GUANGZHOU, China – Honor, the Chinese smartphone brand formerly owned by Huawei, has launched its first device since it was sold out.
Huawei sold Honor, its budget smartphone brand, in November to a consortium of buyers in China as a way to help the device survive in the face of US sanctions.
In 2019, Huawei was put on a U.S. export blacklist called the Entity List, which restricted U.S. companies from selling certain components to the Chinese technology giant. This included both semiconductors and software.
Google was forced to cut ties with Huawei, meaning the US search giant̵
Last year, Huawei Honor sold to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, a consortium of 30 agents and dealers. At the time, Huawei said the sale was made so Honor could “make it through this difficult time.”
“Splitting the Honor team should help it get the components it needs, even though it can still take many months and is never guaranteed, especially given the geopolitical tension in the air,” said Bryan Ma, vice president of unit research. at IDC.
“Nevertheless, the move helps keep the team engaged with suppliers in the hopes that it can continue with its product development.”
The majority of Honor’s sales come from China. In 2019, Honor shipped 64 million smartphones globally, according to IDC. In the first nine months of 2020, the company has shipped 42 million units. Complete data for 2020 are not yet available.
Honor’s new smartphone is called the V40. It boasts a 6.72-inch screen and is available in three colors: silver, black and rose gold.
Honor talked about the phone’s graphical processing and touchscreen features, features that enhance gaming on the device, a popular use of smartphones in China.
It has the ability to connect to the next generation 5G mobile network, a key requirement in China, which is the world’s largest market for 5G phones.
The V40 uses a key 5G chip from Taiwan’s MediaTek, a company that became China’s number one smartphone semiconductor supplier in 2020.
The Honors V40 starts at 3,599 yuan ($ 556) for the 128 GB storage option and 3,999 yuan for the 256 GB version. It will be released in China, but it is unclear whether it will be launched internationally.
“The message they (Honor) want to convey is that they inherited a lot from Huawei, whether it’s the chipset capacity, photography and R & D (research and development) all the things they got from Huawei devices, they have it whole, “said Nicole Peng, a mobile analyst at Canalys.
“They do not want to show that they lack the R&D capacity that Huawei has. They want to show that they still have it, and they have a great team in R & D, and that’s something people asked. as they parted, whether they could sustain that kind of innovation. ”