The world’s number four smartphone brand (Data: IDC, 2017) OPPO is now in the Land of the Rising Sun. OPPO’s blistering growth has seen the brand penetrate more than 31 markets across Asia, Middle East, Africa and Oceania. It now sets its sights on Japan and Europe.
The China smartphone brand has been a consistent performer, with products like the R9s breaking sales records and new OPPO F5 reported to be doing well.
Based on a report by IDC, the brand was the world’s number four by total shipments in the year 2016.
Counterpoint reported OPPO claiming the number one spot in Asia in Q3 2017, also by unit shipments.
Having set up a Japan branch in November 2017 to oversee localised marketing activities, OPPO also set up a research and development centre in Yokohama. The R&D centre focuses on the development and exploration of mobile photography and imaging technology.
It currently has six R&D centres around the world including in Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Japan.
Photography and imaging technology have been a strong focus of OPPO. It was the world’s first to commercially introduce 5MP and 16MP front cameras. Not only that, it introduced the ground-breaking motorised rotating camera with the OPPO N3, and later also brought 5x Dual Camera Zoom technology.
It cleverly carved a niche for itself with its selfie-centric product portfolio, and deservingly earned its self-proclaimed “Selfie Expert” title. Since the introduction of its F series, it has been a driving force of the selfie trend in the smartphone industry.
The Apple iPhone is a dominant player in the Japan market, trailed by Sony and Samsung, as well as local players like Sharp, Fujitsu and Kyocera.
It will be interesting to see how OPPO plays its cards in Nippon-koku, where affinity to Apple and nationalism is fierce (hence support for local brands).
It will be a mistake to underestimate the Chinese smartphone maker though, and if I were a competitor, I’d watch them closely. Very closely.
OPPO says Japanese consumers can expect OPPO devices to hit the shelves in the coming weeks.