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Honor unveils V20 amid mounting global competition

By Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-12-28 14:33

Zhao Ming, president of Honor, unveils a Moschino special edition of V20 in Beijing in December. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

As competition heats up, only four to five smartphone vendors will have global influence in the end, said Zhao Ming, president of Honor, one of the twin signature smartphone brands owned by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

Zhao made the comment after Honor unveiled its latest handset V20, in part of its broader push to expand its presence in premium smartphone segment.

"As smartphone growth plateaus in China, the competition is heating up, with smaller players squeezed out of the market," Zhao said. According to him, five years ago, there were about 700 to 800 smartphone brands in China, but now the sector is highly consolidated, with most small brands dead.

To seek expansion opportunities, Honor is marching into overseas markets. In 2018, Honor achieved 150 percent year-on-year growth in foreign markets while maintaining its position as China's leading e-commerce smartphone brand.

More importantly, it has reached the top five in a number of countries. In Russia, for instance, it is now the No 2 smartphone vendor, according to market research company Canalys.

Hu Ge, a famous Chinese actor, shows how to use V20 to take photos. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

This is part of broader push by Honor to increase the contribution of overseas revenue to total revenue from 15 percent in 2017 to 50 percent by 2020.

The company is also eyeing to go up in the smartphone price. The V20 model, released in Beijing on Wednesday, is priced from 2,999 yuan (about $435) in China. Honor is also partnering with Italian fashion house Moschino to launch a Moschino special edition of V20, which is priced at 3,999 yuan in China.

V20 features an all-screen display with just a circular front camera cutout. Such a design will offer an impressive screen-to-body ratio since it features a hole in the display for the front camera. The hole will be about just 4.5 millimeters in width, outdoing its competitors' 6 millimeters, Honor said.

The company has also developed Link Turbo technology, an artificial-intelligence-powered feature that allows simultaneous downloading via Wi-Fi and 4G networks for maximum throughput.

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