Oppo sets its sights on high-end market

Oppo sets its sights on high-end market

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is homing in on the high-end market to drive growth in this flourishing segment while supply shortages still mar the industry, pushing up the prices of handsets by up to 20% overall.

In 2021, Thailand's smartphone market was worth 165 billion baht, up 13% year-on-year, according to global research firm Canalys.

"The current economic situation and Omicron have made the local smartphone market quiet over the past 1-2 months," said Chanon Jirayukul, senior executive vice-president of Thai Oppo Co.

A supply shortage is still affecting the global smartphone market, he said, adding the prices of smartphones have surged 10-20% due to the shortfall.

It remains difficult to predict the overall smartphone market this year as it would depend on various factors, such as purchasing power, supply situation, the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, Mr Chanon said.

However, he stressed that the high-end market is still seeing strong purchasing power and Oppo has had ambitions to increase its footprint in this segment since 2018.

"We are putting our efforts in innovation and our own tech development with 5 billion yuan in R&D over the past three years," Mr Chanon said. The firm has applied for registration of more than 77,000 patents while having more than 38,000 patents registered globally.+

To keep its momentum in the high-end segment, the firm launched its flagship smartphone Oppo Find X5 Pro 5G, equipped with a MariSilicon X imaging NPU, based on a 6-nm process crafted for top tier imaging performance to capture 4K Ultra Night video across wide and ultra-wide cameras.

It also runs an advanced artificial intelligence noise reduction algorithm designed by the Oppo Research Institute, which can detect and reduce noise in each frame, pixel by pixel, while preserving finer detail, skin tone and colour accuracy, he said.

"Imaging NPU is the biggest leap we've taken so far, which brings more power to mobile imaging systems and will create experience to users," Mr Chanon said.

The handset uplifts the mobile experience across design, imaging, battery tech and performance, he said.

This is evident in "blind booking" -- the reservation of products before they are launched -- which saw a surge of 30-40% versus a flagship model rolled out last year.

This new model will trigger Oppo's popularity in the premium segment, he said. It will be available from April 30.

This flagship phone was also co-developed with Hasselblad, the renowned camera system developer.

"We will invest more across the board in terms of marketing by comparing features of video captures with rivals, coverage of service centres as well as providing a quick fix service within an hour," he said.

"We believe we still have room for Oppo to gain share for new replacement in the high-end market," he said.

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