OPPO, for the first time, has unveiled its ‘R’ series smartphones in India, with its R17 and the R17 Pro smartphones. While the R17 is priced at Rs 34,990, the much anticipated R17 Pro comes at Rs 45,990. It features some exciting features notably the Super VOOC Flash Charge, which literally can give you 40 percent battery with a 10-minute charge.
Well, that being said, we at PhoneRadar got to interview Mr. Charles Wong, the president of OPPO mobiles in India alongside Mr. Will Yang, who is the brand head for OPPO mobiles India.
The Top 5 Highlights of the Interview
- OPPO planning to launch 5G capable smartphone in 2019
- The first 5G WeChat video call in Shenzhen R&D Center successfully came true
- The Successor to OPPO’s Find X is in the works
- Both the F and A series contributed majorly to OPPO’s market share, in 2018
- OPPO has more than 500 offline stores and 266 retail stores across India
Here are some insights about the OPPO’s upcoming future plans, brand strategies, future of Find X and more –
Amit Bhawani: How has 2018 been for OPPO?
Mr. Charles: We at OPPO, we have seen stable growth in 2018, and we believe we are still growing. Especially in the second half of the year saw a lot of high points with the launch of products from the F series and A series. Both the F and A series contributed majorly to OPPO’s market share. In the F series, we launched the F9 pro in September with VOOC Flash Charge technology.
As per a GFK research, 45% of our market share in the INR 20,000 – 25,000 segment, was attributed to F9 Pro. Meanwhile, in the A series, we launched Bigger and Better devices like the A5 which attributed to 30% of our market share in the 10,000 – 12,000 segment in September. Overall, we have seen stable growth in India this year.
Amit Bhawani: We have noticed that OPPO has launched some premium devices like the Find X. How has the response been for the same?
Mr. Charles: Based on the research done by our teams for local consumers, we know that there is majorly an equal distribution of consumers in all segments. But the 25,000+ segment has a greater consumer base. The reason for the same is that they are more in sync with new and innovative technology and creative functionality. They are always looking for something new and different. This is the reason why we decided to launch the Find X in India, as it is what the consumers were looking for. The technology of pop cameras is one of our best designs, and we were the first ones to launch the same in the industry. With the Find X not only were we giving the consumers a means of communication but a piece of art in the form of a device. This is our vision for our future products as well where we bring together the best of designs and technology.
Amit Bhawani: Successor to OPPO Find X?
Mr. Will: Find X has definitely increased our brand image in India for sure because previous we had only F series in the country for quite a long time. The Find X has definitely shown off our technology and capabilities in our smartphone industry. For the prime consumers, the Find X has given quite a refreshed experience for sure. As Charles said, OPPO has dedicated to bring Art and Technology altogether and create beautiful products as per the consumer’s demand. We also believe year after year as the customers demand increases the technology is also being increased rapidly. So we can say such kind of technology would definitely be grabbed by our R&D departments and more and more Find series products would be released in the future.
Amit Bhawani: What’s the Brand strategy of OPPO for the next two years? What can kind of super smartphones can I look at?
Mr. Will: Firstly, our focus is on the youth – the youth generations because they are the ones that are pretty active in the smartphone industry. And, also India has a very big landscape with huge population; therefore, the chance and opportunities are huge, especially for our newcomers. So, as per the brand’s perspective, if we are talking about relative to the product, we have had a good foundation with three pillar, which is the camera, design, and battery. The upcoming R17 Pro is featuring the new Super VOOC charge capabilities. While we introduced VOOC charge technology recently with F9 Pro, which gave 2 hours talk time for a 5min charge, the new Super VOOC charge can now charge the phone from 0-45% within 10min, and can certainly full charge the device in 40 minutes.
Amit Bhawani: What is OPPO’s Brand strategy for Online smartphone sales?
Mr. Charles: Based on our research, the Indian customers made up 65% of sale through offline buying, and 35% is from online purchasing. Since we entered the Indian market, our strategy was to leave a mark in the offline market. During the development in recent years, we have set up our retail stores in different tiers cities. For better customer service, we have more than 500 offline stores and 266 retail stores across India. But in recent years Online shopping or purchasing has increased. For now, our focus is on promoting brand recall and keeping communicating with our online audience. Consumer behaviour has shifted to online where they get all their information. We have done the same through platforms like Flipkart and Amazon, which like every year helped us secure good digits during Diwali which resulted in sales double from last year.
Amit Bhawani: What’s so special about R17 Pro?
Mr. Will: To me, I first like the design of the R17 Pro, it has this very special gradient color design, and I would like to say this is a very complicated design to achieve it right. As for the screen, it has a 6.4-inch screen, which we call it ‘WaterDrop’ screen. This is because we believe this very minimal bezel screen and that showcases a ‘water drop’ notch. The display also offers a screen-to-body ratio of 91.5%. And, predominantly this is the first smartphone in the world to utilize the Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 6.1 protection. The device also boasts triple cameras set up out of which one has the 12MP sensor and 20MP sensor and also a 3D camera sensor. We believe all these amazing specifications are installed into this R17 Pro smartphone.
Secondly, as stated, it also features groundbreaking Super VOOC technology, and lastly, we have also added variable apertures for the cameras, wherein you can adjust the apertures form as desired, I.e., from f/1.5 to f/2.4 depending on the light-sensitive environments. These adjustable apertures can give capture more light in the darker environments and give you much better photos.
Amit Bhawani: When can we see a 5G handset from OPPO?
Mr. Charles: We got great news around midnight today. Our 5G WeChat video call in Shenzhen R&D Center successfully came true. The engineers globally in 6 R&D Centers used the WeChat video call in OPPO office for more than 17 minutes. This is great news for all of us at OPPO globally. I believe we will bring more great news based on 5G from OPPO HQ soon. The investment of R&D is RMB 400,000,000 for 2018, and we planned another 1,000,000,000 RMB for the year 2019. I have faith that we will achieve new and innovative technology levels soon basis our investment in R&D and hope we can bring more wonderful news for India soon.