Globally Oppo ranks fourth behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei
Latest news : With its army of salespeople and vast network of outlets, a relatively new smartphone maker has exploded in popularity to overtake global giants Apple and Samsung in China’s market – and now it has its eye on the West.
Oppo began life selling DVD players in the in the southern manufacturing hub of Dongguan a little more than a decade ago and only broke into the handset market in 2011.
But with an aggressive marketing strategy and concentration on bricks-and-mortar stores in small and medium- sized cities — rather than relying on online customers — sales have soared.
Last year it had a market share of 16.8 per cent making it the China market leader and while a slip in the first three months of 2017 put it just behind local rival Huawei, according to market analyst IDC, it remains well ahead of Apple and Samsung.
Globally it ranks fourth behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei.
While its rivals focus on the premium end of the smartphone market in major cities and online, Oppo makes relatively cheap devices — its latest model is less than half the price of an iPhone 7.
Oppo also sells them in actual shops. It has 200,000 outlets across China — less than 10 per cent of its purchases are made online — while retailers are offered generous commissions in exchange for promoting the brand.
“In small cities, consumers unfamiliar with smartphones need to see and touch the devices and to have salespeople there to help them,” said Yi Jun, Oppo’s international sales director.