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India is the most important market for us but won’t manufacture here: Huawei Chairman

Huawei plans to launch around four devices in India in the next six months including its latest flagship smartphone Honor 6 Plus.

Huawei, in the last two years, has been steadily strengthening its smartphone and tablet portfolio. Apart from China, Indian market has played an important role in its growth story.

Richard Yu, Huawei Chairman and chief executive officer of its consumer division, said to The Mobile Indian, “India is the most important market for us and we are looking at launching more and more smartphones and tablets for the consumers over here.”
He further added, “Our aim is not to get a major pie of the devices market share in India but to bring quality products so that consumers are happy with it.”

“If you look at our journey in last one year, we have been launching smartphones and tablets in India at regular intervals and that too without much delay as compared to international availability,” he further added to emphasis on Huawei’s focus on Indian market.

However, the Chinese telecommunication giant is not quite enthusiastic about setting up manufacturing base in India despite the recent pitches from the Indian Prime Minister for made in India products. Richard though added that his company may revise its stance in future depending on the market conditions.

Online sales

In the last one year, there have been a couple of brands like Motorola, Xiaomi and of late Micromax Yu which have been selling their smartphone only on the online shopping portals. Responding to this development Richard said, “We are still learning the tricks of online sales and our first effort in this direction has been the launch Honor series of devices which are sold through online e-commerce portals only.”

He further elaborated, “We will continue to sell our products in offline retail stores and in between we may come out with device which will be exclusively sold on online stores because we want to bring devices for the masses and not for a select few.”

It may be recalled that in September last year; Huawei has announced the launch of four new devices for India, including two smartphones – Honor 6 and Honor Holly and two tablets – Honor X1 and Honor T1. All the four devices were made available exclusively via Flipkart.

The most talked about device among the above-mentioned devices was Huawei Honor 6. It comes with a 5 inch IPS display, sporting full HD resolution. Huawei had managed to keep its form factor to the minimal; the Honor 6 measures 139.6 x 69.7 x 7.5 mm and weighs just 130 grams.

The Honor 6 has the Android 4.4.2 operating system but it uses the Huawei Emotion 2.3 UI which has a completely different look than the native Android UI. It has the HiSilicon Kirin 920 chipset that comprises an octa core processor, Mali T628 MP6 GPU and 3 GB RAM – powerful enough to run high end games as well as for multitasking. There is a 13 megapixel auto focus camera and two LED flash lights in the rear panel in the Honor 6 while a 5 megapixel camea is in its front.

The Honor 6 has two SIM slots and is compatible with 4G. Other than that, the Honor 6 has Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, WiFi with Hotspot feature, DLNA, and a micro USB 2.0 port. It has a 3100 mAh Li-Po battery. Despite such high end features, Huawei has shrewdly priced it at just Rs 19,999.

User interface

Some device manufacturers use the Stock Android user interface (UI), while others use custom UI in their Android based smartphones. The major drawback on the custom UI is that pushing the latest version Of Android operating system (OS) takes time as the UI has to be customised before doing so. Even Huawei has a custom UI, Huawei Emotion 2.3 UI, overlaid on their smartphones which is resulting in delays in providing over the air (OTA) Android updates.

Addressing this query, Allen Wang, Huawei India president, consumer business group, said, “After hardware the thing that differentiates a smartphone from another one, is its software and user interface does exactly that.”

He further clarified, “Yes there are delays in providing Android OS updates because we have to first modify the UI. But this time round our consumers who are using Honor series of device will not have to wait for long for Android Lollipop update as we have already started working on it and it will be released shortly.”

We do hope that Huawei is able to bring in updates as promised at regular interval because in the past one of the most popular device from Huawei stable, Ascend Mate, never got an update.

Future road map

Huawei plans to launch around four devices in India in the next six months including its latest flagship smartphone, Honor 6 Plus. It is expected to be launched in March this year.

The Huawei Honor 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) display. It has an octa core (4×1.8GHz Cortex A15 4×1.3GHz Cortex A7) Hisilicon Kirin 925 processor with Mali T628-MP4 GPU and 3 GB RAM. It also has a 128 GB micro SD card slot.

The Honor 6 Plus runs on Android 4.4 along with Emotion UI 3.0 and by the time it comes to India it is expected to come pre-loaded with Android Lollipop. It has a 3600 mAh battery which can double up as a charger for other devices as well.

Honor 6 Plus is a dual SIM smartphone and the major attraction of this device is its dual 8 megapixel rear cameras along with a dual LED flash lights and an 8 megapixel front camera. The handset measures 150.46 x 75.68 x 7.5 mm and it weighs 165 grams.

On the connectivity front it supports 4G (TDD/ FDD LTE network), Glonass, WIFi, Bluetooth and NFC. It also has IR port which can be used as a remote control for operating different electronic appliance like TV, AC, and so on.

Allan said, other devices that are in the pipeline will come at different price points and a couple of them will be priced less that Rs 10,000.

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