Technology Apr 20

Honor aims high with new smartphone launch

Huawei unit sets sights on spot behind its sister brand amid ‘explosive’ growth of 5G-connected phone sales

by Nadeem Xu
Honor aims high with new smartphone launch
Honor is pitching its new phones at the high end of China’s smartphone market. Photo: Honor

(ATF) Honor said it aims to be the second-largest smartphone vendor in China this year as it unveiled the latest handset in its range, the Honor 30 series.

Honor, one of the two flagship smartphone brands of Huawei Technologies, forecasts the new phone will be able to tap into fast-growing sales of 5G technology-driven handsets.

The goal would put it second to its sister brand Huawei in terms of smartphone shipments in China, where manufacturers are ramping up efforts to revive a market hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

"We will spare no effort to become the second-largest smartphone maker this year,” said Honor president Zhao Ming. “Our latest premium product is a milestone heralding a new start. We will show a different Honor brand to consumers."

Priced from 2,999 yuan ($424), Honor 30 series is the latest push by the company to popularize 5G handsets, with China scheduled to start building large-scale standalone 5G networks across the country this year. 

The range of phones, which comprises the Honor 30, 30 Pro and 30 Pro Plus, is constructed from metal and glass and features multiple high-end camera setups on the rear.

The lower price may be targeted at taking on Apple’s new affordable iPhone SE, which the US giant unveiled last week in what has been viewed as a response to the straitened economic situation its customers may find themselves in amid the pandemic.

Honor 30 Pro Plus comes with a 90Hz 6.57-inch curved panel supporting 180Hz touch sampling rate and UD fingerprint scanner. It also features a 4,000 mAh battery with wireless fast charging.

Zhao said Honor's sales have been increasing rapidly in March and April since China began lifting restrictions put in place to control the coronavirus epidemic. The company is likely to achieve its target ahead of schedule, Zhao said.

The company has adopted an aggressive pricing strategy to popularize the use of 5G smartphones, the executive said, adding sales are forecast to exceed 10 million units.

Honor has released six 5G smartphone models in the past three weeks, with Zhao saying growth in sales of such technology has been explosive. In April, 5G smartphones are likely to account for more than 20% of all sales in mainland China, a figure that’s likely to hit 60% for the whole year.