sister site has contacted Huawei Germany for a statement, but the rumors have neither been confirmed nor denied. “We have no information in this regard” is all the information we have been provided with so far.
DigiTimes (subscription required)