Sometimes, a number can be a milestone.
What does the number of 1 million units mean for mobile phones?
In the United States in 2007, Apple sold 1 million iPhones in 74 days.
AnandTech commented that it may not be perfect, but it's undoubtedly the furthest device in the right direction, while SF Gate said the iPhone could mean a "turning point" in the industry.
In China in 2023, another 1 million units will also attract attention - Honor's folding screen production this year has reached 1 million units.
The iPhone has changed the pattern of mobile phones in the world, and the Honor folding screen has also changed history.
The small mobile phone, without a doubt, is an interdisciplinary, cross-field, cutting-edge high-tech intensive collection, and the folding screen is one of the most cutting-edge and high-end technical products.
Honor is impressive, in three months, it has successively released three flagship-level, thin and light folding screen mobile phones, and successively brought a series of innovative technologies such as butterfly wing hinges, Luban titanium hinges, aerospace-grade magnesium alloy light and thin materials, self-developed shield steel materials, titanium alloy 3D printing technology, and Qinghai Lake batteries.
Seeing that there are media evaluations, in the field of folding screens, Honor has created a new "iPhone moment".
But the difference is that the significance of the milestone of glory is far above the self-breakthrough of an enterprise.
(1) Two paths for Made in China to achieve global competitiveness
Glory is indeed glorious.
In less than a year, the output of folding screen mobile phones exceeded 1 million, which first proved that the glory of the three-year-independent, intelligent intelligent manufacturing factory has the large-scale manufacturing capacity of high-end smartphone products.
But if you look at Glory's 1 million in a larger context, it actually answers a question that has been discussed in recent years - how can Made in China maintain global competitiveness in today's global industrial chain reconstruction?
"Made in China sells the world", which was the embodiment of China's manufacturing competitiveness in the first 30 years of reform and opening up.
But the world has changed.
Over the past few years, the global economic landscape has undergone profound changes, and the multilateral system, marked by trade and investment liberalization, is reversing. The "anti-globalization" trend is spreading, geopolitical conflicts have exacerbated the uncertainty of the economic environment, and the "island chain era" is coming, and the global industrial chain and supply chain pattern are being reconstructed at an accelerated pace.
This means that the original ecological niche made in China will also be reconstructed. With the change of the global economic pattern, how to continue to maintain the global competitiveness of Made in China has become a problem that Chinese enterprises have been thinking about and exploring.
The answer is always generated in the process of groping. However, if we look at the recent succession of several things that have excited people who pay attention to the development of China's manufacturing industry, perhaps the answer lies in it.
Huawei was reborn after being suppressed, and the return of Kirin chips made the Mate60 come out not long ago, which amazed the world, and BYD, China's own auto brand, officially rolled off the assembly line with its 5 million new energy vehicles.
Then, there is glory.
It is not difficult to see that Made in China has formed two paths to enhance its global competitiveness. The key words are "resilience" and "tension".
How to understand?
One is Huawei's ability to build a secure and independent industrial chain from mastering core technologies.
In the past, Huawei was a beneficiary of globalization, but as the US sanctions continue to increase, Huawei has begun to gradually promote domestic substitution, and is accelerating the localization of its supply chain and industrial chain. After all, China has the world's largest market, the most comprehensive industrial chain and production capacity, and the resilience of the industrial chain is at the forefront of the world. Mate60 is the embodiment of China's industrial chain and the resilience of China's manufacturing.
The same is true for BYD, which has just rolled off the assembly line with 5 million units of its own design and manufacture of new energy vehicles.
Their history of independent innovation is also mirroring the process of the rise of great powers.
But there is another path, that is, Made in China is more actively integrated into the global industrial chain system.
This used to be one of the magic weapons for Chinese manufacturing to maintain competitiveness.
For example, the 1580 intelligent workshop of Shanghai Baosteel Co., Ltd. is an "Industry 4.0" test carried out by Baosteel at a time when the global manufacturing industry is facing major adjustments and the domestic steel industry has entered the "winter normal". It is not only a representative of Shanghai's intelligent manufacturing, but also a microcosm of the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry. Behind this benchmark is not only Baosteel's own independent innovation, but also thanks to the global division of labor and cooperation. In addition to Baosteel, the protagonist of the story is Siemens, a German multinational company and the initiator of Industry 4.0.
