PARIS: Honor, the world’s No 1 smartphone e-brand from Huawei, has announced it is preparing for the launch of its new flagship device: Huawei honor 8, a smartphone that embraces the unique combination of premium technology and unparalleled aesthetics. The much anticipated honor 8 is coming to Kuwait on Sept 6, 2016, available for pre-order Aug 25 on HonorArabia.com.
Hot on the heels of its global launch in China, as well as its US and Europe debut, honor’s latest release has received a raft of impressive reviews from users, particularly praising the exquisite craftsmanship and design, as well as the world class dual camera features.
Cultivating a profound design philosophy, honor has created a stunning device for trailblazing users always on the hunt for something different. Its two-sided 2.5-D glass body, 3D grate design and 15-layer craftsmanship on the back of the handset, reflects light beautifully, creating a true style statement.
Chris Sun Baigong, VP of Huawei honor Middle East CBG, commented: “By listening to our end-users and paying attention to the smallest details, we have taken the holistic approach and created something truly distinctive. Honor 8 has a design that is beautifully stylish coupled with excellent usability, an essential aspect that contributes to its outstanding day-to-day user experience.”
George Zhao, president of Huawei honor, said: “After three years of developing the brand worldwide, honor has matured and gained acknowledgement for focusing on our end-users and product quality first and foremost over revenue, which are the strategic winning points for the brand. The latest launch of our flagship honor 8 reflects this approach, and we are confident in its success with our end-users, as well as our growth as a brand this year – so stay tuned.”
With an impressive 100 percent year-on-year growth globally, honor shows no signs of slowing down, particularly in the Middle East where the brand has experienced unprecedented growth to date. Chris, VP of honor, envisages that the Middle East market will remain stable, but the brand is poised for further growth as its approach is wholly user-centric to meet user demand.
Kuwait Times spoke to Chris to learn more about the new flagship smartphone.
Kuwait Times: What are the main strengths that honor boasts in a market that witnesses ongoing competition?
Chris: Our main strength is always about focusing on the end-user and what they need to ultimately give them a better user experience. After three years developing the brand worldwide, honor has matured and gained acknowledgement for focusing on our end-users and product quality first and foremost over revenue, which are the strategic winning points for the brand. We focus on the performance of our smartphones and how they not only fit seamlessly into the end-user’s lifestyles, but also improve and enhance using cutting edge technology and smart features. Ultimately, that is what makes us different and that is the ethos that runs through everything we do.
Honor has access to the ultimate tech innovations, with strong research and development capabilities through our parent company Huawei that allows us to create the best products. The latest launch of our flagship honor 8 reflects this approach, and we are confident in its success with our end-users, as well as our growth as a brand this year – so stay tuned!
KT: What are the main features on which you focus in this product, compared to the previous generation?
Chris: The most important element that we have focused on with this new flagship phone is the design and aesthetics. From our own consumer research, we noticed that smartphone users are highly critical of appearance and the feedback we keep hearing across the board is that “all phones look similar”; this was a key insight for us to consider, particularly as a smartphone is so integral to their daily life. So, not only is there a strong demand for better specs and features which of course is integral to their experience, but also better looking phones.
For Huawei honor, we believe in thinking outside the box. With this in mind, the Huawei honor 8 is encased in 15 layers of carefully crafted glass, integrating quality and design to meet the current personalities and style of this generation. It is the most advanced smartphone in terms of design that we have ever produced and we are incredibly excited to be launching it.
Not only this – but we have incorporated a 12MP dual rear camera into this newest device as we know from our own research just how important the camera and its features are to users. For example, at honor, we always try to predict trends and as such we were the first in the world to bring the most well-known dual rear camera to market with the honor 6 plus. Based on its popularity with our users as well as the feedback on photo quality, we have incorporated it into the honor 8 as well a more advanced dual camera with a RGB and monochrome sensor.
Based on a recent study we did in the UAE, we noticed that people in the UAE spend almost half of their holidays on their phones and most of that time is spent using the camera and taking photos.
KT: How can you maintain your leadership in a highly competitive and rapidly changing market?
Chris: Huawei honor has 100 percent growth year-on-year which is delivering a 15 percent contribution to Huawei’s extensive progression in the Middle East. Globally, honor’s revenue contributed 30 percent to Huawei’s registered 69 percent revenue growth in 2015 compared to the previous year.
We believe in staying one step ahead with our user centric approach to product development and unique understanding of the needs of our users. The brand offers innovative high quality, high performance products and services more accessible than other brands. honor is committed to bringing more amazing user experiences to the Middle East with its portfolio (honor 6 Plus, honor 4X, honor 7, honor 5X and honor 8). The honor product portfolio spans varying price points to service the diverse consumer needs and demands. The Huawei owned interface, EMUI, is developed directly using feedback from consumers to enhance the experience.
KT: What is the time period or factors separating the launch of two phones? Does your strategy differ among different global markets?
Chris: We pride ourselves in tailoring our strategies and products based on the need for each market. Thus, you will notice that some of our products that we launch in the region we don’t launch globally and vice versa. We have access to the biggest R&D centers and thus are always looking for innovation to meet the constantly changing needs for the end user. As a smartphone brand, all of our global markets are equally as important. Globally our consumers are living online more and more, so with our brave factory to consumer business model, we offer these ‘digital natives’ high quality products more accessibly. This is not different in the Middle East, which is one of the top global markets for honor.
We are no longer in a time where smartphones are just considered a technological device. We know that for the digital generation who live and breathe online, their smartphone is an extension of themselves and a tool that not only fits into their lifestyle, but enhances it. Smartphones are used as the key to many aspects of people’s lifestyles. At honor we understand this as the end-user is ‘king’ in our eyes and we utilize their feedback in order to develop our brand, products and services. ?
KT: What features do you focus on in your products, from battery, applications, high resolution camera and affordable prices for various markets?
Chris: We noticed that in this region, the users’ main feature of a phone is the camera and also the design of the phone itself. Thus we decided for our latest flagship – the Huawei honor 8 – to focus on these needs which reflects the definition of beauty and combines it with technology. In this day and age, the mobile phones market is packed with constant changes focusing on configurations, whereas at Huawei honor, we are at the core of the smartphone user experience in addition to configuration, communications and software experience, design of the phone, camera, battery life etc. We always try to incorporate all these important features in a seamless state of the art experience which what we have managed to integrate and achieve with honor 8.
With more than 10 years’ experience in the ICT industry, Chris is well-placed to head up the honor brand in the Middle East, which is set to revolutionize the smartphone market in this region. Having completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Automation in China, he became an account manager at Huawei. Within just one year of joining, he was named “Best New Staff Member of 2005 – 2006” and received the award of “Customer Relationship Enhancement”.
In 2007, Chris moved to the United Arab Emirates where he was appointed Etisalat Global Key Account Director, in charge of the International Investment Department, concentrating on new international acquisitions and projects. In 2010, he moved to Islamabad in Pakistan where his work was recognized as being in the “Top Five Best Overall Performance Accounts”- in both 2010 and 2011.
He was assigned as the GM of STC KA in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2012 to seek opportunities within the government sector, large enterprises and SMEs. In his current role as Vice President, Chris led the introduction of Huawei Honor to the region. Since its launch in 2013, Honor had already entered 74 markets and recorded 100 percent growth year-on-year by 2015.
A regular speaker at some of ICT’s leading seminars, Baigong says: “We believe in digital, and we believe the digital era has come for Middle East. Honor’s vision is to bring more people into the wonderful connected digital world.”