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

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Honor Europe CEO Tony Ran

Whereas we have been at IFA Berlin final week, we 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 fascinating matters 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 gadget design, specs and software program? How are you aiming to alter because you at the moment are an impartial model?

Tony Ran (TR): Already we began to alter, to vary from Huawei and different distributors. With the upcoming launch of Magic OS 7 in This autumn 2022, which is an enormous leap from the earlier Magic UI. This can be a massive leap not solely from the interface perspective but additionally 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 rather a lot about our picture and we wish to stand out and be our personal model. We try arduous, 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 element 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 cellphone that’s completely completely different by way of appear and feel in comparison with different distributors. We have now full confidence that our efforts will assist Honor stand out from different Android producers.

What has been essentially the most difficult side of the transition away from Huawei to being an impartial firm?

TR: The transition to being an impartial firm is a classy course of and it took lots of cautious planning and energy. Huawei is an enormous firm and as soon as we separated we needed to take up the entire obligations 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 need to suppose to a lot about it.

Now, we’re tasked with masking all features by ourselves. This expertise has given us room to consider the which means of doing enterprise in numerous areas. We’re additionally tasked with assembly the expectations of our customers 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 an enormous focus for us and a key driver for our future. Once we separated from Huawei in 2021 we had roughly 8,000 Honor staff whereas we’re at roughly 13,000 staff at present 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.

By way of model id, we restructured into an omnichannel model. Underneath Huawei, Honor was a younger internet-only model however we aren’t restricted to simply on-line gross sales anymore and we even have our premium merchandise and we’ll 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 speak concerning the dependency on manufacturing services and half suppliers that you just share with Huawei?

CW: Initially, if we will leverage sources from Huawei it makes our job a bit simpler. Beginning a complete new provide chain from scratch is a really tough endeavor. 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 comparable even to different manufacturers and in case 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 alter that and we see lots of potential with foldable telephones.

One in every of our targets is to make a foldable cellphone that may function a main cellphone for customers as a result of many of the out there folding telephones out in the marketplace now are used as secondary telephones. Keep tuned for our upcoming Magic V folding cellphone.

TR: The entire trade proper now could be ready for innovation and we’re pushing in that path. The three pillars of innovation for Honor are 5G, smartphone show expertise and cameras. One factor we nonetheless share with Huawei is the expertise and that’s one thing that you just can not instantly disconnect. Lots of people have requested if we nonetheless have any secret info that we nonetheless share with Huawei and the reply is not any.

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

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

Belief and reliability are the 2 massive elements that assist carriers and smartphone firms 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 broaden our community companions. The established relationships with carriers are a key pillar for our future enterprise progress.

From one other perspective, we’re additionally intently 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 throughout the COVID interval have been generated on-line and that momentum continues to be carrying on to today. 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 customers 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 continues to be the principle solution to attain customers. On the identical time, we perceive that partnerships will not be sufficient for customers to expertise every thing that Honor has to supply as a model. It’s doable that in just a few years we’ll open iconic shops throughout Europe to offer an built-in model expertise to customers.

How has Honor addressed the provision chain points which were occurring prior 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 trade was affected by a scarcity by way of all key components that make up smartphones prior to now 12 months. Honor has a wholesome provide chain with good lasting provider relationships. We embrace the entire trade and weve established cooperation with all the foremost suppliers. We’re additionally making an attempt to create worth not only for the buyer but additionally for our provide chain companions.

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

CW: The 2 massive focus factors for us are cameras and craftsmanship. We’re at all times aiming to carry 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 an enormous distinction by way of the consumer expertise. Its arduous to separate {hardware} from software program as they combine collectively.

Do you might have any plans to introduce a flagship cellphone with a extra compact design i.e. with a 6-inch display dimension?

CW: The market is led by gadgets which have massive screens. The developments in structural engineering over the previous years have allowed us to suit bigger screens right into a smaller gadget footprint and we’ll proceed to serve our prospects and their wants. Customers like to have an enormous display on their telephones and that can seemingly not change within the years to return.

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

TR: Our subsequent foldable cellphone will launch in China first and can be adopted by a world launch later. We can not 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?

CW: Wi-fi charging nonetheless has a problem by way of velocity. Our 66W wired charging is handy and quick whereas wi-fi charging is definitely handy however is nowhere close to as quick. Implementing OIS is determined by the construction and dimension of the cellphone.

We’re utilizing a big Sony IMX 800 sensor within the Honor 70 and bodily area 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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