Vivo in top 5 global brands despite ‘roller coaster year’ for smartphones

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo Mobile said it has retained its spot in the top five global smartphone brands in the world, a title it has held for the last five consecutive quarters.

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Data from analyst firm IDC found that 2016 was a roller-coaster year for the smartphone market, with a total of 1.47 billion units sold — the highest year of shipments on record — yet up only 2.3% from the 1.44 billion units shipped in 2015.

For the final quarter of 2016, smartphone shipments showed a 6.9% year-on-year growth, with 428.5 million units shipped worldwide, as compared to 400.7 million units sold in the fourth quarter of 2015.

As for Vivo, the company said it shipped a total of 24.7 million smartphones in the holiday quarter, a notable increase from the 12.1 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015.

And, for the full year, Vivo showed a significant 103% increase in units sold, from 38 million shipments in 2015 to a total of 77.3 million smartphones sold in 2016.

IDC disclosed the continued upward shipments were recorded as Vivo expanded to various Southeast Asian markets.

“Majority of shipments continue to be in China, but Vivo has been extremely aggressive with its marketing in a number of countries in Asia as it looks to extend its global reach,” the market intelligence firm said.

Also, the research firm noted the shift in preference for many consumers, who are choosing more affordable smartphones over pricey brands.

“The top three Chinese vendors are persistently applying pressure on Samsung within China, thanks to a vast portfolio of affordable, well-built devices — not just low-end but high-end devices, which have proven viable options for consumers looking to save money and upgrade without sacrificing quality,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager at IDC.

Vivo first made waves in 2012 when it introduced the Vivo X1, one of the slimmest phones that year and the world’s first smartphone to feature a Digital-to-Analog (DAC) converter Hi-Fi chip, and the Vivo X3 in 2013, the first smartphone in the world with a 2K resolution display.

The brand’s flagship phone, the Vivo V5 Plus — the first smartphone to have a 20-megapixel dual front camera — along with other units in the V5 Line, the V5 and the V5 Lite, are seen to capture more market share for the company as Filipinos are known to put a premium on selfie-friendly camera features when purchasing smartphones.

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