Guangzhou, China – Honor, the Chinese smartphone brand previously owned by Huawei, has launched its first device since it was sold.
Huawei Honor, its budget smartphone brand, sold it in November to a consortium of buyers in China, as a way to help the unit survive in the face of US sanctions.
In 2019, Huawei was placed on a US export blacklist called the Entity List that banned US companies from selling certain components to the Chinese tech giant. This included both semiconductors and software.
Google has been forced to cut ties with HuaweiWhich means that the US search giant’s Android operating system cannot be installed on the Chinese company’s devices. This hit Huawei’s sales hard in international markets.
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 “get through this difficult time”.
“The detachment of the Honer team should help them get the components they need, although that could take months and is not guaranteed at all, especially given the geopolitical tension in the air,” said Brian Ma, Vice President of Hardware Research at IDC.
“However, this step helps to keep the team engaged with suppliers in the hope that they can continue to develop their products.”
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 shipped 42 million units. The full data for 2020 is not yet available.
The new smartphone from Honor is called V40. It features a 6.72 inch screen and comes in three colors: silver, black and rose gold.
Honor has talked about the phone’s graphics processing and touchscreen capabilities, which are features that enhance game play on the device, which is a common use of smartphones in China.
It has the ability to connect to next-generation 5G mobile phone networks, a major requirement in China which is the world’s largest market for 5G phones.
The V40 uses the main 5G chip from Taiwanese company MediaTek, which has become the # 1 smartphone semiconductor supplier in China in 2020.
The Honor V40 starts at 3,599 yuan ($ 556) for the 128GB storage option and 3999 yuan for the 256GB version. It will be launched in China, but it is unclear if it will launch internationally.
“The message they (Honor) want to convey is that they inherited a lot from Huawei, regardless of whether the chip capacity, imaging, R&D (R&D) all the things they got from Huawei devices, they have it all,” Nicole Bing, a mobile analyst at the company Canalys.
“They don’t want to show that they miss the R&D capacity that Huawei has. They want to show that they still have it and that they have a great R&D team and that’s something people were asking when they broke up, if they could keep some kind of innovation.”
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