LIVE FROM MWC23 SHANGHAI: Honor CEO George Zhao (pictured) laid out broad plans to reinvigorate its smartphone innovation cycle, referencing the pending release of a fresh foldable as it moves to challenge Apple’s dominance of the high-end of the Chinese market.

Zhao said smartphone innovation currently faces many bottlenecks, arguing incremental improvements are not enough and have left the industry with limited improvements.

“We have to change the way we design the smartphone by looking at what the customer needs and not rely too much on today’s technologies”.

The executive questioned how Honor can “break the monopoly” Apple holds over the high-end market, predicting “there will be some newcomers” to the sector.

While Honor has ambitions to challenge Apple, he acknowledged it requires “something pretty new”.

He suggested seeking inspiration for new designs and materials from adjacent sectors and other industries, adding 60 per cent of Honor’s 13,000 staff are focused on R&D.

The vendor plans to release the Honor Magic V2 foldable at an event in Beijing on 12 July.

Zhao is bullish on the form-factor, predicting it could become maintstream and ultimately usurp the popularity of current designs.