Honor dials global high-end smartphone arena

Updated: March 22, 2022 Source: China Daily
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A consumer checks out an Honor smartphone at a store in Shanghai in January. WANG GANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Chinese tech company Honor Device Co said it will seek to shine in the global high-end smartphone market this year.

To that end, the company has already established cooperation with more than 200 distributors and telecom operators across the world.

Like Honor, Chinese smartphone makers are trying to grow their overseas footprint in the premium handset segment, so as to compete with international players such as Apple Inc.

Zhao Ming, CEO of Honor, said the company launched its Honor 50 model in overseas markets at the end of last year. The launch signified Honor's return to the global arena as a competitive player, after being spun off from Huawei.

"Whether it is Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia-Pacific or Latin America, our local teams there are ready to go," Zhao said, adding the company will launch a number of products globally starting this month.

He said Honor has more than 11,000 employees, and half of them are in research and development, including those at its six R&D centers outside China. Two R&D centers are located in France and Japan.

"We also have more than 100 innovation laboratories. All of these resources will get us ready to expand our presence in the global high-end smartphone market."

Last week, Honor unveiled its latest flagship Honor Magic 4 smartphone series in China. It features an iconic symmetrical design, and powerful multi-camera functionality.

Honor's shipments have surged to make the company China's second-largest smartphone maker with a 16.7 percent market share in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Counterpoint, a market research provider. Honor now trails only Apple in China, giving it more confidence to crack international markets.

Honor's Chinese peers are also ratcheting up resources to better resonate with overseas consumers. Oppo, for instance, said its growth in the $600 phone segment surpassed 200 percent in 2021, while global shipments of the Oppo Find X3 Series increased by 140 percent compared with the previous Find X Series.

As of December 2021, Oppo has filed for over 75,000 patent applications and over 4,500 of them are related to 5G. These technical foundations helped Oppo rank second for two consecutive years in global 5G smartphone shipments among Android phone manufacturers, according to data from market research company Canalys.

Zhao from Honor said, "Over the years, competition in hardware has intensified, with companies racking up more and more premium parts in flagship products.

"But the best experience comes from a combination of hardware and software. Hardware only determines the lower line of a product. Algorithms and capabilities determine the value and experience available to consumers."

Editor: Jiang Feifan