In recent months we have seen how the Spanish market has been reconfiguring with the gradual disappearance of some brands and the increasingly noticeable presence of others.
Possibly the most important arrival of the last year was that of Vivo, a company that in countries like China is very important and that finally made the leap to our country.
We have been able to interview Xavi de la Asunción, Senior Brand Manager of Vivo Spain, the head of the marketing area, to tell us about the arrival of this company in our country.
We have structured the interview into several sections, depending on the topic of the questions.
Vivo and the mobile phone market
What is the assessment of the situation of Vivo in Spain 5 months after your arrival?
Very positive. Our philosophy, and the one we follow in each market we enter, is to grow with a few partners, to settle down and build a good foundation. It may seem like a strategy contrary to what would seem logical, that is, trying to cover as much of the distribution channel as possible, but that would imply going too fast and not having healthy organic growth. We want to be able to work in a personalized way with each partner and give it the necessary attention to be able to start the joint business.
What market share does Vivo have in Spain?
To speak of market share when according to our approximate calculations we have a coverage of 28% would be to give a figure that would not be comparable with the rest. In general, we can say that wherever we sell product at the moment (MediaMarkt, Carrefour and PcComponentes) we are seeing rapid growth considering that we launched in the Spanish market less than 6 months ago.
Is the sponsorship of the Eurocup a way to get into the head of the general public?
Yes, it is part of the brand strategy for Europe, to link ourselves with elements with which the market can feel identified, and in Europe and in particular in Spain, football has a very remarkable relevance. Along the same lines, at the local level we have begun to advertise on the television U (the panels that surround the field) of La Liga Santander, and next year we will also be in the Soccer World Cup.
However, we know that there is an important part of the public for whom football as such no longer has the impact that it could have years ago, and for them we are also working, so we hope that vivo will become a brand of reference to when buying a new mobile.
Having worked at Telefónica, Huawei or BlackBerry, among others, what does Vivo stand out for?
They are all huge companies and in which I have really enjoyed contributing my grain of sand. If I like something alive, it is philosophy Benfen, which is summarized in doing the right thing and doing it well, and that translates, for example, into gradually building the brand and trying to give a coherent and person-centered communication.
The importance of photography
Will photography continue to be the company’s strong point?
It is one of the key points. We understand the smartphone as a whole, there must be a balance (we return to Benfen) between the elements of the phone to be able to give a compensated experience. With the X51 5G we introduced photographic novelties such as the gimbal, we have closed an agreement with Zeiss, in addition to that we have expanded our R&D network for the development of the imaging system, together with the center we already have in Japan.
What is the collaboration with Zeiss focused on?
In the union of the knowledge of both brands, Zeiss and vivo, so that the user can take better photos, from the joint engineering in the development of the lenses to the image processing, including the experience of the more than 380 million users of I live all over the world.
Are you working on a more western processing?
We already offer products adapted to the most western and European tastes. For example, in Europe we like selfies much more natural than in Asia, and it is part of vivo’s strategy to bring the product closer to the requirements of each market.
Will the gimbal continue to be the differential element of the high-end range?
Yes, the gimbal has been a very well received novelty and will continue to be a very important part of our flagships. We have already announced in China models of the X60 range where the gimbal continues to be the star.
New Live Products
Will there be an announcement soon for the models announced in China?
It won’t take long, we are preparing the launch of the new ranges for this year, they will come out of the oven shortly.
How does Vivo want to increase its impact in the mid-range against rivals like Xiaomi or Realme?
Being honest in the proposal and offering a product that can meet the customer’s needs, especially in the mid-range that accounts for approximately 70% of sales in Spain.
Will there be more commitment to operators as other companies do?
The carrier market is a very important market for us, and we are actively working with them. It is the logical next step after entering the “free” market.
Is the accessory ecosystem something relevant?
Little by little it will be, but as long as it has a meaning. We have launched TWS headphones and sports headphones, and during this year we will increase the offer. But always being true to the Benfen, little by little and giving the market what we think it may need.
The history of the mobile manufacturer Vivo before its arrival in SpainWe tell you what the history of the Vivo mobile brand has been before it officially arrived in Spain with its new high-end.
Will there be Live folding?
It is too early to say, we are still looking for how a folding mobile can be relevant for an end user, beyond the surprise and marketing factor that they can suppose at the moment. But the best proof that we are working is that we have already registered patents for possible folding mobiles.
Vivo APEX 2020: a mobile with a camera under the screen and without ports or buttonsVivo presents its new conceptual mobile, the Vivo APEX 2020, which arrives with an under-screen camera and will not have ports or buttons.
What about APEX on a commercial level? Are they not an option?
APEX is, to put it in one way, the equivalent of “concept cars” in the automotive world: a way of imagining what a mobile might look like in the future and where we think technology will take us. As such, it has never been commercialized, but many of the innovations featured are already available on our phones, such as the gimbal that was present at APEX 2020.
Fast loading, software and more
Isn’t ultra-fast charging relevant to Vivo?
Totally. We have the 33W FlashCharge technology, marketed in Spain with the X51 5G and the Y70. In our gaming brand, iQOO, we have the iQOO 7 with 120W. Little by little we will increase these powers, but always looking for a balance between advantages for the user, cost and duration.
What about wireless charging?
In the APEX model that we wanted to present in the past MWC there was no slot or connector or button, it was completely unibody, and it had fast wireless charging of 60W. We are working on it, but we need it to be a real consumer advantage, rather than one more point in product specifications for marketing reasons. Right now, it saves the convenience of connecting USB, but the trade-off is cost, increased weight and volume, and lower efficiency compared to wired charging, plus shorter battery life from inductive charging. As soon as all those drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits, we’ll see.
How does the company assess the market trend to remove the charger from the box?
It’s a difficult topic. On the one hand, on a political and environmental level, the European Union plans to eliminate the charger in order to reduce the amount of electronic waste. For the manufacturer, it represents a saving and not only by not including it: smaller boxes allow cheaper transport and there is less handling. But for the user, and seeing the evolution of fast charging, which requires specific chargers, it can be a factor of frustration for the user, since they must buy a charger separately to get the most out of their new mobile.
We cannot speak beyond the very short term given all of the above, but for now we are going to maintain it.
What experience is there with software in Spain as a company? Brands such as OnePlus are moving away from the idea of software close to Pure Android and currently only Nokia and Motorola opt for Android One. Are any changes expected?
We have chosen to offer an experience as similar to Android One, since in Europe we really like the pure Google experience, to which we only add certain improvements for a better experience with our products. The comments received so far are very positive, and the idea is to continue like this.
Is having your own coat valued like almost all other manufacturers?
We have one, Funtouch OS, but it is very unobtrusive, we want to keep the Google experience in Europe as pure as possible.
Will update speed continue to be a sign of the firm in Spain?
Yes, we already updated the 4 products that we launched in October between December and January to Android 11. And for us it is very important that the user feels supported, if the hardware allows it, we will always try to update to the latest version, in addition to maintaining the security patches for 3 years.
We can only thank Xavi de la Asunción for the time dedicated to answering our questions.
The entry “If the hardware allows it, we will always try to update to the latest version” Xavi de la Asunción, SBM from Vivo España appears first in El Androide Libre.