Oppo has launched a foldable flip phone called the Find N2 Flip for international markets as the Chinese smartphone maker looks to boost its business outside of China. The Find N2 Flip marks Oppo’s push to break into the premium segment of the smartphone market. A challenge for Samsung. Oppo’s problem now is building its brand outside of China, according to an analyst.
The Oppo Find N2 Flip is a foldable smartphone that also has a screen on the outside. Oppo aims to strengthen its position in the premium smartphone market with the £849 ($1024) device.
Oppo launched a foldable flip phone for international markets as the Chinese smartphone maker looks to boost its business outside of China.
The Find N2 Flip marks Oppo’s push to make a dent in the premium segment of the smartphone market and the emerging foldable phone category.
The Find N2 Flip, which launched Wednesday, folds in half like a traditional flip phone and has two screens. The full-length 6.8-inch main display is visible when the device is open and can connect to next-generation 5G cellular networks. When the device is folded, there’s a second display on the outside of the phone, which Oppo calls the “largest cover screen of its kind”.
The company said the phone can withstand over 400,000 folds and unfolds at normal room temperature, which equates to opening and closing the device about 100 times a day for more than a decade.
The foldable phone category pioneered by Samsung is still in its infancy. Foldable device shipments accounted for just 1.1% of total smartphone shipments in 2022, according to IDC, and are expected to grow to just 2.8% in 2026.
“I think there’s a tricky thing about leaflets: they’re all beautiful, everyone’s excited about them, but do we really know how big the market is?” Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC over the phone.
Oppo is the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the world by market share, and the Chinese company has thrived in recent years by selling quality and innovative devices at a competitive price.
More recently, Oppo has been trying to increase its presence outside of China and grab a slice of the high-end smartphone market that Apple and Samsung dominate.
Oppo’s challenge, according to Wood, will be to build its brand outside of China, where it lags behind Samsung like Samsung. The foldable phone is part of Oppo’s efforts to become a premium brand.
“That’s a big bet for her. Oppo has clearly recognized that there is great potential in the premium smartphone segment and they have made no secret of believing that foldable devices are an aspect to take the brand to the premium tier.” said Wood.
“Part of the reason the premium is holding up is because people want to buy a phone that will last. Mobile phones are such an indispensable part of people’s lives that they are willing to pay more for a product if they think it’s going to last.”
There are still very few foldable phones for sale outside of China. In terms of flip foldables, Samsung has the Galaxy Z Flip4 while Motorola offers the Razr 5G.
Oppo has priced its device at £849 ($1024) in the UK, cheaper than Samsung’s £899 Galaxy Z Flip4.
“They’ve definitely become competitive in terms of price,” Wood said, adding that Oppo needs to increase its brand awareness.
Oppo also said on Wednesday that its Find N2 Flip is the official smartphone of the UEFA Champions League, European football competition, as it wants to offer its device and brand to a wide audience.
Given Oppo’s big investments in marketing and high-end devices, Wood called 2023 a “make-or-break year” for the smartphone maker.
“They are putting a lot of effort into building their international business and that requires a very significant investment. And you can’t do that indefinitely if you can’t make a return,” Wood said.