Interviewee: Saeed Klaib, Director of Communications at vivo

1. Let us start with your freshest news and latest launches in the region.

We just recently unveiled the vivo V29, our latest flagship-level studio portrait addition to vivo’s captivating V series. Equipped with the innovative Aura Light and Smart Color Temperature Adjustment feature, new aesthetic design and powerful performance, V29 is the smartphone for users looking to capture and celebrate every moment of their exciting lives. V29 revolutionizes the smartphone experience with a comprehensive range of advanced features and groundbreaking innovations meticulously crafted to elevate user experience and seamlessly address everyday challenges faced by consumers.

vivo is always looking for ways to improve the portrait photography experience on its smartphones. The new vivo V29, with its upgraded Aura Light Portrait 2.0, the front camera features, such as the 50 MP Auto Focus Group Selfie and Super Group Video, and a very chic design, is a testament to our commitment to innovation. We want to empower our users to express themselves in their daily lives and capture every special moment.

V29 features a 120 Hz 1.5K AMOLED display and a 6.78″ 3D curved screen, delivering stunning visuals to users. With an impressive resolution of 1.5K and a super-high pixel density of 452 PPI, every detail comes to life with astonishing precision. Users will be immersed in a captivating visual experience as V29 showcases 1.07 billion colors and a DCI-P3 cinema-grade color gamut. In addition, V29 prioritizes eye health and has received three SGS professional-grade eye protection certifications, underscoring our commitment to visual well-being.

V29 is designed to provide a smooth and powerful user experience. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon® 778G mobile platform, ensuring excellent performance and seamless 5G connectivity. With its Memory Booster (12 GB RAM + 8 GB Extended RAM), the device offers ample storage and strong support for the operating system. V29 also includes an Ultra Large VC Bionic Cooling System, which enables the device to unleash optimal performance in various scenarios, delivering an immersive experience – whether during intense gaming sessions or captivating cinematic experiences. Additionally, the updated 80W FlashCharge and 4600 mAh (TYP) Battery allow for fast and safe charging, allowing the phone to be charged from 1% to 50% in just 18 minutes and guaranteeing reliable and long-lasting use.

2. vivo has bagged multiple ‘world’s first’ innovations since its inception. What are some of these innovations?

In the smartphone industry, vivo has always strived to be different through innovation. Placing innovation at the forefront of our brand has led to us achieving multiple ‘world’s firsts’.

In 2012, vivo launched the world’s thinnest smartphone at the time of its release with the X1 at 6.55mm thick. It was also the world’s first smartphone to have a dedicated Hi-Fi quality audio chip.

In 2014, vivo began going global. It also released Xshot, the world’s first smartphone with F1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation — such advanced camera features appeared only later in other smartphone brands. In the same year, vivo released X5Max, a smartphone with a thickness of 4.75mm, that continues to remain as the world’s thinnest smartphone created until now.

Before fingerprint scanning even became common among smartphones, vivo launched X20Plus UD, the world’s first in-display fingerprint scanning smartphone in 2018.

In 2021, vivo launched its professional photography flagship series, X70, which is equipped with vivo’s first self-developed imaging chip, V1.

We have come so far with these ‘world’s firsts’. Our smartphones continue to deliver innovation at one’s fingertips, helping users maintain an increasingly convenient mobile and digital life.

3. How would you describe vivo’s presence in the Middle East currently? And is it expanding?

We’re thrilled to say that vivo is the fastest growing smartphone brand in the last four years in the Middle Eastern region, despite our recent entry in 2019.

Currently, our regional footprint covers ten vast markets, including UAE, KSA, Iraq, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Our plans for expansion don’t stop here and we will continue to explore areas where we can suitably bridge the gap between human beings and the digital world.

4. Has the decline in smartphone shipments in China in the year 2022 affected your brand?

We’re aware that China’s smartphone sales plunged to an all-time low in 2022. However, despite the fall in sales, vivo was the top selling brand in 2022 with a market share of 18.6 per cent. This is a testament to our outstanding performance even at times of uncertainty.

