From rotating to hidden motorised camera, 5x zoom to VOOC charging – 2018 has been a standout year for the Chinese handset maker Oppo from a tech standpoint.
From rotating to hidden motorised camera, 5x zoom to VOOC charging – 2018 has been a standout year for the Chinese handset maker Oppo from a tech standpoint. “As per recent reports, we are in the top 5 smartphone brands in India. Our brand has always focused on growth and innovation,” says Will Yang, brand director, Oppo India. “In the last one year, our R&D team has worked towards better understanding demands of Indian consumers. Along with camera technology, we are also focusing on an overall smartphone experience with battery and design innovations,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview.
Oppo has positioned itself as an enabler of selfies? What innovations is the company bringing in this segment?
Our brand has always focused on growth and innovation. In 2017, we brought in the first Artificial Intelligence beauty technology feature in a smartphone. In 2018, we came out with the AI Beauty 2.0 feature which was another ground-breaking technology for our consumers, taking a step in the world of AI technology. We strongly believe that every technology has a certain time to be introduced and that depends on market and consumer readiness. Basis our research we understood that selfie is a trend amongst the Indian youth and they were looking for a camera that could help them take natural and perfect selfies. Hence our AI technology was actually put to use by our consumers and has enabled them to simplify their lives. This is just the beginning and we will keep investing in the Artificial Intelligence sphere to enhance the users experience.
Our product strategy has been based on three key focus areas: design and photography innovation and fast charge technology. These three pillars are salient for us throughout the globe. In India, we started out with a focus on photography especially selfie technology for the youthful consumers. Our Selfie Expert F series – F1, F3, F5, F7 and the very recently launched F9 Pro have all been appreciated for their breakthrough
camera technology. In the last one year, our R&D team has worked towards better understanding demands of sIndian consumers.
Tell us how 2018 has been a standout year for Oppo from a tech standpoint?
This year keeping in mind our aim to design products that resonate with the consumers and combines superior aesthetics, technology, and quality we launched Oppo Find X. With Find X, we set out to design a product that is a combination of art and innovative technology, both intrinsic to the core of our brand. We not only wanted to build a powerful and full-screen phone, but a truly beautiful one as for OPPO a smartphone is not just a communication tool, but a piece of art – which is what the Find X represents.
Hence, the journey has been nothing less than extraordinary with 2018 being a standout year from a technology standpoint – be it with a motorised camera in Find X or fast charging of OPPO F9 Pro, powered by VOOC charging capabilities. With continuous efforts and innovative technology breakthroughs we have made a place for ourselves in the heart of Indian consumers.
How are these innovations helping the brand to stand out among different brands?
At Oppo, we believe the most important thing is to do our best. We believe that true innovation is about making your life beautiful. Oppo is consistent in developing and delivering the best technology possible and offering the best products to its customers and we are aiming to be one of the top premium mobile brands here in India.
Oppo’s strategy is “Simple and Focused”. In terms of product level that means investing in constructing premium products and focusing company resources on creating the best experience to its consumers, to cater their real demand. Oppo’s product strategy is based around three key pillars, Design, Photography and Battery Solutions. With the best product, the success following naturally. The success of entry level budget segment A-series, mid-segment F-series and premium segment with Find X is a key indicator of this. As a smartphone company that is driven by innovation and having provided one technology innovation after the other consistently, we have made major investments in excelling the camera photography technology over the years with many breakthroughs to help consumers capture cherished moments in life easily, especially in selfie taking. This is where we differentiate ourselves from other brands.
How has been the performance for OPPO as a brand in recent years?
In the last 2 years, our marketing & branding strategy has had an extremely rewarding 360-degree approach in India. We are present on all platforms that the youth would be interested in. We are closely knit with two of the most followed platforms in India – Entertainment and Cricket. We are the only smartphone brand to be working with the Women’s Cricket Team as partners because we understand the sport’s social impact and the need to empower its future stars. The overall idea is to connect with the youth and offer experiences that go beyond the product experience. We are focused on creating the strongest offline distribution channel and thus are widely spread across the country.
All this has led us to be in a leading and growing position in India. As per recent reports, we are in the top 5 smartphone brands in India—No 4 as per Counterpoint (Q2 2018—10% market share) and No. 3 as per IDC (Q1 2018 – 7.4% market share). Globally we are present across 31 global markets (recently entered Europe). Our products and services are enjoyed by over 200 million young people around the world.
We believe that our product speaks for itself and that is what has earned us love and appreciation from our consumers. While the youth loves our products, we aim to connect with them across different platforms and create a unified brand experience for them. These platforms include Bollywood, Entertainment and Sports. Oppo has been actively engaging with youth through these platforms.
Our brand ambassadors help us in engaging a larger audience thanks to their huge fan following. We feel by leveraging partnership with these influencers from various walks of life, we have connected with the Indian customers closely.
When you look at your shipping data, what’s the kind of growth you are experiencing there?
We have witnessed tremendous quarter-on-quarter growth in terms of devices shipped. As per IDC, in Q2 2018, Oppo witnessed a healthy year-on-year growth of 15.2%, which is testimony
to the brand’s success in India in the last 1 year.