BBK Group unveils 5G-ready iQOO smartphone brand in India (Lead)

(IANS) Chinese behemoth BBK Group on Thursday announced the entry of another brand called iQOO in the competitive Indian market that will be the first, 5G-ready premium device in the country and would take on Xiaomi’s new sub-brand POCO.

The iQOO brand — which already has six devices in its portfolio in China with the most recent one being the iQOO Neo 855 Racing — would work as a separate legal entity in the country.

With this 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 percent ‘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 sport Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which will ensure seamless performance, be it video streaming or gaming. The sturdy device will be a 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 the right strategy to keep creating a 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 percent (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 percent of all smartphone sales in India happened online during the third quarter last year (July-September period – a massive 55 percent 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 percent in the India smartphone market in the third quarter this year, registering a 23 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth, according to CyberMedia Research’s (CMR) ‘India Mobile Handset Market Review Report for Q3 2019’.

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