Oppo eyes HK market after overtaking Apple in global shipment

August 20, 2019 12:25
Oppo is expected to officially launch in Hong Kong in October at the earliest. Photo: CNSA

Oppo, one of the leading Chinese smartphone brands, is reportedly entering the already congested Hong Kong market, hoping its catchy designs and outstanding camera features will win new fans in the city.

This comes as Oppo has overtaken Apple as the third-largest smartphone brand in terms of global shipments, according to the latest industry report.

Market sources said Oppo is in discussion with mobile phone operators and retail chain stores about its plan to establish a foothold in Hong Kong. The brand is expected to officially launch in the market in October at the earliest.

While Oppo has not issued an official response to the reports, entering Hong Kong is considered a natural move for the brand since it has been in the Taiwan market for years.

Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Honor, Vivo and Lenovo have long been selling their smartphones through official dealers in Hong Kong, while OnePlus is selling through its official website.

These Chinese smartphone brands have found a highly responsive market in the city as Hong Kong consumers are known to be willing to try out products that offer new features.

OnePlus 7 Pro, for example, has seen strong demand since its debut in May due to its triple camera system and the smooth Android experience it offers.

Huawei's partnership with German camera and lens maker Leica has significantly contributed to making the Chinese brand one of the top global players and facilitated its entry into the high-tier market.

Xiaomi and Vivo, meanwhile, appeal to price-conscious users who are also looking for outstanding phone features.

Chinese brands have highlighted their unique features and advantages to build their fan base and increase their market share.

Oppo is not without its own attributes to capture the interest of Hong Kong buyers. First, the brand is known for innovation. Oppo has always managed to surprise fans by coming up with new designs and hardware specifications.

The Oppo Reno series, launched in the first half of this year, features a pivot rising structure that hides the front camera and provides a full-screen experience for users. It also comes with a triple camera structure with 10x optical zoom, night-scene setting and dual optical stabilization system.

Hong Kong will launch 5G service as early as April next year, and smartphone makers need to prepare for the launch of their own 5G products by conducting network tests and addressing other issues.

Oppo, like several other Chinese smartphone makers, has already launched its 5G smartphones and has been selling them in Europe over the past several months.

It is likely that Oppo will enter the Hong Kong market with 4G handsets to build its brand in the market, and then introduce its 5G products in time for the launch of the 5G service in the city in April next year. 

Xiaomi, Huawei and One Plus are also preparing to launch their own 5G handsets in Hong Kong next year. 

According to Counterpoint Research, Chinese brands Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Realme cornered a combined market share of 42 percent in the second quarter.

This is their largest market share so far, and they achieved it even when global smartphone shipments fell 1.2 percent year-on-year to 360 million units during the period. This indicates that Chinese smartphone makers were gaining market share from other brands like Apple and Samsung.

In fact, the global smartphone market has shrunk by around 4 percent, according to the latest IHS Markit report. 

Apple is now in the fourth place, the report said, with an 11 percent share of the market. Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo occupied the top three positions during the quarter, while Xiaomi took the fifth spot.

Oppo was among the strongest players, with its shipments jumping 13 percent to 36.2 million units.  Apple's iPhone shipments, meanwhile, dropped 14.6 percent to 35.3 million units.

Xiaomi shipped 31.9 million units during the quarter for a 10 percent market share.

Again, this indicates that Oppo is gaining from Apple's decline. Apple has been facing a tough battle in China and India in recent years. Oppo, on the other hand, is gaining strength in these two markets in view of its high price to function ratio as well as innovative features.

And since Oppo will be among the first brands to launch 5G smartphones in the market, more users are likely to try the brand for their phone upgrade.

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJ Insight writer