iQOO, which is known as the sub-brand of Vivo in China, is all set to make its way to the Indian market as an independent brand next month. Interestingly, iQOO confirmed that it would launch the country’s first 5G-enabled smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. For the unaware, Snapdragon 865 SoC does not ship with integrated 5G modem which allows manufacturers to use an LTE modem as well. So iQOO will launch both 5G and 4G variants of its flagship device in India next month. The company officially confirmed this news ahead of the official arrival. Notably, iQOO will operate as an independent brand in the Asian sub-continent, but it will still make use of Vivo’s manufacturing facility to control the costs. That said, OnePlus is going to get yet another competitor in India. Xiaomi also stated its intentions of launching flagship Mi smartphones in India this year, so the price point of above Rs 30,000 is going to heat up this year.
iQOO 5G Smartphone Will Be Powered by Snapdragon 865
Qualcomm is doubling down its efforts on 5G this year. At the end of 2019, the chipmaker announced Snapdragon 765G, Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platforms. Both the Snapdragon 765G and 765 feature an integrated 5G modem, which means the chipset may not feature in any smartphones launching in India this year or early next year. That’s not the case with Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform as there is no integrated 5G modem.
iQOO will launch India’s first 5G smartphone as well as the country’s first device with Snapdragon 865 chipset. Samsung already scheduled Galaxy S11 or Galaxy S20 series event for February 11, but in India, the South Korean brand will offer its own Exynos chipset. And OnePlus might still go for the May launch of OnePlus 8 series. iQOO is looking for as early as February launch.
“We will be running the brand independently in India and now setting up our operations, supply chain and our new office in Bengaluru,” Gagan Arora, Director – Marketing, iQOO told Economic Times. He also confirmed the company’s first device would arrive in both 4G and 5G variants with the latter could be available in a limited number.
We might see iQOO launching the iQOO Neo 3 and Neo 3 Pro smartphones in India with flagship specs. The phone is also said to come with groundbreaking battery technology. iQOO already showcased its 120W fast charging technology and the upcoming phone could feature the same. That said, the official person did not divulge into more details regarding the handset.
Affordable Flagship Segment Heating Up in India
In 2020, the price point of Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000 will see a lot of competition. Xiaomi already confirmed that it would bring Mi flagship phones to the Indian market this year, alongside launching Redmi flagships. Poco recently became an independent brand which means it will come with new phones. And now, iQOO is looking to disrupt the premium smartphone segment in India. OnePlus is the market leader when it comes to the affordable flagship segment, but the brand saw intense competition in 2019 from Realme, Asus and Xiaomi.
This year OnePlus is going to face even more competition and the Chinese company should bring the best with OnePlus 8 series. Realme, Asus, Oppo and Vivo are also expected to launch phones with Snapdragon 865 chipset in India this year.