OPPO has been in the Australian market for a while, originally breaking into the Aussie market in around 2014. This added another name to the increasing population of the mobile market alongside the likes of Samsung, Moto, Google and several names that have since — largely or completely — left the market; HTC, Huawei, LG and Sony.
In the early stages, it seemed OPPO was there to pick the low-hanging fruit. Grabbing market in the low to mid-tier devices. Right from the outset, my first impression of OPPO was very good with the F1s review in 2016, which, although I personally wouldn’t have purchased one, had some great features worthy of recommendation.
To get some further perspective on OPPO, its position in the market and plans for the future, we approached Michael Tran, Director of Global Marketing and Brand Strategy at OPPO and his comments will be inserted throughout this article.
Consolidation of market share
Over the past few years in particular, OPPO has continued to work hard at delivering quality devices across a range of prices and with features now spanning to the upper echelon of mobile capabilities.
Perhaps it was a little dull from a spectator’s perspective, but OPPO made some smart decisions after entering the Aussie market. Sitting atop the Chinese market for periods, ranking highly in worldwide shipments and being one of Australia’s fastest growing mobile brands highlighted the company’s continuing success and growth between 2016 and 2019, now enjoying great success — as highlighted by Michael Tran — ranked third for smartphone sales in the Australian market for Q1 2022.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though
The smartphone market overall has declined as a result of COVID-19 and the knock on effect this caused to things like chip manufacturing and logistics. However, in markets like Australia, we’re bucking the trend and continuing to grow.
Research from Gartner reflects this, showing that in Q1 of 2022, we’ve seen our unit sales increase to 4.1%, currently ranking OPPO third for smartphone sales within the Australian market. I believe this is reflective of our mission at OPPO to always challenge the norm & to push the boundaries.
While it has largely been a very positive journey for OPPO, there have been bumps in the road. In 2018, our then Editor Scott wrote an open letter to the company regarding some issues he had with ColorOS and a device with some identity issues, something Michael Tran responded to.
This isn’t anything that’s unique to OPPO though, in days gone by I was hugely fond of the Samsung hardware but had a passionate dislike for Touchwiz UI. To their credit — both companies — the invasive nature of features in their Android skins have significantly reduced now to a point where it’s clearly a branded (ie. non-stock) experience, but can be customised to the users preferences rather than the overbearing experience of past.
The experience improved significantly in a very short time, prompting a follow-up from Scott about how quickly he saw OPPO heading to the top of the market. This is complemented by the fact that OPPO hasn’t really had any major hardware issues like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery, Pixel 2 XL screen or even more recently the Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint sensor.
OPPO truly belongs amongst the leaders in the mobile market
Leap forward a couple of years to the release of the OPPO Find X2 Pro. While previous devices have been really good, this was the first device that really met all the marks of a ‘flagship’ device and signalled OPPO having come of age, timing which Michael also confirmed while highlighting the company’s drive to continue developing and delivering a high level customer experience:
OPPO has always found new ways to elevate high-end design and cutting-edge innovation. The launch of the Find X2 series, really allowed us to take a great step within the Australian market as we gave users a taste of a billion-colour experience and an immersive, hyper-responsive 120Hz display. The Find X3 Pro took it up a notch, bringing a new level of display excellence as the first Android device to offer a 10-bit full-path Colour Management System from capture, right the way through to storage and display.
Our latest flagship, The Find X5 series, continues to propel OPPO forward into the high-end market, with its futuristic design, technological innovations and premium International Warranty Service. Every aspect of the Find X5 Series has been tailored to deliver the best possible user experience while breaking new ground in advanced technologies.
Not only was it difficult to pick any major fault with the device, but it was also very easy to like a lot of the features. Charging to full in under 40 minutes, a camera that stood up well to other top-tier devices, plenty of performance to offer and an IP68 rating to protect your device as a long-term option.
