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Honor launches Honor 70 in Europe, pledges first foldable phone overseas

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Honor CEO George Zhao launched the corporate’s Honor 70 smartphone in Europe during a virtual presentation on the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany. Honor, which was spun off from Chinese technology giant Huawei in 2020, is attempting to boost its market share outside of China.

Honor

Honor, the smart devices company spun off from embattled Chinese tech giant Huawei, plans to launch a foldable phone in overseas markets because it looks to challenge Apple and Samsung on the worldwide stage.

On Friday, the corporate launched the mid-range Honor 70 smartphone in Europe and said an unannounced foldable phone can be coming to the region and other international markets too in the longer term. It would be the primary time Honor launches a foldable device overseas, the corporate said.

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Honor faces an uphill battle outside of China where it has lower than a 1% smartphone market share.

The brand was sold by Huawei to a consortium of Chinese buyers in late 2020 as a solution to survive U.S. sanctions. In 2019 and 2020, Huawei was hit by quite a few American sanctions that cut its access to Google software and key chips, destroying its smartphone business.

Since then, Honor has launched quite a few smartphones. This yr, it brought its flagship Magic 4 handset to international markets.

Alongside the upcoming foldable phone, Honor is placing emphasis on the costlier premium end of the smartphone market outside of China.

That can put Honor in competition with Samsung’s latest foldables — the  Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4. 

“As the worldwide economy has deteriorated in 2022, the premium end has remained strong, benefitting Samsung and Apple thus far this yr,” James Manning Smith, senior analyst at CCS Insight, told CNBC via email.

“Certainly one of Honor’s best challenges within the yr can be attempting to leverage this trend, attempting to win sales from well-established premium brands, particularly in a yr where stretched budgets will lead to consumers trying to avoid potentially more dangerous purchases.”

Shipments of phones costing over $1,000 grew 94% year-on-year within the second quarter, in response to Counterpoint Research. This segment is dominated by Apple and Samsung.

But Honor’s Chinese rivals including Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme have also managed to achieve share overseas by managing to pump out mid-priced devices with high specs.

That can pose one other challenge to Honor.

Honor’s “low-cost Chinese peers have made some serious in-roads within the European market during the last two years, a position that they’ll not quit and not using a fight,” Smith added. “Although Honor has been ramping up its marketing, it faces some incredibly fierce competition outside of China.”

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