The last few years have overseen a shift in major mobile trends, with key leaderboard positions changing hands in markets worldwide. In Asia, the last twelve months have seen growth in Chinese brands, such as vivo, at the expense of previously big players. In fact, similar sentiments can be seen when looking at Europe and the global smartphone industry, too, according to data from Statcounter Global Stats.
Driving this changing trend is growing desires for vastly improved handset aesthetic designs, high-end photography capabilities, and advanced 5G networking, particularly for younger tech-savvy consumers. This wishlist isn’t the preserve of high-end products either. They’ve already made their way to more affordable product segments and are increasing prominence in regions right across the globe.
In fact, these three cornerstones of modern smartphone design are proving to be a key link for Chinese brands looking to expand into historically tough-to-crack Western audiences. A 2021 Android Authority survey of consumer buying habits saw 24% of respondents rate the camera as the most important factor in a new smartphone purchase, with a further 50% rating it as a key consideration.
vivo has clearly noticed these prevailing trends by selecting new smartphones specifically aimed at meeting these consumer wants and needs. The latest vivo V21 series is a prime example of smartphones tailored for this market. However, reaching these consumers is no easy task in the highly competitive modern smartphone industry. Doing so requires a killer product and marketing strategy.
Reaching the right consumer
Everyone loves a good photograph. It really is the linchpin of reaching today’s consumers. Camera partnerships have become an increasingly important differentiating factor in the smartphone space, with Leica, Hasselblad, and now Olympus expected to lend their expertise to the smartphone market. vivo partnered with optics specialists ZEISS to launch the vivo X60 series in late 2020, expanding on the impressive photography capabilities of its products. Bringing camera specialists into the market fray helps showcase a brands’ dedication to the importance of smartphone cameras. Brands are increasingly going above and beyond to prove their camera credentials and highlight the benefits to consumers.
Express your style with vivo V21 series’s trendsetting design! Dusk Blue or Sunset Dazzle? Which colour do you prefer?#V21Series #OISNightSelfie #SlimDesign #ForYourBestMoments pic.twitter.com/6X1lLyxrVJ
— vivo Malaysia (@vivo_malaysia) May 6, 2021
However, front camera photography capabilities are just as important, if not more so, than camera partnerships. Selfie culture in Asia has become a core part of everyone’s photo album, where even a landscape photo has to have someone in it to prove they were there. vivo’s photography focus doesn’t just encompass its higher-end models and rear camera capabilities. The company’s newly launched vivo V21 and V21 5G combine an affordable price tag with a 44MP optically stabilized selfie camera to take front-facing photography up a level. vivo has pulled out all the stops in producing an affordable smartphone with a killer selfie camera.
And it’s not just Asia. The growth of vlogging and social media platforms like TikTok are driving demand for high-quality front-facing cameras in Western markets too, particularly with younger consumers. Of course, 2020/2021 has seen huge growth in the use of front cameras for video calls and conferencing too. This is where smartphones like the vivo V21 and V21 5G can capitalize on emerging trends in new regions and new consumers.
Phones built for 2021
Of course, photography is just one part of the modern in-demand smartphone. Consumers also increasingly demand powerful processing and networking capabilities packaged up in stylish hardware. With modern processing hardware now able to provide high-end feeling performance at more affordable prices, aesthetic design, additional features, and price are increasingly at the forefront of consumer minds.
For example, 5G is a staple of 2021’s smartphone industry across flagship, mid-tier, and affordable product segments. It’s become a more sought-after feature for global audiences looking to be better connected than ever before. This trend will only grow as carriers continue to roll out and evolve their 5G networks over the coming months and years — particularly in markets across Asia and India, where next-generation networks are set to take off.
You’ll find 5G capabilities across vivo’s smartphone portfolio, including in the latest vivo V21 5G. This affordable phone includes dual-mode 5G and proprietary antenna technology. Likewise, the handset boasts 8GB RAM and a 90Hz AMOLED display, two other key trends that consumers are increasingly looking for to ensure smooth performance from their favorite apps.
vivo’s focus on ultra-thin bodies and colorful, stylish designs across its smartphone range blends this technology with the increasingly potent influence of fashion on the industry at large. The vivo VX21 boasts a 7.29mm thin body, one of the trimmest on the market. The Sunset Dazzle, Dusk Blue, and Arctic White colorways allow consumers to express their own style. An eye-catching design certainly doesn’t hurt when marketing smartphones, either.
Capitalizing on market trends
As the smartphone market continues into maturity, various niches and trends have been carved out to cater to ever more discerning consumers.
One of the biggest factors driving growth in the Asian smartphone market and the West is the drive for improved camera technologies. With the aid of partnerships from big names in the optics business, both front and back cameras have become key differentiators in the market. Next-generation processing and networking technologies, packaged in hardware that stands out to capture the eye of the young, tech-savvy consumer, are also extremely important in a product’s success.
vivo’s latest smartphone range and marketing strategy plays directly to this demographic, setting it up as one to watch in both the Asian markets and as it eyes up an expansion into Western markets.