Will new Vivo-owned brand Iqoo specialize in cutting-edge phones?

iqoo vivo news launch teaser

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has quietly launched a new sub-brand called Iqoo, announcing its existence on the Weibo social messaging platform, but saying little so far about what devices the brand will produce. However, there are some hints and speculation about Iqoo’s plans.

Sub-brands are a popular way for large manufacturers to appeal to different groups of people. For example, Huawei uses the Honor sub-brand to target those with a lower budget than that required to buy the premium devices sold by Huawei itself. Iqoo’s parent company, Vivo, is owned by BBK Electronics, the same as Oppo and OnePlus. Despite this, Iqoo’s future as a BBK family member is uncertain. Soon after its founding by Oppo executives, new brand Realme became a stand-alone company, much like OnePlus.

For now, though, Vivo seems to want to keep Iqoo under its watchful eye. The company republished Iqoo’s announcement post on its own Weibo page, ensuring everyone knows Iqoo’s origins. What is Vivo’s plan for Iqoo? It’s not saying, but as this is its first sub-brand, it’s possible the company will want to make something very different. Vivo makes phones at low to high-midrange prices, with around $600 to $700 being its most expensive, and at the lowest, its phones cost around $150. It’s speculated Vivo will use Iqoo to launch premium smartphones and devices at higher prices.

The image accompanying the Iqoo Weibo post shows a futuristic cityscape, hinting we may see devices with cutting-edge designs. The only other post on the Iqoo page asks if readers know how to pronounce its name, and prompts people to guess in the comments. We’re going to assume it’s pronounced in a similar way to IQ, the acronym used for intelligence quotient —the score used to measure someone’s intelligence.

Vivo is best known internationally for its exciting concept devices, from the Vivo Apex shown at MWC 2018, to the more recent 2019 version of the Apex with its full-screen fingerprint sensor and unusual body design. It will be shown in more detail during Mobile World Congress 2019. It does not sell its phones in the U.K. or the U.S., which may also be another plan for Iqoo.

Although nothing has been officially announced, Iqoo may use Mobile World Congress 2019 in some way to reveal its plans for the future, including its first products.

Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

The Google Pixel Watch could finally launch sometime this year

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. Eventually, according to rumors, Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.
Mobile

OnePlus breaks into the top five among U.S. smartphone companies

We've been impressed with the value offered by OnePlus phones for years, but in 2018 the Chinese manufacturer really stepped things up. After impressive sales, OnePlus broke into the top five U.S. smartphone companies in the high-end…
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.