Recently, OPPO replaced Huawei as the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world’s largest smartphone market. It is also fourth largest manufacturer globally next to Samsung, Apple, and Huawei. Unlike the other three brands, the reach of the OPPO smartphones is limited to just Asia and few African countries. Now the company is rumored to enter the U.S market by the end of this month. However, we still can’t confirm this news as the company is yet to respond officially. With its focus on smartphone photography, the OPPO R9 and R9 Plus which are launched in the first half of 2016 are a huge hit in China.
In its expansion plans, the company is now eyeing big on the U.S market with more than 1,100 patents out of which 200 are globally registered. ZTE had some good presence in the U.S markets with its own Axon series and carrier-exclusive affordable devices. LeEco, Huawei, and Honor are already selling their smartphones in the U.S; soon Xiaomi might also start selling their devices. A couple of months back, Xiaomi had launched the Mi Box, an Android TV Set-top Box and also confirmed to make a global announcement at the upcoming CES 2017.
OPPO is a part of BBK Electronics which also owns Vivo and OnePlus brands. However, OnePlus has been successful in establishing as a global brand, and if OPPO is well received in the U.S, we expect the company to explore more and more markets in the coming days. It’s not an easy task to make an impact on the foreign soil, even Apple’s market share in China has decreased from double digit to single digit in 2016. Unlike in China or India, the success of the smartphone brands in the U.S is completely based on the Carrier’s integration.
Even the software also matters on par with the hardware, with its fully customized Color OS, we don’t think the company will make any impact. The company should have a separate UI at least for the U.S market, even the Moto and ZUK smartphones have a separate UI for the Chinese variants. Apart from the UI, the software updates matter the most at least for the high-end devices. Just last month, the company had finally updated its ColorOS from Android 5.1 Lollipop to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We don’t think the OPPO devices will get Android 7.0 Nougat anytime soon.
With its offline first strategy, the company had already topped the list in the China and is the fastest growing brand in India, the second largest smartphone market. We expect the OPPO’s further increase in the global market share will mostly depend on this new market explorations. If this news turns out to be true, we might see the official announcement in the next few days. Stay tuned on Phone Radar for more details!