Honor May Not Be as Free From Huawei as It Claims

The Huawei Nova 9 (and Honor 50) are clearly visible when I turn the phones on side-by side. It is obvious that Honors and Huawei separated last year. These smartphones, which look almost identical, are difficult to join. Both companies are trying to find the winning balance that they achieved in 2019, with Google support and Huawei's world-class design. Both brands are not able to strike that balance right now.
Honor was established in 2013. It was launched as a sub-brand under Huawei. Executives used terms such as digital natives and digital nomadics, while also describing Honor as the Mini to Huawei's BMW. This was less about positioning Honor than it was about presenting Huawei as an affordable alternative. Honor was an opportune move to elevate Huawei in comparison.

It is clear that Huawei, OPPO, Xiaomi, Honor, and Honor have all had an impact on the perceptions of Chinese smartphone manufacturers over the past decade.

Huawei has been diversifying since US sanctions have stopped Huawei from working with American companies like Google. This has caused its smartphones to be crippled in the West. According to the latest rumors, Huawei is developing an e-reader. This could be used to enhance its audio, computing and wellness lines as well as their phone and tablet lines. Huawei will be able to rely on non-Google phones in other countries if it can. Honor is left in the dust.

Huawei sold Honor to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, a majority Shenzhen state owned company in November 2020. Honor was deprived of Huawei's IP rights, which included more than 100,000 patents that Huawei had at the end 2020. Honor will also not be able access to what seemed like an interminable investment in R&Dmore that $20 billion for 2021. This is a huge amount even for a company worth $136.23 million.

Although this sounds terrible, Honor is actually enjoying high. This was something we saw coming. Honor is able to move freely without being bound by US sanctions against Huawei. It is interesting to note that its initial success was in China, where Google does not factor.

Honor topped the charts for the first time since August 2020. Honor occupied the No. 3 spot in Chinese smartphone sales for August 2021. Its sales grew 18% month-on-month, leaving it behind Vivo and OPPO. However, outside China, the public is less convinced by the brand, even though it has Google. The brand failed to make the top five. Varun Mishra, senior Counterpoint analyst, puts this down to Honor's mid-segment loyalty and the fact that it will need to rebuild its distribution network. There are also increasing component shortages that will likely limit Honor's growth in 2021.