By constantly delivering a seamless user experience, exceptional design and world-class features at affordable prices, we continue to perform exceptionally in our respective markets.

5. In the highly competitive smartphone space, how is vivo a differentiator?

As we’ve mentioned before, vivo is an innovation-first brand with 75% of vivo’s workforce engaged in R&D. We want to build a bridge between humans and the digital world for an easier, more convenient smartphone experience. To achieve this, we knew we had to provide our potential and currently existing users with the luxury of choice — a wide variety of smartphones that fit their respective needs and desires. So, we brought to the market the Y, V and X series that fit various budgets with flagship features such as world class photography, superior engine and battery performance, bold design, seamless user experience and much more. The X series redefines professional photography, V series is pioneering photography flagship, and Y series is bringing delightful entertainment experience to our consumers.

Across all our vivo smartphones, there is one recurring tone we’ve aimed to spread: Joy of Humanity. What does this mean, you ask? Our motto is based on consciously simplifying technology in every device with an excellent user experience model and design concept.

6. What are some of your most notable partnerships to date, and what is in the pipeline for Q4 of 2023 and beyond?

vivo has always sought out meaningful partnerships to maintain our hallmarks of innovation and continued development.

Looking at partnerships, 2022 was one of our most exciting years in vivo history until date. This goes without saying in the Middle East. We were the official smartphone sponsor for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar — the first World Cup in the Middle East region. Through this partnership, we launched many exciting smartphone campaigns including our #GiveItAShot campaign, which saw hundreds of thousands of fans sharing their memorable FIFA moments on social media with special vivo filters. This partnership truly brought the football community together through technology.

We also continued our collaboration with ZEISS, a German-based global leader in optics and opto-electronics, to launch our latest X series products like the X90 Series, and the X Foldable devices with next-level outstanding professional imaging features. This partnership has only allowed us to continue delivering premium mobile imaging technology to users, who can capture memorable moments with much precision and options of perspectives, like true photography professionals.

2023 is already looking positive with new and exciting partnerships in the pipeline. We have kickstarted the year by collaborating with NorthLadder, the region’s leading pre-owned device marketplace. This partnership will exclusively allow smartphone users to now trade-in their old devices from the comfort of their homes. Providing such a flexible option is part of our joint efforts in helping customers make device upgrades much more convenient, hassle-free and safe. Also, it is worth noting that alongside customers earning great value for their old devices, we are also supporting the environment by preventing old devices ending up in landfills.

In June 2023, we joined forces with Tabby to offer our customers more convenient and flexible payment solutions. With the introduction of Tabby’s instalments service, customers now have the option to split their purchases into manageable, interest-free payments. This revolutionary feature allows individuals to purchase their desired vivo products, such as smartphones and accessories, in a more accessible and budget-friendly way by splitting the payments into four installments with zero interest fees. By adopting Tabby’s services, we ensure a smoother, more seamless experience for our valued customers, designed to save their time and effort.

vivo always aims to make full use of its innovative products and vast experience as a partner in major sporting events and this time we are supporting the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou as the Official Exclusive Supplier of Mobile Phones.

There is much more to come for 2024 with our sponsorship of the UEFA Euro 2024, and so we will keep the market updated as we progress into the next year with new and exciting developments.

7. What can users expect from vivo in the future? Any exciting new developments to share?

Users can expect the introduction of 6G in our smartphones in the near future. While our research and development for 6G remains in its early stages, we are continuously carrying out in-depth experiments for potential 6G technologies.  We recognise that 6G will be big, and vivo strives to be among the first smartphone brands to stay up to date with such technology features — if not the first.

We’ve recognised our undoubtable and fast-growing success in the Middle East, and for this reason, we will continue investing into the region, with plans to introduce more premium vivo products that improve the lives of our customers.

More developments are underway and will be announced soon.

Connect with Saeed Klaib on LinkedIn

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