South Africa a Top 7 market for Honor globally

Over the past decade Honor has tried a handful of times to launch its smartphone brand in South Africa, whether that be as an online-only offering, under the banner of its former parent company, or more recently post-COVID.

While past attempts failed to generate the necessary momentum, the most recent attempt last year has seemingly stuck, as Honor had one of its best performing years to date, not just in SA but across the globe too.

This is something that Honor South Africa GM, Fred Zhou, highlighted during the launch of two new flagship phones locally – the foldable Magic V2 and Magic6 Pro. Zhou explained that Honor’s brand grew 600 percent in terms of sales last year, and towards the latter quarter of 2023, it achieved the largest local market share.

We sat down with Zhou at said launch to find out what the plans for the brand are this year, and precisely where SA ranks in the company’s thinking from a global perspective.

One of the more interesting aspects of the brand he shared is just how high South Africa ranks compared to other territories across the globe.

“From our side, South Africa is one of the most important countries for Honor. We are actually ranking in the Top 7 globally, so we always want to bring the latest innovation and technology to South Africa. That’s why we are part of the first group of countries to launch the Magic6 Pro,” he explained.

“We can guarantee that every time there is a new innovative product, we will bring it to South Africa. This country is one of our priorities in terms of overseas strategy,” he added.

Unpacking the metrics as to why SA ranks as high as it does, Zhou highlighted that it’s more than just shipments and sales.

“South Africa is number two in MEA (Middle East and Africa), so from an HQ side we prioritise different countries in terms of capacity and potential. According to these two aspects, South Africa ranks in the top 7 for the company,” he noted.

With a good 2023 under its belt, a pair of flagship phones set to launch early next month, and more devices on the way, Zhou was also quite buoyant about the company’s local aspirations, event going so far as to state where the company aims to be within the next five years.

“We have ambition. We want to be number one in five years,” he stated emphatically.

“That’s the confidence we have. Right now Honor is still a challenger in the market, but in order to be successful there must be a challenger who can become a leader. If we don’t have the confidence to compete, there is nothing to achieve, so from our side in five years we want to be leading in this industry,” he concluded.

Whether it can reach that mark remains to be seen, but as we have seen with Honor’s former parent company, the duo of Samsung and Apple can have their local dominance disrupted. As such it will be interesting to see whether Honor can reach those goals before 2030 rolls around.


About Author


Related News