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Oppo has proven that you don't always need to be a household name or have a massive online marketing campaign to find success in the mobile industry. Seemingly out of nowhere, the Chinese electronics maker captured the top spot in the smartphone market in its home country according to data from research firms Counterpoint and IDC.
In the year-ago quarter, Oppo controlled just nine percent of the market according to IDC with 9.8 million shipments. In the most recent quarter, that figure shot up to 20.1 million shipments, representing 17.5 percent of the market.
How has Oppo managed to outpace giants like Apple, LeEco, Samsung and Xiaomi without a massive online push? The old fashioned way - lots of hard work (and cutting out the middleman).
Rather than relying on wireless carriers to do the heavy lifting, Oppo has built a huge retail presence across China and other parts of Asia. As Reuters highlights, sales representatives at these stores earn commission on each device sold meaning there's incentive to excel at their job rather than stand around and collect a paycheck.
Outside of its walls, Oppo has blitzed traditional advertising channels like billboards and airwaves with advertisements based on the endorsements from top Asian pop stars. A Shijiazhuang, Hebei-based executive with a mobile phone distributor that sells many rival brands tells the publication that no other brand can match Oppo's sales bombardment tactic.
The company also handles most of the design and manufacturing tasks associated with its devices rather than outsourcing such duties to contract manufacturers.
Whether or not this tactic is sustainable over the long haul remains to be seen. The amount of money Oppo spends on marketing is higher than brands with an online focus and is increasing at a "rapid clip." Analysts say this is fine while the company is expanding so quickly but may not be sustainable once growth slows.