Wang said the first experience store will open sometime in the first half of the year and will be positioned as a lifestyle store where consumers can experience and purchase the devices
With the government allowing 100% FDI in single brand retail under the automatic route, Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, is planning to open its experience stores in India. Speaking to indianexpress.com ahead of the launch of Honor 9 Lite, Allen Wang, director, product centre, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, said: “We’re thinking of opening Huawei Honor experience stores in India. Though a product is selling online, people are keen to see and feel it at an offline store. The experience store is a part of our offline strategy.” Wang said the first experience store will open sometime in the first half of the year and will be positioned as a lifestyle store where consumers can experience and purchase the devices. The company is looking to open its first store in one of the key metro cities, although a final decision hasn’t been taken yet. The company sees India as an important market and will ramp up efforts to become a household name. Its sub-brand Honor sold between 1.3 million and 1.5 million smartphones last year. Wang said the aim is to at least triple this number in 2018. In fact, the company is already seeing high acceptance for Honor 7X and View 10 smartphones. Honor 7X is being positioned to take on Xiaomi Mi A1, while Honor View 10 competes with OnePlus 5T.
Committed to the Make in India programme, the Chinese tech giant is already making up to 80% of its smartphones locally. “Most of our high volume smartphones are made in India,” he said. Wang added that due to high-end demand of Honor 7X, the company is making the device only in India. Even Honor 9 Lite will be made in India. Honor Holly 3 was the first smartphone manufactured in India, followed by Honor 6X. Huawei is often considered the biggest challenger to Apple and Samsung in the global market. It sells smartphones at different price points and has seen impressive growth in various markets, especially Europe. However, the company is yet to bring its flagship Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro smartphones to India. These two phones are seen as challengers to Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8. Asked about the reason for not launching Huawei-branded smartphones in India, Wang said, “In India, our strategy is to make the Honor brand successful. We are planning to bring some Huawei-branded smartphones to India. But, at least this year, Honor is the main brand to focus on.”