iQOO to Be Merged with Vivo to Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiency

Chinese smartphone company vivo’s independent sub-brand iQOO will soon cancel its independent operation mode and merge back with the vivo brand, according to a report by 36Kr on March 29.

Earlier this year, vivo launched an “efficiency improvement” operating strategy in response to the huge impact of the cold winter on the consumer electronics market, and merging with iQOO would be the most significant decision within this strategy.

The report by 36Kr also shows that a vivo insider said that senior management had discussed merging brands and media strategies. It is uncertain whether iQOO will retain its separate business stores or independent stores.

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Since its inception in 2019, iQOO has launched eight flagship smartphone models. Its positioning is top performance plus top gaming experience. Compared to gaming phones, iQOO phones have a more minimalist design which can also be described as more “daily”. Compared to normal flagship models, iQOO’s products are more aggressive in releasing peak performance.

iQOO Z7 (Source: iQOO)

In the past, iQOO and vivo shared R&D resources, supply chain systems, sales channels, and media resources  that required scale but operated independently for planning and operations such as media strategies for marketing and e-commerce businesses. Within vivo’s provincial agency system in China,iQOO had independent offline stores as well as separate sales counters.

It appears that iQOO has been consistently utilizing Vivo’s resources, but they have not made significant progress in the smartphone market. In CINNO Research’s January smartphone sales report in the Chinese market, vivo ranked fifth overall with sales down 23.5% from last year, suffering from one of the largest declines among major phone makers.