/ 15 March 2024

HONOR is punching above its weight

Honor Magic Series (1)

The brand is confident it will continue its growth in the local mobile industry

The smartphone brand HONOR is steadily gaining a firm foothold within the highly competitive South African mobile market. They marked their entrance into the local mobile industry by launching the X Series, targeted at the middle to low-end market. The Number Series, which includes the HONOR 50, HONOR 50 Lite and HONOR 70 is for the middle to high-end market, while the Magic Series caters for the premium device segment. The smartphones have received wide acclaim from consumers, critics and industry experts alike.

Growth trajectory
According to Fred Zhou, HONOR South Africa’s General Manager, they want to maintain their growth trajectory by unveiling more innovative and superior mobile products for the local market. He said they have been buoyed by the level of trust and confidence from consumers, which made them South Africa’s fastest growing smartphone brand in 2023.

Appealing to the local consumer
Zhou spoke exclusively to the Mail & Guardian, and shared HONOR’s vision and their future growth strategy in 2024 and beyond. He said deepening open collaboration with the existing local operators and global partners such as Microsoft, Google and Intel is one area they will prioritise. Despite the tough competition in the sector, Zhou is unfazed and said the quality of their devices will catapult them to a pole position in the mobile industry.
He said they carefully select and design their smartphones, and ensure that they take on board the input and the needs of local consumers. “For instance, we understand that two consumer pain points are that foldables are heavy and the battery does not last long — that’s why we designed the Magic V2, which is thin and light, to address and meet consumers’ requirements,” said Zhou.

Screenshot 2024 03 14 At 10.39.28
Fred Zhou, HONOR South Africa’s General Manager.

Anti-drop technology
They also introduced the HONOR Ultra-Bounce Anti-Drop Display on the recently launched HONOR X9b, which has proved to be a game changer. He said not only was the smartphone uniquely designed but it is also very durable. It can withstand up to a 1.5m fall without the screen cracking or disintegrating, Zhou claimed. He said the anti-drop feature is based on the cutting-edge triple layer anti-drop protection technology that has achieved the industry’s first Five-Star Overall Drop Resistance certification from Switzerland’s SGS. He expressed excitement about the new upcoming magic series launch, saying they believe AI and foldable technology are the future for the mobile industry.

Flagship devices
Their latest offering is the HONOR Magic V2 and HONOR Magic 6 Pro, which is aimed at the high-end segment, and will certainly propel the brand to greater heights. The Magic V2 is the world’s thinnest and lightest foldable phone, weighing 231g — less than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, he explained. It is also thinner than Samsung’s Z Fold 5 and the HUAWEI Mate X3.

The Magic 6 Pro boasts the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, a mighty 5 600mAh battery, 12 to 16GB RAM, 512GB storage options, and a triple camera system comprising a 50MP wide, an ultra-wide camera and a 180MP periscope telephoto lens. According to Zhou, the Magic V2 accounts for 50% of the foldable market share in China where it was initially launched.

Entering the premium segment
Zhou said the magic series, particularly the Magic V2, represents their first foray into the flagship and foldable segment in the market. He said based on the current wave of success, the brand will do well in this lucrative segment. The success has seen HONOR being ranked number two brand in the post-paid market, said Zhou, adding they experienced a year-on-year growth of about 600% in 2023. By the end of last year, they sold around 73 000 units of their two main entry smartphones.

Reaching more milestones
Central to HONOR’s plans in 2024 is to continue to innovate and grow the profile of the brand. They will also roll out devices that are AI-powered to enable end users to connect seamlessly to other HONOR gadgets such as tablets, wearables and earbuds. HONOR is encouraged by the positive feedback received during the recent Mobile World Congress held last month in Barcelona. This prestigious event brings together top industry players to share perspectives on how they can leverage the latest mobile technologies to advance humanity.