Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is set to enter the New Zealand market in the wake of introducing its latest model, the R9s into Australia and ramping up its presence there.
Oppo’s executive director for Australia, Michael Tran, told Computerworld that the company was in the process of taking premises and hiring staff in New Zealand, but was unable to give a definite launch date or to provide details of the company’s go to market strategy.
The Oppo brand is already present in New Zealand though Oppo Digital, which sells a range of audio products. However, according to Wikipedia, that company operates independent of smartphone maker Oppo Electronics: both companies are owned by Chinese company BBK Electronics Corporation.
Oppo has to date had a fairly low profile in Australia. According to mobile phone comparison site, whistleout.com.au, Optus and Woolworths offers the Oppo F1 on a number of prepaid plans, and Woolworths has the R9 plus and R9 on 24 month contracts.
Tan said that, with launch of the R9s, Oppo was extending its service provider relationships to include Vodafone and Virgin Mobile. The R9s, which is due to become available on 30 Jan, is already being offered pre-order by JB HiFi for $A598.
The scale of the launch event for the R9s, which has been available overseas since late 2016, suggests Oppo has ambitious plans for Australia and New Zealand. For the launch it held a three hour catered cruise on Sydney Harbour for several hundred guests, and flew over several New Zealand journalists.
Oppo emerged as the lead smartphone vendor in its home market of China in mid 2016, with a 22.9 percent market share, ousting Huawei whose market share shrank 3.4 percent year on year to 17.4 percent, according to research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
The standout features of the new R9s are its front and rear 16megapixel cameras, very fast charging (five minutes is claimed to give two hours talk time) and its dual phase detection autofocus technology, claimed to make for faster focussing even in low light conditions.