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Vivo shuns online portal, expands retail network in India

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:4G? smartphone? retail network?

Unlike other Chinese smartphone makers who turn to online channels to make profit, Vivo Mobile is boosting its physical retail distribution network, particularly in semi-urban areas in India, The Economic Times reported.

A subsidiary of Guangdong-based BBK Electronics Corporation, Vivo has sold more than 500,000 units in India since starting in December last year.

According to Vivo India Chief Alex Feng, the company has already established networks in 200 cities in 28 states, with further plans to grow retail chains in tier 3 cities as well as rural areas. Currently, Vivo is connected to more than 7,000 partners and 10,000 retailers across the country.

India is the third largest smartphone market in the world, but it may soon surpass the United States to replace it in second place. China remains the biggest consumer of smartphones.

The company claims that its V and Y series of smartphones have a strong consumer base and are quite popular in small cities and towns.

Vivo notes that it does not want to follow in the footsteps of its rivals Xiaomi, Gionee, Motorola and Micromax, refusing to work with e-commerce channels. The company explains that it wants consumers to not just see but also feel and experience the devices, their features and capabilities, before deciding to buy.

Feng said that the company is taking advantage of the paradigm shift from feature phones to smartphones in India, which has a large customer base. In addition, the country's population is young (60 per cent) and the market is advancing from 2G and 3G to 4G.

All of Vivo's new models this year support 4G. The Chinese phone maker has launched nine handset models in the last eight months and is working with telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm to drive the growth of 4G.

The Chinese device maker is also building an assembly plant in Greater Noida, which is expected to produce one million devices per month. The new facility will serve the Indian market as demand in the country continuously increases. The company also considers exporting phones to other markets from India.

- Stephen Padilla

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