Can Honor Repeat The Xiaomi Success Story In India?
Huawei has adopted a new strategy called the 'India First' plan to achieve its global target of being among top 3 brands in the country by 2022.
The Huawei sub-brand, Honor, recently made it in the top five smartphone brands in India, and their numbers are growing at a steady rate. With six smartphones launched in the last six months, the Chinese smartphone company seems to be trying to repeat the Xiaomi success story here in India.
Budget smartphones with top-quality features, that’s what Honor is trying to bring in to the Indian smartphone market. Not only the mid-range market, Honor is also trying to enter into all segments with their smartphones. The company has now at least one top-specced phone in almost each price category in the country.
Where It All Started?
Huawei has been in the country for a long time now. But the Chinese company has repeatedly failed to do good business in India, in spite of being one of the top global smartphone brands. Roughly three years back, the company launched its online-based brand, Honor, in India.
Starting with the Budget category (under Rs 10,000) to the mid-range category (under Rs 20,000) and the premium entry-level category (over Rs 30,000), Honor has smartphones available at all the price categories.
Multiple Devices With Very Similar Hardware
Honor has launched multiple handsets within the same price category with very similar hardware. Like the recently-launched Honor 7C is very similar in line to its own Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X in the same price category. The Huawei sub-brand is trying to offer as many options as possible to stifle the competition.
Even if customers have to choose from a particular price category, Honor is throwing in options with its own smartphones with similar hardware with a few differences. From a glass body to the dual rear and front cameras, and metal unibody designs to widescreen 18:9 displays, Honor has it all covered.
With a variety of options and some top-of-line-specifications at the best of prices, Honor smartphones will soon have no other alternative in the market.
The Strategy: Based On Xiaomi Success Story
India is an evolving smartphone market which has the highest number of smartphone buyers in the Rs 10,000-sub category. Honor has understood how the market works and are primarily focusing on design and cameras with every handset they are launching.
Instead of being an online-only brand, Honor has started to operate in the offline market to expand its business in the country. The major portion of the Indian smartphone market lies in the offline space, where currently Vivo and Oppo rules.
The company still focuses on its online presence, but over the years Honor been able to enter into the offline space as well. The company follows an online to offline strategy.
Next Target: The Top Three
After the top five, Honor’s next target is to enter the top three smartphone brands in the country. Already, the company has been able to beat some of the best-selling brands like Motorola and Lenovo in the last quarter. The Honor smartphone sales have seen a sharp jump in the last one year, and the company aims to topple its Chinese counterparts Vivo and Oppo next.
Honor has played well with the pricing of its products. India is a price-sensitive smartphone market, and Honor has successfully been able to tap into the different price categories. Honor smartphones are generally cheaper in the country than they are in their home market China, and that’s a conscious decision on the part of the company.
The Chinese company has adopted a new strategy called the ‘India First’ plan to achieve its global target of being among top 3 brands in the country by 2022. Honor has already registered around a 4 percent share in the Indian smartphone market, as per a survey by Counterpoint Research.
The company has a 39 percent share within the budget and mid-tier price category (Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 price segment). Honor 9 Lite is one the best-selling Honor smartphone followed by Honor 7X. The mid-ranged Honor phones have received a good response in the Indian smartphone market. Recently, Honor 9 Lite also recorded 1 million unit sales in the country.
Honor has now launched two new new budget phones in the Rs 10,000-sub category – Honor 7A and Honor 7C. The Honor 7A has been priced at Rs 8,999 (3GB/32GB), while Honor 7C has been priced Rs 9,999 for the base variant (3GB/32GB) and Rs 11,999 for the higher variant (4GB/64GB).