China

After Dethroning Huawei in China, Oppo Launches High-End Smartphone in Global Push

Oppo
  • Oppo launched the Find X3 Pro on Thursday.
  • The phone's features include a 6.7-inch display, four-sensor camera set up, 5G connection and it uses Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 888 processor.
  • Oppo is hoping the Find X3 Pro will give it a way to boost its market share abroad and take on the likes of Xiaomi, Apple and Samsung.

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese smartphone maker Oppo launched a new flagship device on Thursday as it looks to push further into the high-end market to challenge global giants such as Apple and Samsung.

The Find X3 will be sold in China while the Find X3 Pro will be launched in international markets as Oppo tries to expand its global footprint.

Oppo which is owned by BBK Electronics, has made its name by selling low-cost smartphones with attractive features. That has helped it grow into the world's fourth-largest smartphone player in the fourth quarter. In January, Oppo became the number one smartphone vendor in China for the first time, according to Counterpoint Research.

The Chinese firm has managed to capture demand for 5G devices in China with its low-cost A-series and Reno brands. It has taken advantage of Huawei's smartphone troubles as a result of U.S. sanctions on the company.

Oppo is now hoping the Find X3 Pro will give the Chinese telco a way to boost its market share abroad and take on the likes of Xiaomi, Apple and Samsung.

Oppo Find X3 Pro features

Here are some details about the Find X3 Pro:

  • 6.7-inch so-called AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display
  • 5G-capable
  • Runs on Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 888 processor
  • A 4-sensor camera set up allowing for ultra-wide angle pictures
  • Uses Google's Android operating system
  • Priced at 1,149 euros ($1,374)
The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a 6.7-inch AMOLED curved display.
Oppo
The Oppo Find X3 Pro has a 6.7-inch AMOLED curved display.

Oppo also talked up features for a good mobile gaming experience, which is a key focus for smartphone makers nowadays.

The phone will begin shipping in western Europe from March 30.

International push

Oppo's international push has been ongoing for years since its first overseas launch in Thailand in 2009, followed by India in 2014. The focus was on countries where Oppo's low-cost handsets would thrive.

But expansion has ramped up more recently with Oppo's launch in Europe in 2018 and deals with major mobile networks for distribution, a critical part of growth for smartphone makers in many markets.

Along with Android rivals such as Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo, Oppo will be looking to take advantage of the struggles Huawei has been having overseas.

In 2019, Huawei was put on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List which restricted American firms from exporting technology to the Chinese company. One of the biggest impacts of that was Huawei being cut off from using Google's Android operating system. That's not a big deal in China where Google services such as Gmail and search are blocked. But overseas, consumers are used to Android.

And last year, Washington moved to cut Huawei off from the chips it required for its smartphones. These two actions have hurt Huawei's sales. The Chinese firm's fourth quarter global smartphone shipments fell 41% year-on-year, according to Counterpoint Research. In Europe, it saw a 62% plunge.

"The rise of OPPO can be attributed to being a beneficiary of a big void left by Huawei. And OPPO did capitalise on this opportunity," said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research.

"With X3 Pro, OPPO will be eyeing the tens of millions of Mate and P series Huawei users in China as well as globally," he said referring to Huawei's flagship smartphone range. The X3 Pro will directly compete with these devices.

But in more mature markets like Europe, Oppo will need to build a "high end image" like Apple and Samsung, according to Will Wong, research manager at International Data Corporation, which could be a challenge for Oppo.

"Oppo needs to target those higher income consumers who like to have those high-end products. Launching the Find X3 series is important to build this high-end image," Wong said.

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