Thu. Nov 17th, 2022

(Aug 13): Smartphone maker Honor launched the Magic 3 handset series on Thursday, its first flagship series aiming for the high-end market after its split from Huawei, shedding light on the smartphone maker’s ambition to snap up more market share, Global Times reported.
Featuring the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile Platform, the latest smartphone in the Magic Series showcases its most innovative ideas, said the firm.
“Representing Honor’s vision for the future of mobile technology, we are proud of the industry partnerships we’ve forged, which have helped in the development of this new smartphone as well as the continued efforts from our R&D team to reintroduce Honor to the global market, in a never-before-seen display of exceptional technology,” George Zhao, CEO of Honor, said.
Honor said it has invested heavily in R&D, with four R&D centers and over 100 labs worldwide, filing over 5,500 new patent applications to date, and quickly re-establishing strategic partnerships with some of the world’s top suppliers.
“The Magic 3 has the important task of regaining lost ground and competing with other flagship models,” Jiang Jun, a veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.
“Since the new series uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 Plus chip, the US tech giant’s most advanced chip, it shows Honor has officially established connections with mainstream suppliers and finished its restructuring after spin-off from Huawei,” Jiang said.
Huawei officially announced the divestment of the smartphone sub-brand Honor in November 2020. The sale included all the assets of Honor, and Huawei doesn’t hold any stake in the new company.
In May and June, Honor’s sales grew 39 percent and 27 percent month-on-month, respectively. Judging from the preliminary data in July, Honor’s market share is still showing strong momentum and is moving toward a full recovery, according to market research company Counterpoint.
Industry observers also placed hopes on Honor’s foray into the high-end market, saying that its comeback may erode Apple’s market share in China, and retake Huawei’s lost ground in both the domestic and overseas markets.
But Jiang warned that Honor will still have to rely on Huawei’s technology for at least two years, and it will take time to grab share from Apple.
Apple is so far is the biggest beneficiary of Huawei’s absence from China’s high-end smartphone market.
In the second quarter of 2021, smartphone shipments by Apple stood at 8.6 million units, up 17 percent year-on-year, with a market share of 10.9 percent. 
China surpassed the US to become the largest single market for Apple’s iPhone in the second quarter, and the US fell to second place for the first time.
The US, on the other hand, is mulling a new round of bans, this time on Honor. In a letter dated August 8, a group of 14 Republicans in the US House of Representatives asked the US Commerce Department to add the Chinese company to the US government’s economic blacklist, according to a Reuters report.
The proposal, although it may not be implemented in the short term, still means that Honor’s rising smartphone business is at risk, analysts said.
Honor CEO, Zhao Ming, said that the firm will remain totally independent from Huawei and will conduct business and global trade based on local laws. The statement came as a response to a proposal by some US politicians to blacklist the company, Global Times reported.