With Huawei’s position in the smartphone market hanging by a thread, the opportunity for other players to displace it has become even greater. This opportunity is mostly open to Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, OPPO, and, of course, Vivo. The latter has just laid out its plans this year and it is quite ambitious in growing not just its market presence around the world but to also grow its digital ecosystem of apps and photography content.
Despite being one of the world’s top phone makers, Vivo’s global footprint isn’t exactly as large as, say, Huawei. Its biggest markets are China and India but 2020 saw it expand to other markets, particularly in Western Europe. For a brand largely associated with China, this is a big step for the company and it will follow that up this year by targeting middle and high-end markets. It is unsurprisingly silent on any plans to enter the US market.
That won’t come easy, though, as those are the same markets where Samsung and Apple compete fiercely. Vivo’s ace in that department, at least according to the company, is its recent partnership with famed optics company ZEISS. Vivo is quite proud of its Gimbal Camera System though it hasn’t exactly made that more available in its other flagship phones.
Just like the bigger smartphone players, Vivo doesn’t see itself simply as a smartphone manufacturer, though. It sees itself as a curator of a consumer ecosystem that revolves around digital products, from apps in its V-Appstore to its new VISION+ themed activities and resources for photographers. It also has a V-star program to entice developers to get their apps on that Vivo-specific marketplace.
Vivo will be fighting an uphill battle, of course, even if Huawei bows out of the race. It will be up against the likes of Xiaomi and its cousin OPPO for that spot and, judging by recent trends, that battle will be fought on multiple grounds, not just on mobile photography anymore.