The exploded adoption of smartphones in India is led by the entry-level and mid-range smartphones, mostly manufactured by Chinese players, likes of Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. Back in 2013, the unprecedented growth in a short span of time was lucrative enough to attract the eyeballs of many well-established global players who were earlier sceptical about the potential in India smartphone market. Huawei, the largest smartphone manufacturer in China, was quick to act and employed a segmented marketing strategy to strengthen its market presence in India. The launch of Honor – Huawei’s sub-brand to attract price-sensitive consumers in India – in 2015 proved decisive for the company and
Fast forward 2018, the company had slowly but surely started making a dent in the India smartphone market with its sub-brand, Honor. By the end of Q3 2018, Huawei accounted for a notable 3% of the quarterly smartphone shipments, and the sub-brand Honor played a vital role in the success of the Chinese technology behemoth in India – the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market.
According to the sources, Honor accounted for 80% of the total Huawei’s smartphone sales in India last year. Between January and September 2018, the company recorded 400% growth in the sales of Honor smartphones, while the figure is expected to swell to 500% after crunching the full year sales data of Honor smartphones.
Excited by the response to Honor brand in India, the company has charted out an aggressive sales & marketing strategy for 2019.
“We have been noticing a radical shift in the consumer preferences for the last year. There are consumers who are focused more on the feel form factor than price. At the same time, there is a segment of consumers who are early adopters of the technology and seek those features in their next device. To cater to all types of consumers Honor has employed a multi-focused strategy to launch only the best-of-breed devices in their respective segments. The X series, N Series and View Series of Honor smartphones are a testimony to the strategy, says Suhail Tariq, Chief Marketing Officer – Huawei India.
In November last year, Honor’s global president, George Zhao revealed that the company has planned to invest $100 billion in India with an aim to become No 1 smartphone manufacturer by 2021.
Huawei has already started making waves with its sub-brand in India right from the beginning of 2019. After launching Honor Y9 on January 10, the company is gearing up to launch another high-end smartphone Honor View10, reportedly scheduled for January 29. With the introduction of few ‘first in the world‘ features, including 48MP rear Camera, in-screen camera and Link Turbo features, the device is already turning heads at the launch date.
Huawei’s is not the only smartphone manufacturer that has tasted tremendous success with its sub-brand. Xiaomi’s Redmi and Oppo’s Realme also helped the companies to capture a sizable share of the market. Interestingly, both the sub-brands are now split into sperate companies altogether, albeit as subsidiaries of their parents. While Huawei claims it has no immediate plan to act similarly, but It would be interesting to see if the company ends up getting influenced from its rivals, especially when the contribution of sub-brand in the success of the company is humongous.