Sino Market Research, a research firm based in China, released a sales estimation for Q1 2018 in China. To everyone’s surprise, Oppo placed in the first spot, and Vivo follows. Their devices are comparatively average; why are they leading the market?
Jack of all trades, master of none
Oppo doesn’t promise a phone that’ll give you amazing performance, neither does vivo. They build their products using low-cost and flimsy materials, but their design is class-leading.
The classic rule of marketing is being followed– advertise your flagship properly and people will go into your store to buy a phone, no matter how terrible it is. In markets like China, a phone needs to be functional enough and cheap. Oppo’s A37 costs lower than Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4, in chinese markets. tThe specs aren’t upto the mark. But who cares? It has a camera that makes you look pretty, makes phone calls, runs WeChat.
Marketing done properly
Think of what you want in your phone. A nice camera, intuitive interface, aesthetically pleasing design and functional usage. What’s the first thing that popped up in your mind? Probably a Samsung or Apple flagship. But sir, can I interest you in the specifications of the Oppo R15 Pro, the Oppo flagship through which this chinese company is currently dominating the chinese smartphone market? An AMOLED display, similar to Samsung’s flagship. A Snapdragon 660 chipset, setting the benchmark for mid-ranger performance in smartphones. Cutting edge front and rear camera, and a respectable 3400 mAh battery. Sounds about perfect, right? The rest of china agrees with you.
The R15 pro, Oppo’s flagship, costs around 550 USD in China. Sure, it offers mid-ranger performance. But everything else is functional enough to act as a daily driver. For comparison, almost every single flagship from the last year has seen a massive price hike, peaking around 1000 USD at times. Why would you not buy a phone that looks like an iPhone X, for half the price? And it’s not like the phone’s utter crap. It works flawlessly.
For the people
The chinese market has divided into many segments, and mobile phone companies understand it. It’s not like mobile gaming market has been on the low, it’s been a thing for the past few years; atleast in China. But coincidentially, when Razer tapped into this market segment for gaming-focused phones, other manufacturers jumped on it too. What the manufacturers don’t realize is, the general populus doesn’t care about a phone with beefed up specs and trillion gigabytes of RAM. They want a phone that lasts them all day and a great camera, both up front and back. Vivo and Oppo have realized exactly this, tapping into this market and achieving groundbreaking sales; simply because their competitors aren’t advertising the camera modules properly.