How Lesser-Known Oppo Pushes Xiaomi, Lenovo Out Of Top 5

by Poonam Mondal    Apr 29, 2016

It’s no longer about Samsung and Apple ruling the smartphone market. Not even the next big ones such as Xiaomi and Lenovo. The smartphone landscape is changing so fast that lesser known names such as Oppo and Vivo are vying all the attention. Let’s take the example of Oppo.

The brand has replaced Lenovo and has set itself among the top five smartphone brands today. Needless to mention, Chinese Smartphones are already witnessing a rapid adoption worldwide. Surprisingly, emerging Chinese smartphone brands are expanding their markets in recent times. It is little wonder then that Chinese smartphone brand Oppo, which was hardly recognized in the market a year ago, has emerged fourth largest smartphone brand globally. 

oppo

According to a report  Oppo has sold 50 million smartphones in the full year 2015 — a growth rate of 67 per cent, year over year. In fact, in the first three months of 2016, Oppo sold 18.5 million phones, that’s 153 percent up on last year. The company has found success by combining high-end spec with low prices, and has found a big market within its home territory of China.

The report states that the remaining  42percent of the market is shared by other phone manufacturers such as Sony, HTC, LG, Motorola, Microsoft, Lenovo and others.

Oppo is by no means a new entrant to the smartphone market, and has been ranked among the top 10 mobile makers globally according to a Gartner report,which again underscores the swings and roundabouts of smartphone-maker fortunes.

Oppo began making phones in 2008. The company released its Oppo F1 in the first quarter of 2016, and quickly followed it up with the Oppo F1 Plus. Oppo is getting a lot of traction in India as well. Banking on its digital marketing strategy, such as celebrity endorsement and sports sponsorship, Oppo has gained decent visibility among the Indian consumers.

Oppo also aims to capitalize on enormous business prospects in smartphone business in India. Therefore the company has recently announced its plans to set up a local manufacturing unit in India with an investment of Rs 100 crore for the facility in Noida. The unit, will have a capacity of 10 million handsets, will become operational in August this year.

“Our Noida facility will become operational in August. With a capacity of 10 million units, the facility will be our own. We are investing Rs 100 crore in the project,” said Oppo Global VP, MD of International Mobile Business and President India operations Sky Li during the launch of Oppo F1 plus recently.

He added that its present partnership with Foxconn is to assemble phone locally which will also continue. At present, Foxconn has production lines at its Chennai factory dedicated for Oppo’s smartphone requirements in the country.

The company’s decision to locally manufacture smartphones comes at a time when handset makers are tapping into the multi-billion dollar Make in India in smartphone market as India has surpassed the United States to become the second largest smartphone market in the world. 

India’s smartphone user base increased to 220 million by the end of last year. Surprisingly Xiaomi , LeEco, Vivo , Oppo have captured substantial share in the market. Oppo which was lesser known Chinese brand till last year has raised a competition to the leading global and home grown smartphone brands.

(With inputs from Priyanka Pugaokar)