If there was one smartphone manufacturer who managed to surprise us this year, it is Vivo with their X60 Series and its successor, the X70. Both lineups offered advancements in camera technology -- in partnership with Zeiss -- making them comparable with competitors like Samsung and Apple. But that's not the only growth the company showed, as Vivo furthered its foray in the global markets and even began testing its 5G technology in regions outside of China.
In this article, we look back on these development areas with a little more depth, read further to learn more about the evolution of the OEM across 2021.
Vivo's global expansion to six new markets
In 2021, Vivo began selling its products in Peru, the Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, Serbia, and Mexico, which brings its presence to a total of 60 markets across the globe. The effect of this showed as Canalys, a technology market analyst, ranked the organization fourth in the global smartphone market due to its ten percent market share in the third quarter of the year, and Vivo remained part of the top three brands in India, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Vivo has also been able to develop its manufacturing line to have a production capacity of nearly 200 million smartphones, and its sales network now consists of 380,000 sales and after-sales service centers globally.
A partnership with ZEISS that has led to better cameras
In 2021, Vivo joined hands with ZEISS, a German optics manufacturer, who brought their imaging technology to the smartphone maker's flagship offerings.
The X Series, which we mentioned earlier, saw the first co-engineered system made available in the X60 lineup. A successor, the X70, brought even better performance with Vivo's V1 imaging chip and compliance for ZEISS' T Coating, which helped improve performance by reducing stray light and ghosting.
While the X Series improved rear camera performance, the V Series, particularly the V21 lineup and the recently launched V23, set new standards for front camera setups. The V21 features an optically stabilized front camera, while the V23 has a dual front camera layout.
Vivo's subbrand iQOO also saw it expanding its business with performance flagship devices in the form of the iQOO 7 Series. The iQOO 7 Legend even received the Red Dot Product Design Award.
Advancing 5G with expanded commercial testing
5G is now more relevant than it was a year ago in the United States, and its development in the overseas market is also growing. Vivo reported that it conducted its 5G SA commercial network test in Thailand, its first outside China.
While this marks the end of Vivo's key technological advancements, the OEM also grew its brand awareness with strategic partnerships. In an attempt to show its long-term commitment to Europe, it joined as a presenting partner at the UEFA Euro League -- a football (soccer for our North American readers) competition. It also became the smartphone sponsor for the FIFA Arab Cup held in Qatar and conducted the Vision+ Mobile Photo Awards -- in partnership with National Geographic.