Giant Chinese smartphone vendor Vivo comes to Europe

The largest smartphone maker you’ve never heard of is finally venturing to Europe as Vivo brings over a full range of devices.

Vivo is consistently the sixth-biggest smartphone vendor by units shipped but, until recently, that was almost entirely down to Chinese consumers. Huawei made its international move a decade ago and then, more recently, Xiaomi and Oppo decided to venture further afield. Vivo is the last of the really big Chinese vendors to give it a go, which presents it with a challenge when it comes to differentiation.

The press release doesn’t shed that much light on that side of thing, spending as much time seeking to present the brand to the European consumer as talking about the devices themselves. Scroll down a bit, however, and a full range of devices reveal themselves, going all the way down to the £149 Y20, so it looks like lower-tier value for money is as much of a USP as anything.

“We are truly excited to come to Europe, to take this opportunity to officially introduce ourselves and our first product line-up for the European markets,” said Denny Deng, President of Europe at Vivo. “This has been a challenging year for people and businesses around the globe, and many things have changed. Nevertheless, our commitment to people and our business in Europe has not changed, as our philosophy is and always will be doing the right thing, and doing it right.

“Since our first step into international markets in 2014, we have committed to delivering our innovative and quality products to consumers, designed with them in mind. As we’re a brand loved by over 370 million people worldwide, we’re confident we will earn the trust of customers throughout Europe.”

OK, so they haven’t just been lurking in China until now, but this does seem to represent Vivo’s most significant international push. Deng and his team are probably right to focus on brand as they will have to persuade European consumers to give them a go instead of familiar and trusted brands like Samsung and Huawei.

The flagship phone is the X51 5G, which seems to have all the bells and whistles you would expect of a £749 device and the mid-tier Y70 comes in at £279. There’s even a Y11 on the horizon, which the naming system implies might even cost under £100. These all seem to represent excellent value, but unless we see some proper above-the-line spend from Vivo, it ‘s hard to imagine there will be a lot of demand for them.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Professor Peter Curwen 21/10/2020 @ 4:46 pm

    The 5G smartphone market is getting very crowded. A device costing over £1,000 seems pretty hard to justify frankly, especially in a COVID world of looming unemployment – and I still don’t know why a $1000 device in the USA almost always costs €1000 or £1000 which makes for much worse value. But Oppo is going to find it tough even at £750 with a Chinese brand in the wake of the Huawei debacle.

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