Chinese tech giant Huawei, already the largest telecoms equipment company and the second-largest smartphone vendor in the world, is now reported to be working on plans to launch the world’s first 5G television as early as this year.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, which first reported the news citing sources familiar with the plan, the new 5G TV will be paired with an ultrahigh-definition 8K display that would enable users to stream content directly without needing a cable box or fixed-line internet connection.

The 5G TV would be able to handle data-heavy content, such as 360-degree videos and virtual reality programs, as well as acting as a router hub for all other electronic devices in the home.

Nikkei reported that Huawei, which already makes 5G base stations, a 5G smartphone and home-use 5G routers, would use its entry into the hi-tech TV market to “complete its ecosystem of consumer electronics” as it ramps up its challenge to Apple and Samsung Electronics.

A source also told Nikkei that the company has set itself the objective of becoming a top five PC maker by 2021 and to triple shipments in that segment in 2019. To that end, Huawei is developing its own processing units for its computer product line, the source added.

That is an ambitious goal, considering Huawei only introduced its first laptop as recently as 2017, yet research firm IDC estimates it shipped at least one million units last year.

Joey Yen, an analyst at IDC, said Huawei’s emerging PC business took nearly 4% share of the Chinese market in 2018 and observed that the company’s strategy is based on keeping consumers within its “ecosystem”.

“It will surely hope that building key consumer electronics products such as laptops, smart speakers, earphones and TVs will help consumers stay inside its ecosystem and be more loyal to Huawei’s phones,” she said.

Also commenting on Huawei’s move into ultrahigh-tech TV, analyst Eric Chiu said: “Compared with existing TV makers, Huawei likely has the most resources and knowledge related to 5G … so it’s very natural at the moment it would want to get into the sector.

“It’s not yet known whether Huawei could quickly grab market share, but such a move could definitely help the Chinese company expand its brand into a new market and boost its ecosystem.”

Sourced from Nikkei Asian Review; additional content by WARC staff