Honor is staying out of the foldable game and US market... for now

Honor is staying out of the foldable game and US market... for now
Honor's eventual first foldable device may or may not look similar to the Huawei Mate X

While Honor is still considered a Huawei sub-brand, the company has been doing its own thing for a few years now, often unveiling unique designs and no longer name-dropping its parent to generate buzz. Interestingly, Honor CEO George Zhao appears unconvinced Huawei's early comer strategy is the best way to do foldable phones right, pointing to next year as "the moment" this fledgling category could take off.

That said, Zhao did highlight in an interview with CNET from the MWC 2019 trade show in Barcelona that he "personally likes the design" of the Huawei Mate X, although that doesn't automatically mean Honor's first foldable stab will be an exact replica of the out-folding market pioneer. The main reason why Honor plans to wait until 2020 to join this exciting field of innovation is the extravagant cost associated with production right now.

Zhao wants to find ways to put foldable devices in the hands of Honor's "target customer", which might take time... and certain compromises. After all, the brand's priciest product in the US right now costs a measly $499, so there's really no way that "target" audience will ever be persuaded into spending north of $2,000.

Speaking of the US market, we're afraid we don't have any good news to offer. Honor isn't very keen on making the investments required to partner with major local carriers, looking to focus largely on further expanding across Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America going forward. 

On the bright side, the company will continue to sell select phones unlocked for unrestricted stateside use on Amazon, even though there's still no word on when that might happen for the Honor View 20 or Honor 8X. At the same time, a bigger US push is of course not ruled out entirely. But it will only happen when the outfit has "enough capability."

Last but not least, it should come as no surprise that Honor has its sights set on releasing a 5G-enabled phone this year. Unfortunately, that's all Zhao was ready to disclose for the time being. Well, that, and the fact his company sees 5G as its next major "opportunity." Hopefully, we'll find out more soon enough. A name, an approximate release date, some specifications, anything will do.

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5 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei’s subbrand Honor releases some of the best, if not the best, bang for your buck smartphones on the market today. They have a proven strategy that helps them grow sales, even without the U.S. market. Looking forward to adding the Honor View 20 to my list of smartphone purchases in the near future.

2. Poptart2828

Posts: 322; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Agreed. Breaking into the US market is a waste of time. It's a two horse race there with no room to spare. One company will sue you in court for rounded corners and other nonsense and the other is there to pick up whatever is left.

3. Venom

Posts: 3109; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. I'm tired of seeing Samsung and Apple all the time. I mean that doesn't mean that I want a Huawei device, but to see the same old thing over and over is just tiresome. Nokia finally decided to venture out into the US market, but their latest offering wasn't really for me.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Absolutely agree. It would be a waste of time for Huawei’s sub-brand to try and break into the U.S., even though their devices would be a welcome addition here. We do need different OEM’s here, and I’m glad HMD has partnered with 3 North American carriers to bring more of their devices over here, as they’ve already had devices available here for quite some time now. Can’t wait for the awesome Nokia 9 Pureview to be released here, as it’s definitely the device for me.

4. Venom

Posts: 3109; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Folding phones is just ludicrous and asinine to push as innovation. That's just a gimmick.

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