Chinese telecom giant Huawei‘s sub-brand Honor wants to take the Indian smartphone market by storm with some innovative and trend-setting products and become the country’s top smartphone brand within three years, its Global President George Zhao has said.
It plans to push its position up in the highly competitive Indian smartphone market by launching flagship products at “unbeatable price”, introducing cutting-edge technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), increasing presence in both online and offline platforms and boosting its marketing efforts.
“We will launch Honor 7X in December at such a price that it will have no competitor in that segment,” Zhao said while unveiling the smartphone maker’s roadmap for the Indian market to a group of journalists here over the weekend.
The bezel-less Honor 7X with dual camera technology is already available in the Chinese market. Its price in China is 1,299 yuan. The 4GB RAM phone that offers 32 GB internal storage and has a 5.93 inch display is already a rage among the young population here, according to Zhao, who informed the visiting journalists that Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan province in southwest China, is known as the most “relaxed city” in the country animated by its higher concentration of young population.
Honor will also start incorporating AI capabilities in its phones for the Indian market within the current quarter, Zhao told IANS.
“We have the capability to outcompete other dominating players in the Indian smartphone market in terms of quality, but our marketing efforts need to improve,” Zhao said, signalling its intention to go aggressive in the promotion of its upcoming products in India.
Globally, Honor, which has now a presence in 73 countries, spends just three percent of its revenue in marketing. Honor first introduced the AI capabilities in its Honor Magic phone. Although its application has so far been restricted to China because of the internet ecosystem, it wants its customers in other countries to avail the automation facilities soon. Indian customers, it appears, would not have to wait for long.
Currently, the smartphone market in India is dominated mostly by Chinese players spearheaded by Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Honor, among others. Launched in India in 2014, Honor started manufacturing in India from 2016 in partnership with leading global electronics manufacturer Flex Telecom at a facility in Chennai.
“Honor began manufacturing in India with the Holly series. It is the first brand to respond to the Government of India’s request for SOS feature on phones,” Zhao said, adding that it will further ramp up its manufacturing efforts in India. “Honor shipped 98.8 percent more devices in 2017 than in 2016. But in India, we need strengthen offline channels,” Zhao said, adding that exclusive Honor demo shops will also be launched in India soon. “Honor 7X will also be available offline.”
India recently surpassed the US to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world after China. And yet, according to Counterpoint Research, only one fourth of India’s population uses smartphones, making the country an attractive destination for players in the mobile ecosystem.