Honor May Not Be as Free From Huawei as It Claims

Honor clearly is aware of the business is watching. At the launch occasion for the Honor 50, its new flagship smartphone (a rebadged Huawei Nova 9 with a barely totally different digital camera), it harassed that it has secured greater than 1,100 long-term cooperation agreements with strategic companions and over 30 suppliers. It additionally invited a Qualcomm spokesperson onstage to debate the chip powering its new telephone, whereas hammering dwelling the very particular Honor-exclusive tweaks it’s made to the digital camera.

However, with each the Huawei Nova 9 and Honor 5 in entrance of us, it’s clear that Honor hasn’t been in a position to differentiate the software program in time for its new international flagship launch. The core Huawei apps (e-mail, browser, and so forth.) are just about equivalent throughout each telephones, even showcasing the identical illustrations guiding you thru first use. 

The Honor 50 digital camera can be worse than that of the Nova 9. This could possibly be right down to the totally different sensors used throughout each telephones and will additionally replicate Honor’s lack of entry to Huawei’s images processing IP. 

More alarming, the telephone’s “exclusive” Honor-engineered digital camera characteristic, Multi-channel Video Architecture, which permits two cameras to feed right into a split-screen video, is just about equivalent to the Nova 9’s Vlog mode. Yes, there’s a barely totally different UI, however the choices are the identical: entrance/rear, rear/rear, and picture-in-picture video.

In China, the Honor 50 launched earlier than the Nova 9 did, so, technically, Honor did get there first. But scraping the barrel with digital camera modes inside modes highlights the wrestle Honor is dealing with to distinguish in its post-Huawei state.

This problem was inevitable. Honor should rework its total providing. It can’t shut store, and why would it not? As the No. 3 smartphone maker in China, it has current prospects to service and upsell to.

So, as the corporate goes by means of an ungainly puberty, the query stays: Is there hope for the Honor model exterior China? Early indicators are blended. On the one hand, Honor is taking constructive steps, revealing {that a} redesign of MagicUI, the duplicate of Huawei’s EMUI, is within the works. It has additionally this week introduced the opening of its personal manufacturing plant to make its personal merchandise. On the opposite hand, we’ve but to see a tool manufactured totally by Honor, so the subsequent few handsets that launch will definitely reveal greater than the Honor 50 does.

The fundamental issues actually do come right down to R&D and manufacturing. An business insider tells WIRED “one reason OnePlus and Realme shared so many design traits and/or charging technologies with OPPO was because OnePlus had to use the OPPO lines of manufacture, and the machines used there are incredibly expensive.” 

Indeed, a lot of the good issues concerning the Honor 50 are its Huawei traits: premium design, quick charging, and an ideal show. We don’t know what telephones Honor really makes, or who Honor is as a model anymore.

Faced with the Herculean job of retaining its prospects; defining its new, Huawei-free model id; cementing strategic partnerships; making a portfolio of merchandise; plugging IP holes; and managing distribution, to call just some priorities—all in an business dealing with element shortages—the stakes are excessive. CounterPoint analysis VP Neil Shah places it plainly: “[Honor] has done well in China. But replicating this success outside is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.”

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