Chinese brand Oppo attacks Samsung and Apple, little chance of success

Chinese smartphone brand Oppo, which has seen its market share plummet partly due to anti-China sentiment in markets such as Australia, the United States and Europe, is back with new high-end smartphone models as it tries to take on market leaders Samsung and Apple.

Oppo management says it plans to double shipments of high-end devices this year despite chip shortages, but it hasn’t said how it intends to overcome anti-China sentiment in markets such as China. United States, one of the markets they are looking for. to for growth.

Billy Zhang, vice president of overseas sales and service at Oppo, says the overall smartphone market is expected to grow by 5%.

He claims that Oppo has grown by 140% in the high-end smartphone market despite the latest data from IDC revealing that Oppo’s overall market share fell by 11.1% last year.

“We certainly expect to outpace the growth of the overall market,” Zhang told Nikkei Asia.

“Our goal is to double our premium smartphone shipments in 2022 after seeing 140% growth in the premium segment last year, compared to 2020.”

Chinese management says it shipped 145.1 million smartphones last year, up 22% from 2020, not according to global research firm IDC.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​Oppo unveiled its new flagship Find X5 series with an in-house developed processor.

Dubbed MariSilicon X, Oppo describes it as a neural processing unit that uses custom AI algorithms to handle images and video.

The company says the chip’s goal is to deliver better photographic performance, including high-quality 4K video, even when shooting at night.

This is the same strategy that Samsung has developed for its new line of Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphones.

“Image and video quality is always something we want to improve. … We realized that only by building an additional image processor ourselves could we program our own advanced algorithms and customize the features we want in the device and make our camera capability stands out from the competition,” Zhang said.

Behind Oppo’s first specialized chip for image and video processing was an engineering workgroup of more than 1,000 people and more than three years of development, Zhang said.

The internal processor adds to the standardized chipsets provided by Qualcomm and MediaTek and works closely with the overall camera module. “All these chips and all these components have to be coordinated with each other. We have worked closely with these vendors from day one to better integrate all technologies and optimize performance,” he said.

Zhang added that his company would continue to explore key areas to improve user experience and would not rule out the possibility of developing more chips in-house for its various devices.

Oppo’s domestic rivals Xiaomi and Vivo are also boosting their in-house semiconductor design capability, while Samsung and Apple have long designed multiple chips, including high-end mobile processors, for their own products. Nikkei Asia reported earlier that Oppo is also developing cutting-edge mobile chipsets in-house for its future smartphones.

Oppo’s production sites are based in China, India, Indonesia, Algeria and Bangladesh. As part of its global expansion efforts, the company is looking to outsource sourcing.

Markets where Oppo has had great success include Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, and the Philippines.

“Oppo’s strategy to prioritize and grow its premium smartphone sales makes sense when chip and component supplies aren’t sufficient,” Joey Yen, technology analyst at IDC, told Nikkei Asia. “We see that the average selling price of Oppo’s smartphones has continued to grow from 2020 to 2021, based on our internal surveys.”

“Looking forward, Oppo may need to continue providing unique selling points such as photography and charging features, which were previously its core strengths, to compete and outperform a maturing market,” Yen said. .

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