Will Oppo succeed in the tightly contested Indian smartphone market?

By June 23rd, 2014 AT 12:33 AM

Oppo, the famous smartphone maker from China, made its entry in India with the launch of N1. It also launched Find 7 and Find 7a recently. They also have some entry-level and mid-range smartphones such as Oppo Joy, Oppo R1 and Oppo N1 Mini. All of these devices are pretty impressive if you consider the hardware specifications. Oppo has done a great job by releasing Find 7 and Find 7a with 4G LTE compatibility in India. Oppo is tying up with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio to offer 4G services to its users. But we know that success in the smartphone market means a lot more than just the hardware.

Oppo Find 7
Oppo Find 7

A better software is necessary in this cut-throat competition

Oppo uses a custom version of Android; Color OS. It is similar to the Amigo OS which is used in smartphones from Gionee. It contains of various features and customisation options which are not present in stock Android. Oppo N1 features CyanogenMod 11 in the international market which receives faster and better Android updates. The Oppo N1 would have received better traction had it featured CyanogenMod instead of Color OS.

Sales Distribution and After-Sales Service can make or break a brand’s reputation

Sales distribution and after-sales service can make or break sales of smartphones in India. A large proportion of consumers in India still prefer buying pretty much everything (including smartphones) through physical retail stores. Oppo hasn’t done very well in terms of sales distribution. Oppo smartphones are available in only 12 cities in India. I’ve heard from smartphone dealers that Oppo is asking them to pay for the stock upfront while every other smartphone allows dealers to pay after they’ve managed to sell them to end customers.

As opposed to Gionee, which claims of having over 500 service centres pan India, Oppo needs to work a lot on that front as well if they wish more sales.

Oppo should push more TV Commercials and Newspaper Advertisements

For better brand recognition, Oppo has used Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor as their brand co-ambassadors. But we’ve not seen many TV commercials from Oppo. In comparison, even small brands like K-Touch have been airing their commercials on television during happening events like IPL. Without proper TV and newspaper coverage, Oppo can only hope to improve brand recognition.

Other than these things, Oppo should also try buyback schemes, discounts and freebies to attract buyers and influencers. Alcatel is already offering some great value with its Idol X+. If Oppo doesn’t improve upon these things, popular upcoming brands like Xiaomi and already well-rooted brands like Gionee will not allow Oppo to establish itself in India.

Computer science engineer turned technology blogger. Following consumer electronics industry closely from 2006, he can now predict pretty much where the market is heading. He has a dream to own Android, Windows Phone and iOS smartphones all at the same time.

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