By Kelvin Majangah
OPPO Mobile exude confidence on the strength of its mobile as it focus to increase its market share in Kenya
The fastest-growing smartphone maker globally by far is a little-known electronics company based in China called OPPO.
OPPO is a global electronics and technology service provider that delivers the latest and most exquisite mobile electronic devices in over 20 countries, including the United States, China, Australia and many countries throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. OPPO is dedicated to delivering customers with the most extraordinary mobile experience through meticulous designs and smart technology.
Founded in 2004, OPPO proved itself in the market with its intense focus to details. Each OPPO product encompasses a carefully selected array of attributes to specifically cater to users, combining impressive features with elegant designs. After its launch into the market, OPPO quickly expanded into overseas markets a year later. OPPO mobile brands are currently available in over 20 markets, with the brand already registered in 116 countries as of April 2015.
But OPPO does not stop there. Known for providing users with advanced and sophisticated “camera-focused” as well as using the passion for design and commitment to new technologies, OPPO has made a big impact in the audio-visual market by offering world-renowned, premium Blu-ray players in the United States and across Europe.
Betting big on the booming Kenya smartphone market, the Chinese smartphone maker is planning to focus on user experience to gain market share; exuding confidence on the company’s positioning in the country market on the strength of its products like Selfie expert smartphones.
OPPO grew by 137% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to a year ago, and also shipped 22.6 million smartphones in the second quarter, grabbing 6.6% of the market share: surprising many industry watchers when it pushed into the ranks of the world’s largest five smartphone companies by shipments in the first quarter of 2016, according to IDC. In China, OPPO became the second-largest smartphone company by shipments during the same period, overtaking Apple AAPL -0.15% and Xiaomi, according to Strategy Analytics.
With its fantastic pace of growth, OPPO is expected to continue to put pressure on high-end phone makers like Apple and Samsung, banking high on its smartphones attractiveness and high-end features at lower cost.
“From 2011 to 2014, we were not sure of the upcoming markets,” Sky Li, OPPO Vice President and Managing Director of International Mobile Business says. “We tried to build up our e-commerce channels and studied consumer habits and the business models of the online brands. Then we realized that most of our customers would still like to experience the phones first. So in 2012, we continued to focus on offline.”
The decision turned out to be right today (though still we are embracing online sales in some countries like Kenya which its online market is growing shiftily), as Kenyan consumers shift to upgrade their devices or try new brands instead of buying smartphones for the very first time. They are visiting retail stores more often to experience the products or seek after-sales services, says Li. “In the beginning people wanted the best bargain products but now they are communicating with retail stores for service offerings; OPPO’s previous efforts are starting to pay off.”
Quoting the firm’s statement, Oppo’s immense focus on industrial design and key features, such as camera, battery technology and materials, has helped the brand maintain an edge over its rivals and win consumer mindshare; especially in the under 25 years age group.
According to global industry body GSMA, improving affordability, falling device prices and operator investments in network coverage and quality would help deliver an additional, more than 1 million unique subscribers in Kenya by 2020, lifting the country’s penetration rate to 46 percent of the population, up from 36 percent in 2015.
Given the ongoing technology shift to mobile broadband services, the number of 3G/4G mobile broadband connections is forecast to reach more than 37 million people by 2020 in the country.
OPPO Mobile brand entered the Kenyan market in 2015, and has been making inroads in the highly competitive market, riding on its highly-developed camera technology. The company expects to double its market share this year by introducing a series of mobile phones that will revolutionize Smartphone photography.
OPPO gave Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 audiences the first exclusive glimpse of the groundbreaking“5x Dual Camera Zoom” technology, the world’s first periscope-style dual-camera technology for smartphones.
The new technology dubbed 5x incorporates telephoto lens in a smartphone, allowing for 5x zooming. The new camera has both a wide-angle and telephoto lens, while the latter is located in a periscope-style mechanism mounted at an angle of 90 degrees to other internal components.
The position allows the lens to move up and down parallel to the internal PCB (printed circuit board), rather than protruding out from the back panel, like on some other phones. The system allows the lens to have enough space for a longer zoom. Oppo also added a prism at the top of the mechanism, which alters the path of the light entering the camera by 90 degrees and directs photons to the camera sensor.
It offers 5x lossless zoom capabilities, more effective optical image stabilization and enhanced focus. In addition, pictures are less blurry when using longer zoom ranges. Oppo said that it worked on developing the new technology for almost a year and filed more than 50 patents for the new mechanism.
“The ‘5x Dual Camera Zoom’ has opened up yet another realm of possibility in terms of smartphone photography, and is a reflection of our dedication to delivering on what our customers want and need – to take beautiful and clear pictures,” said Li.
The technology was inspired by the idea of a periscope on a submarine. The dual camera utilizes wide-angle and telephoto lenses, and the housing for the telephoto lens uses an innovative periscope-style structure.
This technology has completely re-designed the current standards of dual-camera solutions that can only achieve a 2x zoom; a feature that still disappoints many of today’s demanding mobile users. OPPO strived to achieve a 5x zoom capability that will allow users to fully capture landscapes, portraits and close-ups: all the typical scenarios that are commonly captured in a digital camera.
Leading The Smartphone Industry’s Trends
“We are definitely putting a stake in the ground in terms of technological breakthroughs for mobile photography. The dual cameras with wide-angled and telephoto lens, together with the periscope-style construction, our image fusion technology and the Optical Image Stabilization, edges mobile photography even closer to what digital cameras are capable of doing. Our 5x Dual-Camera Zoom will again set yet another technological standard that others will emulate,” Sky Li opportunely mentioned.
Ever since entering the smartphone market, OPPO has had a singular focus on being a leader in mobile photography. OPPO aimed at solving the core demand of every user’s photography needs to capture beautiful and clear pictures.
One of the first breakthroughs was in 2012, when OPPO started the trend of beautification of selfie pictures. OPPO pioneered the concept of pre-installed beautification feature in smartphone cameras. Today, the beautification feature has become a standard configuration on almost every Android phone. OPPO also leads the selfie-imaging photography segment.
In 2016, OPPO announced the ‘Selfie Expert’ F-series, with the flagship F1 Plus model the first device ever to packa 16-megapixel front camera. In the same year, the brand worked with Sony to co-develop the customized 1/2.8-inch IMX398 sensor with a big f/1.7 aperture for its R9s model.
Now OPPO has announced the release of a new model of phone the A57 that will be followed by a series of phones.
OPPO Performing Strongly
OPPO is now the No. 1 smartphone brand in China with 16.8 percent market share, and the world’s fourth best-selling smartphone brand, according to IDC.OPPO has rapidly expanded globally, totaling 28 global markets, to date.
In Southeast Asia, OPPO has risen to second position in the region in a very short time period, according to IDC. In India, the firm’s share in the offline market rose from 1.2 percent in 2015 to 10.9 percent, as of December 2016, as reported by research firm GfK.
Oppo has yet to announce which new phones will feature the ‘5x Dual Camera Zoom technology, but the company is known to be working on an upcoming flagship, dubbed Oppo Find 9 Oppo rumored to pack both Snapdragon 835 and 653 Chipsets.