Huawei’s Honor to double profit with strong India focus (Lead, correcting last para)

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei’s e-only smartphone brand ‘Honor’ is aiming to double sales, and in turn, double profits with a strong focus on India, a top company official said.

“Honor, which started in 2013 as a $100 million brand, scaled up 22 times in 2014 to become a $2.4 billion company. Now we are looking to double our profits to touch $5 billion by 2015-end,” Zhao Gang, vice-president, Honor International Business, told IANS on the sidelines of the Honor 7 flagship smartphone launch event.

“India is the most important market for us and over 300 engineers are working on the brand from India’s research and development centre in Bengaluru,” he added.

Huawei’s Bengaluru research and development centre is the largest overseas centre for the company and houses 3,000 of an approximately 7,000 engineers working for the company.

The company’s spokesperson hinted at evaluating a local manufacturing facility to cater to Honor’s local demand.

The company has sold 20 million handsets globally and wants to achieve a sales volume of 60 million by selling 40 million handsets this year.

According to the company, having presence in over 57 markets, a Honor smartphone is sold every 1.5 seconds.

The company on Wednesday also launched its flagship Honor 7 smartphone and the Z1 smart band at Rs.22,999 and Rs.5,499, respectively. The phone will be sold with an exclusive partnership with domestic e-commerce portal Flipkart.

The smartphone is powered by a Kirin 995 processor and a 3GB RAM unit. It also sports a fingerprint sensor in the back which the company claims has the fastest response time of 0.5 seconds.

Honor 7, which comes with a 5.2-inch display, features a 20-megapixel rear and eight-megapixel rear camera unit. The camera comes with interesting modes like time-lapse, beauty face and selfie-oriented features and effects.

The front camera also supports a new technology called soft light to make clicking pictures easy.

Honor has also included a smart key at the side to tap open any three apps or functions. The phone will be available for sale from October 15 and comes with a 3,100 mAH battery.

“As a global pioneer, Honor travels wide and this is currently demonstrated by its efforts in key markets such as India, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The device’s precise dimensions and metallic finish offer an optimal form-factor and premium feel, while its smart and multimedia capabilities inspire action and creativity,” Zhao said.

The company also launched the waterproof Band Z1 which can work as an activity tracker, health band as well as an extended device. Interestingly, the wearable device comes with no buttons.

“Honor is created for digital natives and is dedicated to meet the audience’s needs… Honor will continue to seek feedback from its customers, which it will factor in the development of future products,” said P. Sanjeev, vice president of sales, Huawei India.

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