It may feel unnatural to associate Oppo — the Chinese homegrown smartphone manufacturer known for its predominance in low-cost Asian markets — with the luxurious Louvre of Paris, but that is where the brand’s flagship model, the Oppo Find X, made its debut on June 19. The phone — priced at $1,150 — unsurprisingly features an edge-to-edge display, yet notably replaces the top-notch camera with a pop-up one, distinguishing itself from other Android flagship models as well as the iPhone X.
Oppo Find X’s astonishing design might have given its Asian rivals a headache, but this product notably marks Oppo’s first official move in North American and European markets, though the exact shipping dates for the device have yet to be announced.
Previously, Oppo has only launched its products within Asia’s developing markets. The product’s ostentatious display in Paris was held prior to its Chinese release event, which will take place on June 29.
On June 1, Oppo posted an image on its official English-language Instagram account, introducing its French, Italian, and Spanish local pages. “We have arrived,” the brand wrote in the three languages.
Another Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Huawei, has already set its sights on Europe, where it has launched higher-end consumer electronics — including the Huawei P20 released in March — and sees itself as a competitor to Apple and Samsung in the region. While the U.S. Federal Communications Commission labeled Huawei a national security threat due to its alleged ties with the Chinese government, the company’s sales numbers in Europe have been remarkable.
As a telecoms network equipment provider, Huawei has close business connections with European telecoms corporations, which help Huawei reach its sales goals through their carrier networks. Oppo, on the other hand, doesn’t currently have such an advantage.
The Find X is, in fact, not exactly Oppo’s first appearance in North America and Europe. OnePlus, an Oppo subsidiary, entered the U.S. market years ago, where it gained popularity among a sizable niche audience of young users seeking alternatives to popular Android models. While OnePlus could perhaps compete with U.S. startups like Essential, its market share is still nowhere close to those of the sector’s major players, as the brand is largely unfamiliar to mainstream American consumers.
Oppo wants to expand into Europe and North America, and releasing a fancy-looking flagship model inside a sumptuous French palace is only an illustration of its future overseas ambitions. “We were performing well in the Chinese market, so we entered the Southeast Asian and Indian markets. But in each market, we must not just scratch the surface. We must go deeper as we expand,” said Chen Mingyong, CEO of Oppo Electronics, at an event in January.
(Photo from OPPO)