Smartphone maker wastes little time in striking new chipset deals now that US-imposed cuffs on its supply chain have been removed. CEO Zhao reiterates strategy to expand into mid- and high-tier markets.

Ken Wieland, contributing editor

January 22, 2021

2 Min Read
Honor cashes in chips post-Huawei

Device maker Honor, free from US-imposed supply-chain constraints now that it’s no longer part of Huawei, says it has bagged a number of chipset deals with various suppliers. They include US big-hitters Intel and Qualcomm.

Honor referenced the deals, which also include AMD, MediaTek, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Samsung, SK hynix and Sony, as part of an announcement about a new brand strategy for 2021 and the launch of new products.

CEO George Zhao, as reported by Reuters, reflected on the last five months as being an "extremely difficult but meaningful time for Honor." He added, perhaps as a way of explanation for a new turn in direction, that "we feel the weight of expectation from industry partners and consumers."

Budget breaking

When in the Huawei fold the Honor brand was primarily associated with budget smartphones in China. Zhao sees a new road ahead, however. He wants to move into the middle and higher tier market – where margins promise to be thicker – as well as expand overseas. The CEO is also looking to expand further into the IoT market.

To underline the expansionist ambition, Honor wheeled out a new slogan, "Go Beyond," which apparently describes the company’s ambition "to become a global iconic tech brand by offering innovative, high-quality products with proven reliability." As part of the rebranding process, Honor announced that its new smartphone, View40 – the company's first new smartphone model since it was spun out from Huawei – is available in China as from today.

Honor claimed that View40, which incorporates the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC, "boasts superior technology."

Under new ownership

Nicole Peng, VP of mobility at consultancy Canalys – and quoted by Reuters – said Honor wanted to show customers that it was "Huawei reborn," and that quality would not be jeopardized even though it was longer under the Chinese supplier’s wings.

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Huawei, for an undisclosed price, confirmed the sale of Honor to a domestic consortium last November.

Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co., the new owner, is jointly controlled by city government-owned Shenzhen Smart City Technology and more than 30 Honor agents and distributors, among them China Telecom and retailer Suning Tesco.

— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Ken Wieland

contributing editor

Ken Wieland has been a telecoms journalist and editor for more than 15 years. That includes an eight-year stint as editor of Telecommunications magazine (international edition), three years as editor of Asian Communications, and nearly two years at Informa Telecoms & Media, specialising in mobile broadband. As a freelance telecoms writer Ken has written various industry reports for The Economist Group.

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