Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO doesn't seem to be in a hurry to launch a new flagship device, seemingly content with its success in the midrange space. Speaking to WhistleOut at Mobile World Congress, OPPO Australia Director of Marketing Michael Tran said the company is currently continuing to focus on bang-for-buck devices.
"We haven't had a flagship since 2014, I don't know if we will have a flagship any time soon," said Tran. "Right now, we're focusing purely on the success of the R9s and R9. R9 was the number one selling phone in China, it helped us surpass the Apple iPhone and become number one in China. We're seeing great success internationally too."
In Australia, for example, Tran says OPPO's F1s was currently one of the top 10 selling smartphones in Australia, and is pretty chuffed with the number of new retail partnerships the company has achieved in the last 12 months, including JB Hi-Fi, Woolworths Mobile, Optus, Virgin, Vodafone, and Officeworks.
Tran attributes OPPO's local wins to bringing in products that "resonated with Australian consumers".
"I think it’s the fact that we're offering a premium device at an affordable price point," said Tran.
"Australian consumers are conscious about how they spend their money. Would you rather pay $1000 for a phone, or $500 for a phone and spend that money somewhere else?"
Tran isn't sure for how long expensive flagship smartphones will stay relevant, but says regardless of how much you're spending, devices are becoming so similar that the only difference is "the way you market yourself".
Tran's comments followed OPPO's Mobile World Congress keynote, where the company announced new camera technology which it says will allow for lossless 5x zoom in smartphones. Tran hopes we'll see the tech in a new OPPO device before the end of the year, but isn't 100% sure if that will happen yet.
OPPO Australia contributed funding toward WhistleOut's trip to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress