Vivo will Expand to Europe and Africa in 2018, Signs MoU with Qualcomm
Vivo is the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in China, and the third largest smartphone manufacturer in India. The company is part of BBK Electronics, just like its sibling Oppo. A great part of its success is because of its focus on offline retail and the use of incentives, as well as huge spending on marketing and sponsorship programs.
In India, Vivo along with Oppo owns the offline retail space when it comes to Chinese OEMs, although Xiaomi has started recently focusing on offline retail. Therefore, the company’s smartphones are great sellers – not because their phones have a competitive blend of pricing and specifications, but because people are more familiar with Vivo’s brand (thanks to marketing) in offline retail, rather than Xiaomi’s brand. The accessibility and availability of the brand has helped it sell more products than the products themselves.
However, despite being one of the top smartphone manufacturers worldwide, Vivo’s brand is not well-known outside of its key market, China and India. The company is completely unknown in the West, as well as other parts of the globe. A new report by GSMArena states that this situation will change in 2018 as the company will expand into Europe and Africa.
The GSMArena report stated that Vivo signed a $4 billion MoU with Qualcomm. According to the report, this will involve “technical partnership and patent sharing to bring 5G phones to market and diversify biometric authentication features”.
In a related announcement, Qualcomm has announced that it has signed memorandums of understanding with Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The three MoUs are equal in value and the aggregate monetary value will not be less than $12 billion over the next three years.
It is worth noting that Vivo was the first to demo an in-display fingerprint sensor in collaboration with Qualcomm, which was said to be slower than capacitive fingerprint sensors, at that time. Samsung, one of the company’s main rivals in India, seems to have aborted its plans to put such a fingerprint sensor in its next flagship smartphone.
Vivo and Qualcomm have also expressed interest to develop 3D facial identification tech, which is the technology used by the iPhone X. In this regard, the company has launched the X20 smartphone with Face Wake, which is its term for facial recognition that is based on the 12MP front camera. The X20 is powered by Qualcomm’s upper mid-range Snapdragon 660 SoC.
Finally, the report noted that Vivo’s cousin Oppo and its competitor Xiaomi are also interested in 3D scanning tech, which was said to be co-developed by Qualcomm and Himax.