Interview: Honor executives talk about road after independance, innovation and key partnerships, foldable phone plans

Honor Europe CEO Tony Ran

Whereas we had been at IFA Berlin final week, we managed to had the possibility to speak to Honor Europe CEO Tony Ran and Honor Western Europe CMO Clement Wong, who shared extra on the corporate’s background and future plans.

Honor Europe CEO Tony Ran

The dialogue included a number of attention-grabbing subjects such because the street forward for Honor after its independence from Huawei, its software program plans and upcoming gadgets.

Are you able to clarify your similarities with Huawei by way of system design, specs and software program? How are you aiming to vary because you are actually an impartial model?

Tony Ran (TR): Already we began to vary, to vary from Huawei and different distributors. With the upcoming launch of Magic OS 7 in This fall 2022, which is a giant leap from the earlier Magic UI. It is a huge leap not solely from the interface perspective but in addition on the deep roots. Beginning with Magic OS 7, customers will see the distinction in comparison with Huawei gadgets.

Clement Wong (CW): Weve been impartial from Huawei for one and a half 12 months (about 18 months) and it’s comprehensible that we supply some heritage from earlier than. Internally, we care loads about our picture and we wish to stand out and be our personal model. We try onerous, step-by-step, to distinguish our merchandise from different distributors however that takes time. It would take time to distinguish ourselves from a {hardware} perspective as a result of part provide chain logistics and R&D investments required to construct a brand new product.

From the software program perspective, we try to hurry up the method and you’ll undoubtedly discover the distinction with the upcoming launch of Magic OS 7 later this 12 months. We even have another merchandise developing, together with a flagship telephone that’s completely completely different by way of appear and feel in comparison with different distributors. We’ve got full confidence that our efforts will assist Honor stand out from different Android producers.

What has been probably the most difficult facet of the transition from Huawei to being an impartial firm?

TR: The transition to being an impartial firm is a complicated course of and it took a variety of cautious planning and energy. Huawei is a giant firm and as soon as we separated we needed to take up the entire tasks by ourselves. We needed to take accountability from a enterprise division and a authorized entity. Beforehand, Huaweis established platform was there for us and we didn’t must suppose to a lot about it.

Now, we’re tasked with overlaying all elements by ourselves. This expertise has given us room to consider the which means of doing enterprise in several areas. We’re additionally tasked with assembly the expectations of our shoppers and companions by way of our merchandise, their provide and the consumer expertise.

We’re a product-oriented comapny and our steady R&D investments are a giant focus for us and a key driver for our future. Once we separated from Huawei in 2021 we had roughly 8,000 Honor workers whereas we’re at roughly 13,000 workers right this moment and round 8,000 of them are concerned with R&D. We imagine the brand new expertise that we acquired would be the root our future success.

When it comes to model identification, we restructured into an omnichannel model. Beneath Huawei, Honor was a younger internet-only model however we’re not restricted to simply on-line gross sales anymore and we even have our premium merchandise and we are going to proceed to place our focus within the mid to high-end gadgets phase. Inside 18 months we already launched a number of flagship merchandise within the Magic lineup.

Are you able to discuss concerning the dependency on manufacturing services and half suppliers that you simply share with Huawei?

CW: To start with, if we are able to leverage sources from Huawei it makes our job a bit simpler. Beginning a complete new provide chain from scratch is a really tough enterprise. Telephones just like the Magic4 and Honor 70 are manufactured in-house in our Clever Manufacturing Industrial Park in Shenzhen.

Interview: Honor executives talk about roud to independance, innovation and key partnerships, foldable phone plans

Most telephones these days look related even to different manufacturers and when you discover similarities between Honor and Huawei telephones its not due to the (Huawei) heritage, however due to the dearth of innovation within the smartphone market and we right here at Honor are aiming to vary that and we see a variety of potential with foldable telephones.

Considered one of our objectives is to make a foldable telephone that may function a major telephone for shoppers as a result of a lot of the out there folding telephones out in the marketplace now are used as secondary telephones. Keep tuned for our upcoming Magic V folding telephone.

