Times are a-changing in a mobile phone landscape where brands like BlackBerry, HTC and Sony have almost completely lost their relevance, Microsoft lacks focus, and Nokia looks to rise from the proverbial ashes… at some point in the future.
Granted, Samsung and Apple’s industry duopoly remains unthreatened, despite the former’s 2015 struggles and the latter’s current stagnation. Huawei may want the crown for itself, but after a remarkable sales progress last year, 2016 is shaping up to mark a much smaller surge.
That sounds like the perfect context for the rapid ascent of a few more largely budget-focused Chinese OEMs, namely OPPO, Vivo, and LeEco. Though predominantly inactive stateside, OPPO has already managed to climb to fourth spot in global smartphone shipments this past quarter, looking good to retain the first position outside the podium for the year as a whole.
But perhaps the company’s most impressive feat would be achieving the 100 million unit milestone in 2016, which seems possible after the latest R9 box-office scores. Previously, OPPO was expected to sell around 80 million handhelds this year, still a massive hike from 2015’s 50M total. R9 models alone could now see cumes of 20M copies, and that of course doesn’t count the F1, F1 Plus, and F1s.