Another example is the domestic large aircraft, which is an aircraft that is open to excellent suppliers to provide product components and services around the world, and is defined and integrated by the main manufacturer, which is also considered "domestic" by the aviation industry. The C919 is one such thing.
Three years ago, Honor was forced to leave Huawei and embarked on a different path from Huawei, both in terms of technical route and development model.
In terms of technical route, unlike Huawei's more emphasis on digital infrastructure, Honor is moving forward along the ultimate engineering technology route. Huawei empowers all walks of life with chips, operating systems, and computing power bases, while Honor is consumer-centric and continues to create better new experiences for consumers around the world in smart terminal products.
At the level of the industrial chain, HONOR actively cooperates with global industry chain partners to continuously explore the value of smart terminal entrances and share new opportunities for development. In terms of hardware innovation, HONOR has fully unleashed the features and potential of hardware through joint development and innovation with global industry chain partners.
It is precisely because of this that Honor has been able to continue to break through to high-value fields, and the boundaries of China's manufacturing industry that it explores are reconstructing a new story of globalization made in China. This is the tension that Made in China should have.
Obviously, China needs technological independence ambitions like Huawei and BYD, and it also needs representatives like Honor who are based on the world and face the world.
(2) The industrial chain behind 1 million has jumped
For China's mobile phone industry and even made in China, what does Honor's 1 million mean?
Looking back on the development of folding smartphones of Chinese brands, from the first generation of a single model of 10-200,000 orders of magnitude to today's general 30-500,000 magnitude, this is through the productization of 0 to 1, from the laboratory to the market of the trial stage, and when the planning scale of a single series of products exceeds 1 million units, it means that China's folding smartphones have begun to enter the real productization stage.
Productization means the arrival of large-scale production, and the future of folding smartphone parts will change from highly customized and semi-automated production to standardization, modularization and serialization of component supply, so as to reduce the process of product manufacturing and improve the yield, so as to reduce the comprehensive cost of folding phones through scale advantages, promote the price of folding smartphones to further explore, and benefit more consumers.
At the same time, large-scale production means that suppliers' orders increase, and more revenue is created, more resources can be invested in research and development, promote product upgrading, and form a virtuous circle of the industry.
This is not an easy task.
You must know that the smartphone industry is one of the most competitive areas in the global technology industry, and it is also an area that especially needs the coordination of the global industrial chain.
As a long-chain industry, smart phones are associated with hundreds of billions or even trillions of industries, involving upstream and downstream manufacturing, accessories, chips, software development, etc., all of which form a deep reliance on the smart phone industry itself, and the test behind it is the integrity and collaborative ability of the industrial chain.
Although Honor has been based on the global industrial chain from the beginning, it took less than a year to achieve the output of one million folding screens, which is the result of Honor working with the world's best industrial chain. But among them, there are also many Chinese companies.
For example, the seemingly simple material application of glass is actually very popular. The iPhone 12 series released by Apple in 2020 uses a super ceramic crystal panel with high drop resistance for the first time, and behind it is actually the 2D nano glass-ceramic supplied by Corning to Apple.
However, this kind of glass is not sold to Chinese companies, so Honor and Chengdu Guangming Optoelectronics joined forces to create 3D nano glass-ceramic in only 8 months, which not only maintains excellent nano glass-ceramic performance, but also achieves significantly more free plasticity, and promotes domestic high-end glass panel technology to keep pace with foreign countries.
Another example is the display module. In the past, mobile phone screens have always been dominated by Samsung, but now China has established the world's largest flexible AMOLED industrial cluster, BOE, Visionox, Huaxing Optoelectronics and Tianma have the ability to supply a large number of folding smartphone projects.
Huawei and Honor have been choosing to cooperate deeply with domestic screen suppliers from the beginning to jointly promote product upgrades in product brightness, color, and eye protection technology.
