HONOR’s Rapid Overseas Expansion Defies Market Trends


The global financial crisis has had a negative impact on consumers, resulting in weak demand and causing 2022 to be the worst year for smartphone shipments since 2013, despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Smartphone OEMs are struggling to manage inventory due to weak consumer demand, and most Chinese OEMs are adjusting their expansion plans due to uncertain market conditions outside of China. However, HONOR’s performance stands out as noteworthy.

According to a new report from CounterPoint Research, HONOR is expanding, unlike most other Chinese OEMs that are pivoting their strategies to be less aggressive in their expansion plans due to uncertain market conditions outside of their home market. HONOR’s shipments outside of China grew almost four fold in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022. The only other major OEM to register growth in the same period was HMD. HONOR’s growth is from a much smaller base than the others. As it only became an independent brand in November 2020, but the growth trajectory is positive.

HONOR’s key overseas markets are Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America, where it has seen impressive growth. In Europe, HONOR operates a three tier strategy with its flagship Magic smartphones, mid tier HONOR 50 and 50 Lite, and budget X series. HONOR has grown quickly in Europe. And it hopes to maintain this momentum with the well reviewed Magic5 Pro and the Magic Vs foldable.

HONOR’s Overseas Expansion: A Steady Increase in a Declining Market

HONOR’s fastest growing overseas region is Latin America, where its shipments grew nearly eight fold YoY. HONOR is also growing share in most of the countries in the region. In the Middle East region, HONOR has entered the top five in some key markets such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

HONOR is now looking to its Magic series to help secure its position as a key player. Adopting a dual flagship approach with the Magic5 Series and Magic Vs smartphones. The Magic5 Pro is HONOR’s most ambitious flagship to date. And it is getting a positive reception on various review sites. The Magic Vs is HONOR’s second foldable smartphone and its first to be launched outside of China.

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HONOR is using a three pronged portfolio approach in the smartphone market with ranges that span the price bands. In key flagship segments, HONOR’s product performance is approaching that of the market leaders. The company is also gradually filling out its portfolio with an ecosystem of partner products. It will support efforts to build brand awareness.

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Counterpoint Research expects The brand will gradually grow its overseas market position, gaining share from rivals as it achieves increasing distribution across both operator and retail channels, its product portfolio expands, and its brand gains awareness. HONOR’s forecast is the most likely outcome given its current position and strategy. But it’s not pre determined – HONOR can and likely will disrupt it through its own actions.

HONOR’s growth strategy

  • HONOR has seen impressive growth in its overseas markets in recent quarters. With shipments increasing by over four fold in Q1 2023 versus Q1 2022.
  • The company’s growth has been driven by a number of factors, including its strong product portfolio, its focus on expanding distribution, and its efforts to build brand awareness.
  • The brand is now targeting the top 10 non China rankings list in 2024.
  • In order to achieve this goal, the company plans to continue to expand its product portfolio, increase distribution, and build brand awareness.
  • The company is also planning to launch new flagship devices in the coming months. It hopes will help it to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Here are some additional details about HONOR’s growth strategy:

  • The company is focusing on expanding its distribution into key markets, such as Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
  • It is also working to build brand awareness through a variety of marketing initiatives. Such as social media campaigns and partnerships with influencers.
  • The company is also investing in research and development in order to develop innovative new products that meet the needs of its customers.

Overall, HONOR is a company that is on the rise. The company has a strong product portfolio, a clear growth strategy, and a dedicated team of employees. If HONOR can continue to execute on its plans, it has the potential to become a major player in the global smartphone market.

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