TR: The entire business proper now’s ready for innovation and we’re pushing in that course. The three pillars of innovation for Honor are 5G, smartphone show know-how and cameras. One factor we nonetheless share with Huawei is the expertise and that’s one thing that you simply can’t instantly disconnect. Lots of people have requested if we nonetheless have any secret info that we nonetheless share with Huawei and the reply isn’t any.

How essential are service partnerships for Honor in Europe and the UK? Is that the primary channel for promoting your telephones?

TR: Our relationship with carriers is crucial. Proper now now we have main connections with the entire main carriers throughout Europe and the UK. Its a step-by-step story as some carriers are a bit of conservative to decide on a brand new accomplice like Honor.

Belief and reliability are the 2 huge elements that assist carriers and smartphone corporations attain offers and we’re proud to say Honor is a trusted model throughout the highest European and UK carriers and we’re persevering with to develop our community companions. The established relationships with carriers are a key pillar for our future enterprise progress.

From one other perspective, we’re additionally carefully watching market developments and on-line gross sales are an inevitable a part of our enterprise. In Europe, greater than half of all gross sales smartphone gross sales through the COVID interval had been generated on-line and that momentum remains to be carrying on to at the present time. In some international locations, the ratio of on-line to offline gross sales is 35% to 65% and in some international locations 40% to 60%. Our purpose is to stay an omnichannel model to ensure shoppers can have a number of methods to expertise Honor merchandise.

Are there any plans to construct an Honor retail retailer community throughout Europe?

TR: We are going to proceed to put money into our channel companions and model infrastructures. Our cooperation with partnering retailers remains to be the primary solution to attain shoppers. On the identical time, we perceive that partnerships might not be sufficient for shoppers to expertise every little thing that Honor has to supply as a model. It’s doable that in a couple of years we are going to open iconic shops throughout Europe to offer an built-in model expertise to shoppers.

How has Honor addressed the availability chain points which have been occurring up to now 12 months? What methods have you ever utilized? How does it have an effect on your product portfolio?

TR: We’re embracing uncertainties. From a provide perspective, the entire business was affected by a scarcity by way of all key components that make up smartphones up to now 12 months. Honor has a wholesome provide chain with good lasting provider relationships. We embrace the entire business and weve established cooperation with all the most important suppliers. We’re additionally attempting to create worth not only for the buyer but in addition for our provide chain companions.

What {hardware} views are you trying to innovate in together with your future telephones?

CW: The 2 huge focus factors for us are cameras and craftsmanship. We’re all the time aiming to deliver higher cameras on our telephones and enhance on craftsmanship. We even have an in depth partnership with Qualcomm and use their flagship chipsets in our premium telephones. One other key half for us is software program and as we already talked about Magic OS 7 will make a giant distinction by way of the consumer expertise. Its onerous to separate {hardware} from software program as they combine collectively.

Do you’ve got any plans to introduce a flagship telephone with a extra compact design i.e. with a 6-inch display screen dimension?

CW: The market is led by gadgets which have huge screens. The developments in structural engineering over the previous years have allowed us to suit bigger screens right into a smaller system footprint and we are going to proceed to serve our clients and their wants. Shoppers like to have a giant display screen on their telephones and that can doubtless not change within the years to come back.

Are you able to give us a timeline for the launch of your subsequent foldable telephone?

TR: Our subsequent foldable telephone will launch in China first and will probably be adopted by a world launch later. We can’t reveal the precise timeframe for now however you’ll hear extra about it in due time.

Why did you omit wi-fi charging and optical picture stabilization (OIS) on the Honor 70 principal digicam?

CW: Wi-fi charging nonetheless has a difficulty by way of velocity. Our 66W wired charging is handy and quick whereas wi-fi charging is actually handy however is nowhere close to as quick. Implementing OIS is dependent upon the construction and dimension of the telephone.

We’re utilizing a big Sony IMX 800 sensor within the Honor 70 and bodily house was a constraint. We’re very assured within the efficiency of the IMX 800 sensors and we’re additionally glad with the Digital picture stabilization (EIS) outcomes.


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