Honor, a top smartphone maker in China, is reentering the Indian market with its latest device, the Honor 90. This marks Honor’s first new device for the second largest smartphone market in the world in over three years. The handset is already available globally in markets such as Malaysia, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.K.
Previously, Honor operated in India as part of Huawei, but in November 2020, the brand was sold to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology. After the sale, Honor’s operations in India were discontinued, and some staff were relocated to Dubai. However, Honor continued its presence in India through a partnership with PSAV Global, which distributed and provided after-sales service for Honor-branded wearables, tablets, and laptops. For smartphones, Honor partnered with HTech, a company led by former Realme India chief Madhav Sheth.
HTech functions as the local distributor for Honor smartphones in India and has entered the highly competitive smartphone market. The Honor 90, with a starting price of around $340, features a 6.7-inch 1.5K quad-curved AMOLED display and an octa-core Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chip. However, experts believe that differentiating through hardware and design alone may be challenging, considering the saturated market. Marketing, managing offline and online channels, and choosing the right pricing segment are crucial aspects, according to Navkendar Singh, an associate vice president for devices research at IDC.
The Indian smartphone market has seen significant growth, with the number of users increasing from 150 million to 750 million in the past eight years. However, smartphone shipments have declined due to global economic slowdown and local issues, such as high unemployment rates and reduced demand for entry-level models. In the first half of this year, smartphone shipments in India decreased by 10%. Despite these challenges, Honor hopes to regain its position in the Indian market.
– The Economic Times
– Prime Minister Narendra Modi
– UBS Global analysts