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Vodafone teams up with a China-based smartphone vendor not called HuaweiVodafone teams up with a China-based smartphone vendor not called Huawei

Operator provides route for Oppo to sell 4G and 5G smartphones in seven Vodafone markets in the initial phase.

Anne Morris

May 18, 2020

2 Min Read
Vodafone teams up with a China-based smartphone vendor not called Huawei

Vodafone formed a partnership with Oppo that will enable it to sell 4G and 5G smartphones from the China-based manufacturer in seven of its retail markets from May 2020.

Specifically, Vodafone will sell entry-level and flagship Oppo devices in Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the UK during the first phase of the cooperation. The partners then plan to extend their collaboration into more markets.

For Vodafone, the partnership appears to be designed to help accelerate 5G takeup through the expansion of its device portfolio, offering Oppo A series, Reno and Find X devices. Oppo, meanwhile, gains a new route into European markets that will enable it to build market share, at the expense of rivals such as Huawei.

Oppo is part of the BBK Electronics group that also includes sister brand Vivo. According to IDC, Oppo was the fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of global market share in the fourth quarter of 2019, with an 8.3% share. Apple was in first place with a 19.9% share, followed by Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi.

The rankings shift slightly when looking at 5G alone. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung was the market leader here in the first quarter of 2020, followed by Huawei and Vivo. Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said that Chinese smartphone vendors captured 61% of top five vendor 5G smartphone shipment volumes in Q1 2020, although the majority were sold in the Chinese market.

Oppo and Vivo could gain market share at the expense of Chinese rival Huawei, which has particularly suffered from the negative media over potential security threats from China-based vendors. Huawei's new 5G devices also lack the full range of Google mobile services and apps. Furthermore, Oppo and Vivo could appeal to consumers who may not even realize they are Chinese brands. Vodafone certainly seems to be betting on that fact.

For more on this topic, see:

— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Anne Morris

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.

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