It was the least news I’d expect tis year when news report broke out that Honor had parted ways with Huawei and acquired by Zhixin New Technology Co. Ltd. But this was a necessary move if Honor was to survive the serious impact of the US ban on its previous parent compan Huawei.
Back in 2019, Huawei got itself on the US Commerce Department entity list and had since been banned from working with any US-based companies which is why it got it’s Google’s Android license stripped away and so had to improvise by creating its own system, Huawei Mobile Service in place of the Google Mobile Service as well as the Huawei App Gallery, Huawei Music, Huawei Video, Petal Search and Celia AI personal assistant.
Majority of these updates came when the ban got intensified as the company’s mobile division needed to service without depending on any third-party businesses. It’s even working on porting its own proprietary operating system on its future smartphones by 2021.
But as we all know, Honor was Huawei’s sister company whose products were targeted at the younger generations who wants great products without spending too much. And for real, Honor’s smartphones are really great and have this unique visual aesthetics that makes them very easy to tell apart from others in the large crowd.
The brand suffered the same fate as Huawei being its sister company and so didn’t have any access to US-based solutions and services something which the sale is expected to fix.
Huawei had completely pulled from Honor to the extent that in the joint statement released by both companies, Huawei is said to not have any stake or share in the new company and with this news, Honor will need to demonstrate that it’s no longer an Huawei brand in disguise.
And one of the key changes is either the new company forming its own software while ousting those from Huawei entirely. For example, current Honor smartphones run the Kirin chipset, as well as the EMUI/MagicUI skin built on top of the Android AOSP and with both software comes the Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) which is what enables users of Huawei devices to gain access to Huawei’s core services such as the App Gallery and so forth.
My big question is that will Honor automatically be able to reintegrate Google Mobile Services back into its core operating system as well as ditch the Huawei App gallery and others completely? There is even the more recent rumor about the next-gen Honor V40 series sporting the Dimensity 1000+ chipset while the Kirin 9000 is only reserved for the high-end Honor V40 Pro+.
Honor released a statement that it will continue to support and release security updates to existing products which were made during its time with Huawei and some of those devices run on both the HMS and GMS while some are dependent on the HMS completely.
Google Mobile Service should be back
One major killer of Huawei out of China is the absence of Google Mobile Service and that alone is enough to kill any brand because majority of people around the world who use Android smartphones have somehow being integrated/assimilated into the Google’s product ecosystem consciously or unconsciously.
While you’re still able to use Gmail and other Google products via the web while using the Huawei Mobile Service as the core software on their new devices since the ban, most people still prefer to go the app way which aren’t present on devices that run HMS as their core.
So automatically users couldn’t access GMail, GMaps, YouTube, Google Play Store and a host of other important Google services. And for real, the App Gallery still have a long way to go even though it’s getting better year after year.
So with Honor stepping out as a brand on tis own and not related to Huawei anylonger, this can be a good business move and should reinstate the olden business ties with US-based Google whereby the GMS could be back for good and that alone can bring back Honor to the west. The company just need to make much better smartphones because next year is 2021 not 2018.
Magic UI without HMS or maybe something new
Huawei introduced the MagicUI to be the Honor standard Android UI but this software is a reminiscent of the EMUI in that it still depends solely on the HMS to function and that is why the questioning about whether Honor could drop the MagicUI altogether as it part ways with Huawei.
Ditching the naming entirely will further give people the trust needed to try devices running whatever new OS they implement out. For example, Vivo recently ditched Funtouch OS for OriginOS and who knows maybe Honor might even drop the name “Honor” for something entirely different just so it can get away as far as it can from Huawei because Honor to some people still mean “Huawei”.
Away from Kirin SoC
That is for sure because the US commerce department doesn’t want to have anything to do again with Huawei – at least for now which brings me the third-point that Honor should move completely away from the HiSilicon Kirin chipset and opt for a more powerful brand such as Qualcomm for the Snapdragon chipset.
But even if Honor decide to partner with Qualcomm, well, it won’t be the first time as the older Honor 8X and Honor 8X Max both featured chipsets from Qualcomm.
Meanwhile recent devices from the company have sported the Kirin chipset out of the box. Even without working with Qualcomm, Honor could opt to partner with MediaTek
This is to say that Honor might still get the chance to prove it’s worth and compete better in the international market as a new brand on its own. But first of all, I’d like the company finally switch its device’s screens to OLED because it might be parts of what will kill the new brand.
For example, mid-range smartphones from companies like Xiaomi and OPPO all have great qualities like OLED display. Even though the market seem saturated, I believe Honor ca find its way in the crowded smartphone market and become a big brand.