Honor says foldables won’t replace bar phones as it eyes big growth in Europe

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Honor was undoubtedly the star of MWC 2023 in Barcelona, ​​where the company unveiled its Magic5 and Magic5 Pro and announced the global rollout of Magic Vs. In the aftermath, we had a chance to speak with George Zhao, Honor CEO, and discuss the company’s plan going forward.

George Zhao

Discussing the Honor Magic5 Pro and Honor Magic Vs, Zhao confirmed that both will get 3 years of Android upgrades and 5 years of security patches. More excitingly, he said the Magic Vs will hit global store shelves within the next quarter, finally giving the Galaxy Fold series some competition.

The executive said that his team feels Europe like a second home and that his company considers 2023 as its first year here, having only now managed to assemble a strong lineup of phones to sell on the old continent. The company is considering opening brick-and-mortar stores internally, but prefers to stick with carriers and retail partners until it builds an even stronger portfolio.

Honor Magic V's review

There is now an R&D and product center operating specifically in Europe, which will help the brand grow.

However, it is not so good news for the US market. George Zhao confirmed Honor’s step-by-step approach, and since the US market is difficult to penetrate, the company will need more time to prepare.

We spent some time with the new flagship Honor Magic5 Pro (seen here in Glacier Blue)
We spent some time with the new flagship Honor Magic5 Pro (seen here in Glacier Blue)

The Honor Magic Vs is one of the lightest foldables with a vertical hinge, and that’s what Honor was after when development began. Zhao said he believes the future of foldable devices will be used as a mix of tablets and smartphones, and after addressing the issue of weight, will also work to provide thinner devices with better battery life.

Zhao predicts that foldables’ sales will really explode once they manage to cut enough weight and shed a few more millimeters, but doesn’t believe they’ll completely replace bar phones. Instead, he expects them to coexist in the long term, as different users have different priorities. Similarly, he believes there will be enough demand for both clamshells and horizontal foldables, and both form factors will be around for a while yet.

Honor Magic5 Pro for review

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