OPPO delivered, what I considered to be, the best device of 2020 for $1,599.00, which was a genuinely excellent offering.
Features that matter
As the mobile market evolves, so do users wants and needs. OPPO has continued to stay on top of these trends and adapted with the market offering excellent cameras, now featuring the partnership with Hasselblad after the OnePlus and OPPO operational merger under parent company BBK Electronics.
When it comes to phones and electronics, you generally get what you pay for. One of the areas that OPPO, in particular over the past three years or so, has excelled at is providing great value in whatever OPPO branded device you purchase. This usually results in high-end specs — for the dollar range — giving great user experience and in particular, the screens are generally very good; at the higher end of devices, stunning.
Finally, batteries have become a battleground whether it’s the capability to last all day or the charging speed. SUPERVOOC charging is, in my opinion, the best charging experience for users at this time.
Moving to the top, without forgetting their origins
It’s all well and good to have an all singing, all dancing device but that excludes a huge market share. OPPO hasn’t forgotten this and continues to deliver a consistent range of value for money devices ranging from sub $300 to $1,799.00 for the Find X5 Pro.
On this point, Michael said:
While, we’re extraordinarily proud of our flagship devices and coming out as leading challenger brand, we are still active within the entry-level and mid-tier spaces by offering smartphones at a range of pricepoints to meet the needs of every Australian, and I believe our KSPs, such as our fast-charging technology will continue to give us an edge over other brands.
The future for OPPO in Australia
From a personal standpoint, I see this as a very bright future with continued delivery of high spec devices meeting user needs from Grandma’s first smartphone, to the ultra-premium users who need the best of everything.
Currently the development pathway is, as evidence from the Samsung Unpacked event as well as other joining the foldable party, in fold and flip devices. Something that OPPO is no stranger to with the Find N and X 2021 (concept) devices. From comments offered by Michael, there is clearly a direction from OPPO here that he’s not yet able to share:
Over the next 5 years, I believe we’ll see big developments towards display technology, with a wide range of flexible displays appearing throughout the market. We’ll certainly see a great leap in battery technology, with customers needing to worry less about their battery life as technology develops. From our point of view, all I can say to customers is watch this space. We have some really exciting devices under development which will push the boundaries with what is currently available within the market.
The concept of a battery that you don’t need to worry about even on a long day, is truly an exciting prospect. So we’ll be staying in touch with the OPPO team to be on top of the upcoming devices once information becomes available.
A closing word
Clearly from the information included and the tone of this article, OPPO has been building for some time and have impressed with its direction. There are a lot of reasons to seriously consider an OPPO device from the OS being really user friendly, the screens typically being great quality, good battery life with outstanding charging times and affordable steps in terms of steps and affordability.
One facet of the company pathway that Michael noted was that OPPO also has a sustainability commitment:
We are committed to exercising our corporate social responsibility to address both local and global environmental challenges to proactively make a positive change. The launch of the Find X5 Series marked the commencement of a new partnership with the Taronga Conservation Society, working together to actively reduce the number of smartphones that end up in landfill through a new device donation program to collect, recycle and refurbish unwanted phones, tablets and accessories.
From the very beginning, OPPO has been determined in its pursuit to deliver new innovations, combining advanced technology with beautiful aesthetics. We strive to break free from the standard smartphone mould and surprise and delight our customers with our devices and pioneering spirit. With our long history of innovation, it’s our mission at OPPO to continue to offer customers the best possible experience all the while, sticking to our mission of making premium accessible.
In the early days, I was open minded but somewhat pessimistic to OPPO being in the market. Now though, they’ve continued to build a reputation and develop their standards to a point where I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their mid to high-end devices as not just great value but great performing and well worth the investment.
This article has not been paid for or sponsored by OPPO in any way. The article was near complete when I approached the company for some comments from the Director of Global Marketing and Brand Strategy, which were provided without limitation on how they were to be used I would like to thank both Michael and the Australian PR team for facilitating this information flow.