- Honor, which spun off from Huawei, launched the Magic V2 on July 12 with a starting price of 8,999 yuan ($1,245).
- When folded, the device is almost as thin as an iPhone. Without the case, it’s 9.9mm versus 7.85mm for the 14.
- Samsung plans to launch a “sleeker, lighter” foldable product at its July 26 event, according to a teaser in a blog post.
Honor launched the Magic V2 Foldable on July 12, 2023 from the Chinese market.
BEIJING — Chinese e-commerce site JD.com’s list of “best-selling” smartphones this week sees the Honor Magic V2 foldable competing with Apple’s iPhone model for the top three spots.
Honor, which spun off from Huawei, launched the Magic V2 on July 12 with a starting price of 8,999 yuan ($1,245).
Sales officially started on Thursday. However, according to the JD.com app, which is commonly used when buying electronics in China, the demand for pre-sales a week ago has pushed the delivery time for new orders to mid-September.
The Magic V2 9,999 yuan model ranked second in smartphone sales on JD.com as of Thursday morning, followed by the 7,799 yuan Apple iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 13 remained in third place.
Honor’s new device is almost as thin as an iPhone when folded. 9.9 mm compared to conventional devices. 14 7.85mm, without case. That means the Magic V2 is about 3/8ths of an inch thick when folded.
Importantly, the foldable phone was able to balance thinness with “moderate battery life,” he said. Ethan Chi, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research. “From my point of view, the biggest highlight is [for the phone] The industry’s thinnest body (9.9mm) and lightest weight (231g).
According to Honor, the Magic V2’s battery is just 2.72 millimeters thick, which allows for about 14 hours of video viewing on the big screen when you unfold the phone. The iPhone 14 claims about 20-30 hours of video viewing on a single battery charge, depending on the barphone model.
“Magic V2’s pre-sales numbers in China are a positive indicator and show the resilience of the premium segment, which bodes well for the growth of folding products in the country,” said Qi.
”The premium segment isn’t as big, but it’s the segment everyone wants to get. ”
Competition is heating up.
Samsung plans to launch a “slimmer, lighter” foldable product at its July 26th event. According to the blog post Tease. The company is also promoting a livestream of its “Join the Flip Side” launch event in China.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold4 is priced at 10,999 yuan on JD.com, while the Galaxy Z Flip3, which opens like a flip phone, costs 4,699 yuan.
Huawei, Xiaomi and Vivo also sell foldable products in China at premium prices.
Foldable is a bright spot in the shrinking global smartphone market.
China’s foldable market in the first quarter more than doubled year-on-year to 1.08 million units, according to Counterpoint Research.
This led to a boost in the global foldable smartphone market, which grew 64% year-over-year in the first quarter, Counterpoint said.
In contrast, the global smartphone market fell 14.2% in the first three months of this year, with the Chinese market down a slower 8%, data showed.
Honor also sells internationally, but it’s not yet clear what specific plans the brand has for the Magic V2.
In China, Honor sells on major e-commerce platforms, including Douyin, a local version of TikTok, which is growing as a sales portal via livestreams.
As of Thursday morning, Honor has sold over 10,000 Magic V2 units on Douyin.
Livestreaming continues to grow as a sales portal in China. Live-streaming sales in the country accounted for about 17.7% of total online retail sales in the first half of this year, or about $180 billion, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Commerce.
Honor also sells its phones on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall and short video app Kuaishou. Like JD, both platforms support live streaming sales.
The smartphone company was previously a brand owned by Huawei. But after US sanctions on the telecom giant, Honor was sold to a group of buyers, including the city government of Shenzhen, where it is headquartered.
— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.