On 18th June 2021, OPPO announced its merger with OnePlus; both Chinese brands that have their segment strongholds in India. With deeper integration on the R&D and operational front, they have a lot they could bring to the smartphone and IoT industry. Let’s have a look at whether this will be the merger that has something for everyone in it.
Launched almost a decade apart, the companies brought to the smartphone industry two very distinct brand personas. OPPO appealed across all segments while OnePlus arrived with exclusivity. With their merger that was announced earlier this year, there is a lot more that can be brought to the table, putting the best of both companies forward. However, will the pros outweigh the cons, and will this merger have the best of both?
Enhanced Software: With the stagnation of innovation lately, OnePlus is expected to get a refresh with OPPO’s faster, cleaner, more intuitive, and better-developed Color OS, along with more stable software updates.
Product Expansion: Being one of the most tech-savvy companies in China, OPPO brings to the market an array of products including AIoT devices that are innovative, competitive, and of undoubted quality which several companies including OnePlus, licence for their own devices. There now is a higher potential to tap into the merged intellectual property of both brands, thus enabling a greater scope of innovation and production and achieving better economies of scale.
Diversification of market spaces: OPPO’s sales strategy has enabled the brand to reach a wider section of India’s retail space, while OnePlus’s premium offering has allowed them to gain a stronghold in India’s Tier 1 and 2 cities. The latter saw its overall smartphone shipments in India grow 300% in Q1 2021, as per a Counterpoint Research report. With sparse presence in the western market, OPPO could use OnePlus’s distribution to gain greater retail stability in newer markets. The merger could help both brands reach audiences better while retaining their respective segments, according to analysts.
Enhanced Customer Support: Since both brands have their respective places in the market, joining forces opens greater business opportunities. Combining after-sales services can help both OPPO and OnePlus merge networks and provide better support to customers.
More for retailers: The coming together of two immensely popular brands has the potential for speedy growth across both online and offline channels, with the symbiosis creating opportunities for retailers. More stores are likely to be opened strengthening the retail footprint of both brands across the globe.
Challenges of the merger
Experts believe both companies need to prevent an overlap within and across channels. OnePlus’s premium approach could be threatened by this merger and have a negative impact on the customer base it has worked strongly to install over the years.
Also, while both brands have assured independence in operations, this merger has left many users perplexed wondering whether OnePlus will become a sub-brand of OPPO. Given that both companies combined their R&D wings much before the merger was announced, loyalists fear the possibility of OnePlus’s brand dilution, which may erase the brand’s well-earned status in the premium segment of the smartphone industry.
Impact on other brands and smartphone industry
Two formidable brands entering the market armed with their respective strengths is likely to offer stiff competition to most brands in the premium and mid-range segment. Since OPPO and OnePlus will now look at offering something for everyone, it is likely to galvanise action across other brands.
From what experts say, this merger definitely has something for everyone if the brands play their cards right in a market that is constantly thirsty for innovation.
Vice President, PredictiVu Pvt. Ltd.
Kunal is a tech enthusiast and the multidimensional insights that data can generate with appropriate deep drive analysis has always intrigued him. He is also a fitness enthusiast and divides his time between the gym and keeping abreast with the latest breakthroughs in the technology space.