Vivo sub-brand iQOO maybe looking to break cover in global markets starting with India. According to a new report doing the rounds, Vivo is looking to spin-off iQOO as an independent brand in India. The announcement will reportedly take place in March. The report comes days after Xiaomi spun-off Poco as an independent brand “with its own team and go to marketing strategy.”
In the increasingly competitive Indian smartphone market, it is increasingly becoming difficult for brands to differentiate themselves. As such many brands are now branching out to form entities with clear cut focus. Vivo’s iQOO series is specifically geared towards gaming and delivering a high-end flagship phone at relatively more mainstream prices – than rival flagships from Samsung and Apple. These phones are often called value flagships, a trend made more popular by brands like OnePlus, which is again, a Vivo sister brand.
Vivo has come under scrutiny of late for failing to match rival brands – including sister brand OnePlus – in terms of sheer value. Its phones often come with mid-tier specs and are priced to something around a OnePlus pricing and as such it becomes difficult to recommend a Vivo phone even though it may boast of a few unique features. And Vivo has also failed to keep up with launching a ‘true’ flagship phone in India. Its ‘promising’ Nex lineup has been a no-show in India since the first-generation version came out in two years ago.
Vivo bringing in iQOO to India to fill that gap may not be such a bad idea. iQOO is known for its high-end flagship phones that are also affordable. The sub-brand has launched as many as five phones already and all serve the same purpose. The original iQOO was launched in March 2019 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, up to 12GB RAM and 44W fast charging support. iQOO has since launched phones like the iQOO New 855 and iQOO New 855 Racing edition.
It isn’t clear which iQOO smartphone will make its India debut in March, if the report is anything to go by, but chances are the sub-brand may be gearing a new high-end phone possibly with Qualcomm’s newly announced Snapdragon 865 – that could eventually be the phone that arrives in India.