Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo on Wednesday unveiled its RENO line of devices and chose the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the stage for the international launch.
The company, which ranked 4th in worldwide sales in the final quarter of 2018, is now targeting the Middle East, and in particular the Gulf.
"This is one of the fastest growing markets across the whole world, and this is a very important market for Oppo business. We can see the business growth and at the same time we can see the average selling price is especially high," said Andy Shi, President of Oppo Maintenance Engineering Analysis.
Those deeper pockets might explain why earlier this year Oppo moved their Middle East and Africa base from Cairo to Dubai
Compared to the likes of South-East Asia, this isn’t Oppo’s biggest market, but they are hoping to try and double sales here in the next year, driven by the likes of this new smartphone offering, but the real change could come when 5G is readily available.
The UAE is attempting to become one of the first countries to make 5G commonplace. And here Oppo announced a so-called 5G landing project aimed at intensifying development with local telecoms providers.
"We already launched the first 5G device that is commercially available in Switzerland just a week ago and also in the Middle East region we launched our partnership with Etisalat for our first 5G commercial test in the region and we’re working with some of the leading carriers in the region, we’re targeting at being the first one to bring 5G smartphones commercially available as well," said Shi.
The Internet of things might be becoming more important than the selfie. But this isn’t an exact science, with few precise timelines. Not least because the ecosystem required is still untested on a wide scale.
"Only after the penetration rate of 5G smartphones reaches a certain threshold, general consumers will be able to enjoy the full benefits of 5G technology," said Henry Tang, Director of Standards from Oppo.
Chinese competitor Huawei is also laying its 5G foundations. Partnering with regional telecoms providers Etisalat, Du and Saudi Telecom are to build infrastructure across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. By June it hopes to roll out a network in neighboring Bahrain. Oppo isn’t the only smartphone provider racing to unlock 5G’s potential.