Vivo is gearing up to launch its latest Vivo X70 Pro phones in India next week. While Vivo launched the X60 series in March and the September 30 launch date might seem too soon for a product range that’s been received well, as per data by market research firms. But bringing the X70 series makes more sense for Vivo now. Or so says Nipun Marya, who is Vivo India Director for Brand Strategy, in an exclusive interview with India Today Tech.
In Q2 2021, Vivo did well in the premium segment. As per Counterpoint Research, Vivo’s market share has increased to 12 per cent, the highest ever in a single quarter, in the over Rs 30,000 smartphone segment in India. In a report, this July, the market research firm further claimed that the company’s Vivo X60 series drove shipments for the company in Q2. It seems that Vivo wants to capitalise on the momentum, and that means the Vivo X70 Pro and the X70 Pro Plus are coming to India on September 30, just in time for them to catch the festive shopping buzz.
In the run-up to the launch, India Today Tech got a chance to talk to Nipun Marya. In addition, we also have the ZEISS team, including Sebastian Doentgen, Head of Category Management and Marketing ZEISS Consumer Products and Dr Ramona Ettig, Head of R&D Mobile Imaging ZEISS Consumer Products. The Vivo X70 Pro comes with the 2nd-gen Zeiss lens in a Vivo phone. Here is what Vivo and ZEISS have to say about the X70 Pro.
From Nokia to Vivo: ZEISS wants to be in the hands of consumers
ZEISS is a legendary brand and needs no introduction. Since ZEISS had previous partnerships with Nokia and now there’s Vivo, we wanted to understand some of the observations by the ZEISS team between the phase where there was the Nokia 808 Pureview and Vivo X70 series. So we asked.
Sebastian Doentgen explains that, in between, the world has changed. The way people use cameras, and the kind of cameras they use, has changed. “When you go back nine years and compare the performance of products, it’s a tremendous difference. We have seen that recent phones are coming closer and closer to professional cameras. Earlier, a family on a holiday would carry a mirrorless camera with an interchangeable lens, but that’s not the case anymore. This was the case 10 or 15 years ago. This camera has been replaced by modern-day smartphones.”
Now that consumers have changed the way they shoot photos, or with what they shoot photos, ZEISS too doesn’t want to keep itself limited to big cameras. “We are doing lenses for film productions in India, Hollywood, and all over the world, doing lenses for high-end photography. But we do not want to be exclusive to a certain group of professionals. We want to be in the hands of many people who can take breathtaking images,” says Doentgen. That means (again) getting into smartphones that people are going to buy and use. “I think in Vivo, we have found the right partner. This is also an evolution for us because this is a partnership that only started end of last year, but from our perspective, we are super happy and proud to be coming together with Vivo because we believe a lot in the power of performance.”
Vivo X70 Pro Plus
Instagram has changed the photography game
Both Doentgen and Marya believe that social media platforms, in particular Instagram, which has focussed on aesthetically pleasant photographs, have put pressure on phone companies to improve cameras in their devices. But at the same time, there is more to this than just Instagram-worthy selfies.
“We want to serve consumers. Instagram was, of course, bringing far more visual content to mobile phones when it was launched. But now there are more platforms like TikTok and some local visual platforms in India where people demand high-quality imaging when you want to share photos with your friends and family,” says Doentgen.
Nipun Marya says that, in general, there is a strong demand for content that tells visual stories. Whether it is on Instagram or on some other website is besides the point. “There is no doubt that consumers are moving towards a more visual medium today. And, as Sebastian also mentioned, if there is consumer demand in a particular field, we as phone makers would like to innovate in that direction. Since there is consumer demand for visual expression and visual storytelling, it is also our endeavour to give consumers better cameras.”
Vivo X70 Pro
Vivo’s plans for X70 in India
With all the big focus on photography performance, the Vivo X70 Pro seems like an obvious next step for the company in India. And Vivo is making big claims about the photography performance that the X70 Pro will offer to Indian users.
“The first and foremost expectation that we have about the X70 Pro is that the consumers should be able to enjoy, experience, and appreciate the intensive R&D effort that has gone into its cameras. I think the X70 series is going to redefine smartphone photography,” says Marya.
Vivo says that it believes the photography performance of the X70 Pro will astound users. “When they see photos clicked with X70 Pro, I think the first reaction will be disbelief at the fact that the image was clicked with a phone,” Marya says. And then adds that once consumers have realised what the X70 Pro cameras can do, they will create beautiful photos that are not possible with any other phone.
Vivo X70 Pro Plus
It is true that the X70 Pro will be priced like what it is: an ultra-premium phone. The X60 Pro Plus was priced at around Rs 69,990. So, the X70 Pro is expected to be around a similar price point, give or take some. However, Marya believes that the price will not be a bar for those who seek excellence in mobile photography. “Just one word for my target consumer, and that one word is a visual storyteller. So the Vivo X-series smartphones are designed to keep in mind this visual storytelling,” Marya says. Vivo believes these users will pay good money for great photography performance, something that the success of the Vivo X60 also hints at.
And while visual storytelling is all great and in demand, Vivo says that the cameras are just one part of the X70 Pro phones. These are also true blue-blooded premium phones, as premium as they come. “The X70 series will be a great package for imaging. But that’s not the only thing it will deliver to its customers. It will provide a great all-around package,” says Marya.