Oppo, the smartphone brand that’s powering up to ‘reshape’ the Australian market

OPPO is hoping to reshape Australia's smartphone landscape with its new foldable phone.

OPPO is hoping to reshape Australia's smartphone landscape with its new foldable phone. Photo: OPPO

Smartphone giant Oppo is making a renewed push to capture more of the Australian market, although experts believe those attempts could be thwarted by conservative consumers.

While Samsung and Apple dominate the Australian smartphone market, the relatively unknown Chinese company ranked third – Oppo – wants to win more hearts and minds of tech lovers Down Under.

Oppo’s most recent push into Australia will be highlighted by the mid-November launch of its phone with an incredible folding screen, the Find N3 Fold, one that rivals a similar offering from Samsung.

Paul Budde, an international consultant on the digital economy, telecommunications, smart cities and digital transformation, told The New Daily that sections of the Australian market may stay away from such a brand, even though there might not be anything to worry about.

Oppo’s foldable phone makes the device both a tablet and smartphone. Photo: Getty

Budde said anti-China sentiments driven by recent politics could be a factor for Oppo in Australia, where fellow Chinese smartphone and tech brand Huawei was banned from providing 5G services. 

“When you get the situation where the government starts boycotting Chinese products, particularly in telecommunications, then you’ve got certain people who are taking that more personal than others,” he said.

“I think the younger generation in general will ignore that, but you’ve got conservative people that are then following more the government lines, saying you shouldn’t have Chinese telecommunications equipment.”

Budde said while concerns in the telecommunication space are warranted, he cautioned against buying into conspiracy theories that are spread online and through some media.

He also told The New Daily that the appeal of Oppo’s previous smartphones was that they were accessible thanks to their low price.

While the new Find N3 Fold will not be pitched at an affordable price point, costing $2,699 when it launches in Australia, OPPO does have other smartphones that are around or less than the $300 mark.

“It’s a good phone [brand] with all the features, but it’s significantly cheaper than an iPhone or the top end Android phone, so in in that respect, you know, they are a great option,” he said.

In China and much of Asia, Oppo is among the most dominant smartphone brands.

“If you go to Thailand, Singapore, you see Oppo everywhere, so there is absolutely still an enormous opportunity for Oppo to make more inroads here into the Australian market and, I think, the European markets,” Budde said.

Oppo products have been available in Australia for around a decade, and its Australian managing director, Michael Tran, believes there is much more that can be achieved. 

“We’re still a relatively unknown brand in the Australian market,” he said.

“And that just takes time. The only way we can build our brand reputation is by bringing [out] devices like our Flip early this year.”

Oppo challenges “candy bar” dominance

The Find N3 Fold has an external screen, which looks like most traditional phones when closed, but then it can be opened up like a book, essentially becoming a tablet.

The internal screen features a nearly invisible fold and promises to be the “clearest and brightest of any foldable”.

Oppo launched its Find N3 Flip earlier this year and it exceeded expectations locally.

The Flip is almost like a throwback to the early 2000s, but unlike flip phones from previous decades, and just like the Find N3 Fold, the screen features a water-drop hinge, allowing for an immersive experience and something that is familiar to us all now.

“The new form factor of the last maybe 10 years has always been that candy-bar shape [like an iPhone],” Tran told The New Daily.

He said the renaissance of Oppo’s folding phones are made possible thanks to research and new material.

“It’s not just being able to fold the glass, also being able to follow glass, make sure that the crease is as thin as possible, so you can’t really see it and I think that’s where we’re pushing the innovation in that mobile space,” he added.

Oppo says the N3 Fold has been tested TÜV Rheinland. to withstand one million foldsd.

The camera is a big selling point. 

The Find N3 has three pro-grade cameras on the back –14mm, 24mm and 70mm. Sony’s 48MP LYTIA-T808 sensor is on the foldable, which Oppo says creates more space to receive light, reduces noise and captures “richly detailed photos and videos”.

Perhaps what makes the N3 Fold unique from other popular devices is its ability to multi-task.

The internal screen can run multiple apps at the same time thanks to “Boundless View”, making the need to switch between apps redundant.

The size of each app while using Boundless View is also entirely up to the user, with apps being able to expand or shrink with a simple drag.

A user’s favourite and recently used apps are within reach at all times in the N3’s Global TaskBar.

OPPO N3 Find

OPPO has introduced Boundless View for multitasking. Photo: Oppo

Oppo says it is kinder to the environment by sourcing sustainable materials and cutting down on packaging.

The company says devices like the N3 Fold are intentionally built to last, so users can have them for years. To ensure longevity, the Find N3 will receive four years of software updates and five years of security updates.

Additionally, Oppo has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2050.

The New Daily attended the global launch of the Find N3 Fold smartphone in Singapore courtesy of Oppo. 

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