15 January 2020
Vivo has been one of the top smartphone brands in India when it comes to market share. It has used different strategies to achieve the position it currently holds and releasing online-exclusive phones has been one of those. But going forward, Vivo has announced that it will not launch any new online-exclusive smartphones in India. The change will come into effect starting 2020 i.e. the next year.
The announcement was made through a letter written to offline retailers by Jerome Chen, CEO of Vivo India. He mentioned that Vivo has decided to end offline-exclusive smartphone launches starting in 2020. He added that Vivo will work towards ensuring the simultaneous launch of smartphones in online and offline markets. It will further launch new phones with consistent pricing and offers in both markets so that offline retailers don't feel any injustice.
Chen said in the letter,
"With consumer satisfaction at our core, we aim to keep our business partners, employees, and shareholders content with all our decisions. Having said that, we urge our offline partners to strive together and make the buying experience worth appreciating for our customers."
It should be noted that Vivo is not the only smartphone maker to move away from online-exclusive releases. Other major brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme have also reportedly decided to follow the suit. It might feel like a sudden change of heart from companies but it actually a result of months of protests from offline retailers against the online-exclusive method. Offline retailers and their associations like the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) have applauded Vivo for taking the decision to ensure fair business practices for offline sellers.