Dubai: Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is aiming to achieve a threefold increase in smartphone sales in the Middle East to around three million units compared to one million last year.

“We launched only four models last year and have already launched five models so far this year and another two more models are expected,” Chris Sunbaigong, vice-president of Honor Middle East, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

For 2017, the Chinese manufacturer has seen a 20 per cent year-on-year growth in regional volumes.

For the first half of the year, Chris said that they have grown 30 per cent year on year and have already done more than one million unit sales in the region.

By the end of 2018, he said that his aim is to achieve more than five per cent average market share in the Middle East from the current 3.5 per cent.

Globally, he said that Honor’s strategy is to be in top five ranking by 2020 and top three in five years and number four in the Middle East by end of 2018, after Samsung, Huawei and Apple.

“We want to be the trendsetting technology company for the millennials and that is our target audience,” he said.

However, he said that a new trend is emerging and that is gaming, and added that the biggest gaming audience is in Saudi Arabia followed by the UAE.

“We launched Honor Play device focusing on young gamers. We have worked with many gaming companies and app developers in the region, especially Jordan and Lebanon,” he said.

Two months ago, he said that Honor had a gaming competition for ‘Sultan: The Game’ for Arabs.

“Lot of Emiratis attended the competition. We also have launched ‘Asphalt 8’ gaming competition in Saudi Arabia and looking for the best time to hold the event in the UAE. A gaming device has high requirements and a sensitive application in terms of response,” he said.

According to market intelligence company Newzoo’s latest report, mobile gaming revenues will grow more than 25 per cent year on year to reach $70.3 billion this year.

“Out of this, more than half of all game revenues will come from the mobile segment. Smartphones will account for 80 per cent of this, or $56.4 billion, with the remaining 20 per cent coming from tablets. Console gaming is the second-largest segment generating $34.6 billion, while PC games will bring in $32.9 billion,” the report said.

Honor contributes between 30 to 40 per cent to Huawei’s total mobile phone sales.

Sunbaigong added that Honor will be launching 8X and 10 Lite this year and plans to launch the successors of 7C, 7A and 7S in the first half of next year.