Taking on Xiaomi’s POCO, BBK Group launches iQOO brand in India

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) Beginning a fresh innings in the competitive Indian smartphone market, another brand from Chinese behemoth BBK Group called iQOO on Thursday announced its entry in the country with launching its first-ever, 5G-ready premium device next month that would take on Xiaomi’s new sub-brand POCO.

The brand — which already has six devices in its portfolio in China with the most recent one being the iQOO Neo 855 Racing — has no connection with Vivo and would work as a separate legal entity in the country.

With this one-year-old brand, the BBK Group will now have five brands — OnePlus, Vivo, OPPO, Realme and now iQOO — to take on its rivals in India in 2020.

“We aim to sell 10 lakh iQOO devices next month in India. It will be 100 per cent ‘make in India’ premium device focused on strong performance, design innovation and 5G-ready,” Gagan Arora, Director-Marketing, iQOO India, told IANS.

Initially, the brand will focus on the online market but eventually, it will be present offline as well and the company is working on that strategy.

“The device will sports Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which will ensure seamless performance, be it video streaming or gaming. The sturdy device will be best-in-class premium segment. As users consume more data, the smartphone will be a perfect companion,” Arora added.

The iQOO team has a separate office and team which will focus on making the brand a success against its arch-rival Xiaomi’s POCO which is now a separate brand.

According to industry experts, the premium segment, especially the Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 segment, will see stupendous growth in India in 2020 and this is a good strategy from the market leader BBK Group to gain more foothold in the premium segment.

“The Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 segment will grow fast as we have seen with Rs 10,000- Rs 20,000 price segment in the past. As smartphone companies diversity, this is a right strategy to keep creating buzz in the highly-competitive market,” Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

“We have seen premium segment in India growing at 66 per cent (year-on-year) and this is the right time to enter this segment with industry-first devices,” Jain added.

According to the latest Counterpoint Research report, 46 per cent of all smartphone sales in India happened online during the third quarter last year (July-September period – a massive 55 per cent increase over the same period last year.

‘We presume iQOO will also be an online-exclusive brand to begin with, expanding later into the offline space,” said Jain.

China-based BBK Group achieved 42 per cent in the India smartphone market in the third quarter this year, registering a 23 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth, according to CyberMedia Research’s (CMR) ‘India Mobile Handset Market Review Report for Q3 2019’.

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