Huawei set to challenge top spot in Chinese PC market with AI PCs, followed by foldable notebooks

Aaron Lee, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Huawei has launched a new notebook, emphasizing that it's an ultra-lightweight AI PC.

Supply chain sources pointed out that Huawei is coming on strong, having already surpassed Dell to become the third-largest PC brand in China in 2023 with plans to double its shipments in 2024. Its system assemblers, including Quanta, BYD, and Huaqin, are expected to benefit simultaneously.

On April 11, Huawei held the "Harmony Ecological Spring Communication Conference," where it unveiled 5 new model revisions of its Luxeed S7 EV and introduced a new AI notebook: the MateBook X Pro. It features an Intel Core Ultra 9 processor and weighs only 980 grams, making it the lightest AI notebook on the market.

Industry rumors suggest that Huawei not only aims to venture into AI PCs but also plans to launch foldable notebooks, with mass production expected in the second half of 2024. Trial production is currently ongoing within the supply chain.

Huawei is already the world's second-largest foldable smartphone brand and is closing in on the market leader, Samsung Electronics. According to supply chain sources, Huawei wants more than smartphones and EVs; it is aggressively expanding into the notebook market. With the shipment volume it's calling for, Huawei will surpass HP and become the second-largest brand in the Chinese PC market in 2024.

According to statistics from Canalys, China's PC shipments in 2023 reached 41.2 million units, a 17% year-on-year decrease. Among the top 5 brands, only Huawei saw growth with a shipment volume of 3.986 million units, an 11% year-on-year increase, placing it third in the market.

Other competing brands all experienced declines, with incumbent market leader Lenovo shipping 15.536 million units (a 19% year-on-year decrease), followed by HP at 4.3 million units (a 2% year-on-year decrease). ASUS ranked fourth with 2.863 million units (a 24% year-on-year decrease), and Dell shipped 3.148 million units, a staggering 44% year-on-year decrease.

It is reported that Huawei's PC shipments are expected to double in 2024. If the estimated shipment is around 5 million units, it represents a growth rate of 25%, allowing it to overtake HP and challenge Lenovo. For a PC industry that has experienced sluggish shipments these days, this is a very ambitious shipment target.

Industry sources pointed out that the Chinese government's introduction of three new procurement standards for notebooks, desktops, and all-in-one PCs at the end of 2023 provides a significant boost to Huawei, as it's widely seen as the domestic brand.

While on the surface, these new procurement standards don't contain any wording that excludes foreign brands, those who understand the Chinese market have noted that this is laying out a list of requirements to follow for all levels of government agencies, while also declaring to US brands that they won't have a chance when it comes to government procurement.

Even Lenovo is viewed as an international brand under these standards. Huawei, as the domestic brand, will not only receive a certain level of support from private consumers, but it is also the most appropriate brand choice for companies that want to deal with government agencies in China.

Amid ongoing tensions between China and the US, Huawei's market share in the Chinese PC market is expected to continue rising. As the US presidential election approaches, the intensification of US-China relations may further drive Huawei's sales, giving it a better growth opportunity over other brands in 2024.