Technology

Honor could bring its branded laptops to India this year

In its quest to increase its reach in the Indian market, Huawei sub-brand Honor is expected to launch laptops in India. While there has been no concrete release date in place so far, the plan is to bring Honor-branded laptops to the country this year, said P Sanjeev, vice-president sales at Huawei India-Consumer Business Group.

“We are definitely evaluating plans to bring our laptops to India”, Sanjeev told indianexpress.com on the sidelines of the launch of the Honor 7A and Honor 7C in India on Tuesday. This is a clear sign that Huawei’s sub-brand Honor wants to expand its product portfolio in India, which is currently limited to smartphones and fitness bands.

Last month, Honor launched its first-ever branded laptop in China: the MagicBook. The Ultrabook has an all-aluminium design and packs 8th Gen Intel CPUs and Nvidia’s MX150 dedicated GPU. The Windows 10-powered Honor MagicBook costs couples of dollars less than Apple’s MacBook Air, one of the best selling notebooks in the world. In China, Honor MagicBook sells for Yuan 4,999 (or approx Rs 53,389) for the model with Core i5 and Yuan 5,699 (or approx Rs 60,865) with Core i7.  At the moment, there is no update on whether it plans to bring the MagicBook to India or a new lineup of laptops.

Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, has been aspiring to be a consumer electronics brand. Just like Apple, Huawei has been selling smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and laptops in the market. Last year, it debuted its first ever laptop: the MacBook X. And this year at MWC 2018, Huawei launched the MacBook X Pro, an ultra-thin laptop which starts at $1,200 (or approx Rs 81,618) and goes to $1,599 (or approx Rs 1,02,022) for the top-end variant. The high-end laptop has been pitched against Apple’s MacBook Pro and Dell’s XPS 13.

Xiaomi, meanwhile, has been introducing more and more products that aren’t smartphones. In India, for example, the Beijing-based firm has so far launched three models of Mi LED Smart TVs, with the entry-level model costing Rs 13,999. Xiaomi also sells laptops, but so far they have been limited to the Chinese market.

If both Huawei and Xiaomi bring their laptops to India, the notebook segment will emerge as the next frontier for growth. So far, India’s PC market is dominated by four traditional PC makers such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer. While the PC segment has been in decline for the past few years, India is one such market where consumers are still buying laptops. According to the latest data from IDC,  the Indian PC market showed positive signs of growth with a year-on-year increase of 8.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

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