Investors continue to mull mixed signals from the US Federal Reserve, continuing concerns about monetary policy tightening and a possible recession in the world’s largest economy
The BoE has spooked everyone by forecasting a peak in the rate above 13% this northern hemisphere autumn
Judge provided a temporary interdict against seizures until the industry’s internal appeal against the department’s decision that some labels are unlawful is complete.
The finance minister says the allegations are ‘fashioned to achieve narrow and selfish political ends’
Business Day TV spoke to Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala
Spending allocations to increase to R812bn for the next three years, says finance minister
Food Safety Agency tells retailers and food producers it will seize vegan products with names that it says are for meat
The referendums may be held as late as January because Russian troops haven’t taken full control of the areas the Kremlin seeks to claim as its own
Anrich Nortjé took three wickets in the space of 10 balls to rip through the heart of the English batting
The luxury champagne lounge and cocktail bar is serving up a decadent high tea
Oppo, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker, continues to see promise in SA, having managed to sell more than half a million devices, or just under 2% of the market share, since entering the local market less than two years ago.
Having grown sales seven-fold over the last year, these figures show there is still room for other players in a market dominated by the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Apple.
SA has proven tough for some Chinese tech firms to conquer. Didi, the e-hailing platform worth almost twice as much as Bolt at $7bn, failed to make inroads locally, shutting its SA operations in April after just a year in the market. While China’s largest e-hailing service did not disclose its reasons for leaving SA, the venture had not yielded enough to stay, especially as the company had seen the country as its launch pad for operations across the continent.
While still a small player in SA’s smartphone market, Oppo appears more optimistic, encouraged by 2021’s sales growth.
Founded in 2004 and based in Shenzhen, which is often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley”, Oppo has grown to become the largest smartphone player in that country.
Liam Faurie, head of go-to-market and operations at Oppo SA, says coming into the market during the pandemic was difficult but the move has paid off.
“We started off with one model initially. We now have seven models in our range. We’ve got more than 500,000 happy ‘Oppoers’ in South Africa. That’s seen us hitting about double digital market share in postpaid,” he said in an interview with Business Day.
Samsung dominates SA’s smartphone market, with 48.4% of the pie, according to data from web analytics firm Statcounter. Oppo is still small with 1.8%, while Huawei has 22.3% and Apple 16.4%.
In a country of about 58-million people, SA had 23.3-million smartphone users by December, according to German consumer data company Statista.
Oppo said in May 2021 it had sold more than 60,000 devices locally since it established a local presence in September 2020. This indicates a six- to seven-times growth in devices sold in the year since.
Given their range of products, Faurie says Oppo primarily focuses on selling devices in the R3,000-R15,000 range, sold at about 7,000 points around the country. Like a number of other phone makers, the company has chosen to sell its devices through third parties, without its own retail locations. Brands like Apple and Samsung employ the same strategy but tend to have a few high-end locations at places like Mall of Africa or Sandton City.
In addition to smartphones, the company recently launched other products such as smartwatches and has a partnership with Rain, to whom it supplies 5G routers for the mobile operator’s fixed internet service.
In exploring new markets, it’s likely the company is looking to replicate its success in the rest of Africa where it accounts for just under a fifth of all smartphones.
The company is undertaking a branding drive, having signed deals to back SA Fashion Week and Orlando Pirates football team as a way to market its public image.
Would you like to comment on this article? Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.