In addition, in terms of key components of folding smartphones such as batteries, middle frames, hinges, hinge covers, and back case covers, Honor has also continued to co-create and share with Chinese partners in the industry chain, taking the lead in using silicon carbon anode material technology to improve battery energy density, overcoming new materials with high strength and low density, and improving precision manufacturing through CNC cutting and 3D printing with higher precision.
In the view of Omdia, an international authoritative research institution, Honor has become a classic case of collaborative innovation in the industrial chain.
The development of the folding smartphone industry chain is promoting the improvement of the technology and R&D capabilities of Chinese enterprises, especially in the fields of advanced material R&D, precision processing technology, and intelligent manufacturing equipment, and promoting the development of China's industry in the direction of high value-added precision, high-end and intelligence, so as to enhance the overall level and global competitiveness of China's manufacturing industry.
Just as Apple created the Apple chain, now, the Huawei chain and the Honor chain, which are backed by China and facing the world, are also growing.
The gears of value begin to turn. As the "chain master", HONOR connects and connects various scenarios such as consumer demand, product design, technology research and development, and industrial manufacturing.
It can be said that the productization and scale represented by Honor's 1 million units are the productization and scale of China's folding screen industry and China's manufacturing industry, and it is also the epitome of the continuous penetration and leap of China's industrial chain to the world.
(3) The glory of the world
From the first day of Glory's independent business, the goal is not only to live, but to go to the sea of stars.
In the words of Zhao Ming, CEO of Honor, Honor was composed of a group of people who did not believe in fate, were unwilling to be defined by others, shared beliefs and pursuits, and were eager to create products with the best consumer experience, and once again spelled out a global iconic technology brand from China to the world.
For three years, people kept saying that it was impossible.
But three years later, anything is possible.
In the third quarter of 2023, Honor ranked first in the Chinese market rankings released by a number of data agencies, achieving the top of both the Chinese smartphone market and the folding screen market.
Overseas, Honor has taken the pace of globalization in just two years, with a growth rate of more than 200% in overseas markets, and a market share of more than 10% in many countries, and achieved profitable growth within two years. Counterpoint data shows that in the European mobile phone market in Q3 2023, Honor is the only mobile phone brand in the world with positive growth.
In fact, Honor was born a global brand, and at the beginning of its establishment, it quickly covered 74 countries and regions around the world, and then continued to promote breakthroughs in key global markets, and even became the first in the market in Finland, the hometown of Nokia, which was once the "hegemon" of the mobile phone industry, in 2017.
But for New Glory, 2022 is "the first year of the full launch of the overseas market". This year, in Berlin, Germany, HONOR officially launched the dual flagship strategy of "folding screen + all-round flagship" for the global market, which became an important "milestone" for HONOR to launch its global attack.
Since then, Honor's strong technology brand image from the European market and high-end products has been continuously recognized by the high-end market. Honor is also one of the "GlocalINTop50 Chinese Global Enterprises" jointly released by MIT Technology Review, DeepTech and LinkedIn.
All the past is prologue.
On the occasion of the third anniversary of Glory's independence, Zhao Ming wrote this sentence, "The world is very big, China's glory is far from enough, we must build the glory of the world." ”
This time, Honor wants to build not only its own world glory, but also the global competitiveness and world glory of its partners in the industrial chain.
China's manufacturing industry has reached a new stage. Progress on a technological track can enhance the competitiveness of China's industrial chain clusters, supply chain efficiency, industrial worker skills and brand influence, and then create a high-value innovation chain.
In this round of global industrial chain restructuring, China's manufacturing should take globalization as a strategic development direction, from exporting products to exporting industrial capacity. China's intelligent manufacturing needs self-transcendence and self-evolution, towards the rise of the industrial chain ecology, towards a new round of global competition in the industrial chain cluster, and the formation of stronger global competitiveness.
This means that China needs a group of leaders who continue to deepen and break through in key technologies, high-end brands, new globalization and other dimensions, and drive the entire industry to move towards the upstream of the global value chain through industrial chain coordination.
Prior to this, Huawei and BYD have been continuously attacking the top of the wave, and now, Glory is also one of them.
From the glory of China to the glory of the world, it is also what China's scientific and technological strength should look like on the world stage in the future.