OPPO Expands Market Share in Europe Despite COVID-19, Signs Deal with Vodafone

The latest data from Canalys revealed that Chinese smartphone company OPPO managed to considerably strengthen its foothold, growing its market share by 1014% year-on-year in Q1 2020, becoming one of the top five largest handset-makers in the region. 

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While global smartphone shipments fell by roughly 13% in Q1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, OPPO managed to keep growing. The company officially entered Europe in June 2018, with the lavish launch of its Find X flagship at the Louvre in Paris and the announcement of a partnership with five major local mobile operators. Together with the operators, OPPO launched the “5G landing plan” in early 2019 and officially launched its 5G commercial smartphone, the OPPO Reno 5G version, in Switzerland.

The company has been taking decisive measures to appeal to European consumers that include direct operation of all after-sales services and international warranty services. To improve the image of its products, the company has even set up a Global Design Center in London. While in marketing, OPPO has relied heavily on its partnership with the Wimbledon Championship and French Open, helping the company reach high-end users.

On May 18, OPPO also announced a comprehensive partnership agreement with major operator Vodafone that will bring a broad range of OPPO’s smartphones to Vodafone’s European markets starting from May 2020. The collaboration between the two companies is expected to accelerate 5G adoption across Vodafone’s international markets. In the first phase, Vodafone will introduce OPPO products across its retail channels in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and the Netherlands. 

“OPPO is confident that our industry-leading products and technologies will enable Vodafone to win new opportunities in the 5G era. Vodafone’s vision that ‘we connect for a better future’ aligns with OPPO’s value of ‘Benfen’ – to do the right thing and provide real value to customers,” said Alen Wu, OPPO’s Vice President and President of Global Sales. “OPPO looks forward to solidifying a long-term win-win relationship with Vodafone to create a better future for our customers in the 5G era.”

An OPPO spokesperson noted that this is a non-equity partnership, “but OPPO and Vodafone are confident the relationship will develop and the collaboration with the two companies will deepen in the future.”

“OPPO will offer its full range of smartphone products to Vodafone and provide strong technical, logistic, and business support through its global teams. OPPO will also work with Vodafone in unlocking the potential of online retail channels to give users more choice,” the spokesperson added.

Commenting on the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the company’s business, the OPPO spokesperson said, “the epidemic inspires OPPO to accelerate the improvement of online capabilities, online and offline integration, and to invest more resources into online. This year, OPPO will enter Germany, Ireland, Romania, Portugal, Belgium and other markets, and Latin America starting with Mexico. More resources will be invested in India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.”