2015 has been something of an important year for Huawei. The business has launched a gorgeous Android Wear-powered smartwatch, was one of the first companies to release a mobile System-on-Chip based around the ARM Cortex-A72 application core in the shape of the Kirin 950, is responsible for the premium or higher end Nexus smartphone device in the shape of the Nexus 6P, and has also worked and released a number of other smartphones. We covered earlier in the year how Huawei had big ambitious plans to successfully sell its products into the North American market and how the business would be going on something of a charm offensive. As such, it is no surprise that Huawei have been in the media a lot this year, nor that their stable of products has gone from strength to strength.
When it comes to the business, Huawei have used sub brands for some time now. The Kirin 950 has been designed and manufactured by HiSilicon, Huawei’s wholly-owned chipset business. Although the Kirin 950 is destined to power a number of Huawei smartphones, that the chip has the sub brand in the name is an important part of its identity. It gives customers another name to think about: Huawei, HiSilicon and Kirin. And so it is with the Honor brand, which is used by Huawei to help customers identify with their smartphones.
Today’s news is that Honor president, George Zhao, has confirmed that Honor branded smartphones will be released into the North American market. Honor are to release a number of their current devices available on the international scene as well as working on and releasing regional-specific devices. Unfortunately, this statement has not been accompanied by any substantial news such as when we might see the Honor branded devices released, or indeed which ones, but we do know that Honor will be present at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that takes place in early to mid January 2016. Not only will Honor be present at the CES 2016 but they will also be holding an event, which we would hope is when they may decided to inform of of their plans for 2016, the Honor branded smartphones and the North American market.
Huawei’s Honor devices have traditionally looked good value compared with some of the more established smartphone brands in the U.S. For example, the recently released Honor 7 sells for under $400, and is based around a 5.2-inch, 1080p screen, the octa-core Kirin 935 System-on-Chip, which is backed up by 3 GB of RAM. Around the back there’s a 20MP rear camera and an 8MP front facing camera, whilst under the metal body, the Honor 7 comes with a 3,100 mAh battery. It’s possible that Honor will offer their devices direct to customers via websites, which is becoming a more commonplace way to sell smartphones into the North American market. However, if Huawei are working on regional specific devices, this may mean that they have one or more partnerships with U.S. carriers. We should know more in about a month.