Honor, a part of the Huawei consumer business group, will be entering the PC market of India with two laptops next year.
Honor has primarily dealt only with smartphones in the subcontinent. Still, that segment has been going through a rough patch due to the trade war sanctions put on them, which no longer allows them to use Android and other American products and services. While its smartphone future is uncertain, Honor is looking to bring its MagicBook laptops to India. These can be seen as slightly affordable alternatives to Huawei’s MateBooks.
The current skew of Honor MagicBooks comes in either an Intel or AMD flavor. Options include a quad-core Intel i5-8250U with Nvidia MX150 graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, or the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U and Radeon Vega8 graphics combo. It’s unclear as now if both of these will make their way to India.
Other Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi (and Redmi) have abstained from bringing their laptops to India owing to insufficient demand. Honor could be the first from this space to bring laptops here. However, they won’t be manufactured in India, and will thus be priced slightly higher than what they are available in China for.
James Zhou, the president of overseas marketing and sales at Honor, spoke to The Economic Times, “We are working with Microsoft for our laptops and will be launching two laptops in India in 2020” while adding that one of them will be a MagicBook. Considering that all current Honor laptops come with the MagicBook branding, the statement adds a bit of confusion.
The Honor Vision, its first smart TV, is also expected to launch in India early next year. The Honor 9X and Magic Watch 2 are also slated to land in India in January 2020, ending its hiatus in the smartphone space. Taking into account that the Google fiasco is still far from over, it’s unlikely that this new smartphone will natively offer Google services.
Honor is also trying to rope in developers of major Android apps to create variants that will be available on the Huawei app store to make up for the lack of the Google Play store in markets outside China. Investment in India will continue to bolster its online market and infrastructure.