China's top-selling smartphone Honor, which aims to expand aggressively in India this year, will be ready to take off in the next two quarters, the company's president believes.
Huawei's sub-brand Honor has emerged as one of the fastest growing smartphone brands in the first quarter in India -- entering the list of top five brands for the first time with a 146 per cent growth.
Talking to IANS after the global launch of its flagship "Honor 10" device here, Honor President George Zhao said the brand is following India-first approach with a long-term strategy as it plans to launch an array of handsets across different price segments in the country.
"Honor's strategy in India is very aggressive. In the first quarter this year, we registered 146 per cent growth and became the fifth largest vendor. But we are still to take off in the country. We are yet to achieve full force for Honor's growth in India," Zhao said.
"We are preparing a lot for the Indian market this year. I think we need another two quarters to be well prepared for everything," he said, adding that "in fact, it would be quarter-by-quarter growth or month-by-month growth for us."
Honor currently has a three per cent share in the Indian smartphone market with its models in the price range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. The addition of the newly-launched Honor 10 at Rs 32,999 would widen this range.
According to Allen Wangoudong, Honor India Sales Director, products in the price range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 have already been launched.
"We will definitely add more products to touch different price segments. Honor 10 is one such device in the Rs 30,000 and above flagship segment," Wangoudong said.
"But we will target more price segments in the sub-Rs 10,000 category and also the Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 segment. Consumers will have more choice which will help us a lot," Wangoudong added.
Although Zhao declined to give an exact outlook for Honor's growth and market share in the next 12 months, he agreed that with the current growth momentum, it would be possible for the company to double or even triple the number of smartphones it sells in India.
Replying to whether Huawei would continue to have its presence in India with its own set of brands, Zhao said: "Of course. Globally, we implement the dual-brand strategy. In India too, we have two brands, Huawei and Honor."
Sensing newer opportunities, Huawei recently brought its "P20 Pro" premium smartphone to India for Rs 64,999.
Honor has a manufacturing plant in Chennai and the company manufactures 90 to 95 per cent of devices to meet the local demand.
As to whether the Indian facility would grow to cater to overseas demand for Honor products, Zhao said: "It depends on local market demand, local market requirement, efficiency and faster response among other things. When we will decide the strategy, we will evaluate the overall factors".
(Manish Gupta was invited to London by Huawei for an Honor phone launch. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)