Why OPPO chose to launch a foldable in South Africa

OPPO has officially been operating in South Africa for three years, and in that time carved out a solid space for itself in the mid-range to premium mid-range smartphone sector, launching solid value for money Android devices.

Last week, however, represented a first for the company as it launched the new Find N2 Flip 5G.

This device represents two firsts for OPPO, as it is the first foldable that it has started to sell locally, as well as being the first in the Find series. As such, it is notable on a couple of fronts and potentially hints at the company evolving its strategy when it comes to bringing devices to South Africa.

As we have seen to date, only a handful of manufacturers have continued with the foldable trend of a few years ago, with Samsung in particular leading the way. This begs the question as to why OPPO has chosen to enter the fray now?

To gain a insight into precisely why, we sat down with Liam Fourie, OPPO SA’s head of operations and go to market.

Hypertext: The Find N2 Flip represents OPPO’s first foldable officially launched in South Africa. What was the decision-making behind bringing this kind of premium device into the country?

Liam Fourie: A foldable is what we see as the next trend in smartphone evolution. The smartphone is changing, and I think we’re on the cusp of an era where the smartphone will fold, or flip, or stretch, and that is the purpose as to why we wanted to bring this device to SA.

To show that we have the capability of doing this. To show that OPPO is a smart device leader and an innovator at heart.

You can see by the technology that we have brought out, it is the first Find phone in South Africa, and the Find is always about the best of the best technology.

But why the flip phone? It’s simply just so cool. You’ve seen the reaction to it from people when it is opened up versus just another glass slab, and this new phone answers the question of what next?

Hypertext: What are your thoughts on foldables in SA in general. Is there indeed an appetite for these premium devices?

LF: Yes. If you look globally, foldables are growing year-on-year, and all the OEMs have released foldables. I feel that we have a strong winner on our hands, and we’ve seen the early results, with Europe selling very well.

We’ve actually ordered our third batch of stock already, so that’s already shown us that there is demand for it.

Sure it’s not a mainstream product. It’s not going to outsell the Reno for example, but at the end of the day it is a step forward for the industry, and our users as well.

Hypertext: We’re aware that OPPO does not look to bring up its competitors, however, the new Find N2 Flip will undoubtedly be compared to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4. What features on your device do you believe stand out?

LF: There are a number of aspects that I’m really proud of with this phone.

The quality for one, with it capable of folding up to 400 000 times. I don’t think there are other manufacturers making those kinds of statements, and that is what I’m very proud of. That we can feel reassured that if we put the product into your [customers] hands, you will love it, you will enjoy it, and you will buy future OPPO phones.

Number one is quality for us. 400 000 folds equates to roughly 100 folds per day over the next 10 years.

Second is the battery health engine, where we guarantee 80 percent battery health after 1 600 discharge cycles. Industry standard is 800, so we’re doubling it, which translates to four years in terms of the guarantee.

Some of the other features include a nice large cover screen, which allows you to do a lot more with the phone, without actually having to open it.

The last thing worth mentioning is Hasselblad, plus Super VOOC, and MariSilicon X.

Hypertext: As this is the first Find that OPPO has brought to SA, what does the rest of the year hold in terms of new devices landing locally?

LF: We will continually look at this market, and continually look at bringing more innovative products to this market. That said, you’ll have to watch this space to see what we have in store down the line.

Hypertext: Lastly we wanted to talk about OPPO-branded accessories. What is the outlook in terms of ensuring retailers and channels are well stocked with options for customers?

LF: On the Find N2 Flip there will be some fashion cases, along with the OPPO Band 2 and Enco Buds. We’re planning to bring a new Enco series into the country – the Enco Air 2 Pro.

We’re also very excited about the collaboration with Rich Mnisi, who designed an exclusive case for the Find N2 Flip. The first users who buy the phone can experience those, and then we’re having discussions about actually putting the cases on sale.

On the retail side we pride ourselves on being the best company to partner with. We’re investing heavily in our local team, building it to work with our retail partners and ensuring that they are able to highlight our most innovative products to customers.


About Author


Related News