Vivo, one of China’s biggest smartphone brands, has been launched in South Africa. The company has partnered with Vodacom for the initial launch of devices.
Vivo is owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns the smartphone brands Oppo, OnePlus and RealMe. Vivo is the first BBK brand to be launched officially in South Africa.
Hawa Hyath, a former Vodacom and Huawei executive, has been appointed as country marketing director for Vivo. She said the company is now the fifth largest smartphone brand in the world and plans significant marketing investment in South Africa to grow the brand here, too.
“We are now active in 18-plus countries and in 10 of those 18 countries we rank in the top three,” Hyath said. The South African launch marks the first time the company has launched as a post-paid brand in any market. Its devices will also be available to prepaid consumers.
Though it is launching first on Vodacom, it is in talks with MTN South Africa and other operators about launching the phones on their networks.
The first phones to go on sale in South Africa are the more entry-level Y11 and the Y91C devices. More smartphones will follow, including a 5G smartphone in the second half of 2020, which is expected to retail for about R10 000. “We hope to lead the 5G consumer pathway in South Africa.”
Hyath said the Vivo brand is aimed at younger consumers, with a focus on innovation and style as well as gaming and sports.
Unlike larger rival Huawei, Vivo has not been exposed to any US blacklists. Though a Chinese company, it operates a research & development centre in San Diego, California.
“We are very much focused on global expansion independently of what is going on” around the US/China trade war, Hyath said. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media