Oppo has less than a year in the SA market, having established its local presence in September.
Oppo has less than a year in the SA market, having established its local presence in September.
Image: kantver/123RF

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk about SA’s smartphone market with one of the world’s large device manufacturers, Oppo.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Liam Faurie, head of go to market and operations at Oppo SA.

Based in Shenzhen, often referred to as China’s Silicon Valley, Oppo is the world’s fourth largest smartphone brand by devices sold. It has also grown to become the largest smartphone player in China.

The company was founded in 2004, making consumer electronics such as Blu-ray and DVD players, then making phones in 2008.

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The company has less than a year in the SA market, having established its local presence in September. Despite launching in the middle of the pandemic and lockdown, Faurie says the brand has been “well received”, with more than 60,000 devices sold locally to date.

Despite its range of products, Faurie says Oppo primarily focuses on selling devices in the R3,000-R15,000 range.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

The smartphone maker has no plans to manufacture devices in SA, choosing rather to import from its home country as the brand gains traction locally. However, the company has about 200 people manning its SA operations.

The discussion focuses on the size and scope of Oppo’s operation globally and in SA; how Oppo plans to differentiate itself from its competitors in the smartphone industry; market dynamics in the local smartphone market; how Oppo navigates being potentially blacklisted like Huawei; whether the company plans to open a factory in Africa to manufacture its phones; how the brand has performed in other emerging markets; Oppo’s relationship with its sister brands such as Vivo and OnePlus; and the relationships built with local mobile operators. 

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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