Home Tech Nils Stockdale (OPPO): smartphones with folding screens will reach 50% of the market in 5-10 years

Nils Stockdale (OPPO): smartphones with folding screens will reach 50% of the market in 5-10 years

Nils Stockdale (OPPO): smartphones with folding screens will reach 50% of the market in 5-10 years


Nils Stockdale (OPPO): smartphones with folding screens will reach 50% of the market in 5-10 years

At OPPO’s private press presentation on December 7 in Istanbul, the Find N flip-out smartphone was unveiled from the stage by Nils Stockdale, Senior Product Marketing Manager. His area of ​​responsibility includes planning and marketing of OPPO products in Europe. Prior to OPPO, where Stockdale joined in 2019, he worked for Huawei for two years as Chief Marketing Officer for Honor in Western Europe. And before that, he was engaged in marketing at Toshiba for another 7 years. Editorial staff gg I didn’t deny myself the pleasure of talking to Nils Stockdale and asking how he assesses the prospects for the segment of smartphones with flexible displays, why OPPO chose the book form factor for the pilot model, and not a clamshell, and, of course, the pricing policy.

gg: Today you have unveiled the first OPPO smartphone with a fold-out screen. How do you see the future of this segment of smartphones

Nils Stockdale: This is a very interesting question because we are currently witnessing the diversification of the smartphone market. We’re moving away from the traditional smartphone form factor to other form factors. For example, last year we introduced an innovative roll-out smartphone concept (talking about OPPO X 2021 – editorial note) Of course, there are already a lot of foldable devices on the market, right? We see these form factors evolve. We have fold-out smartphones, we have our roll-up form factor. It can be assumed that in the future there will be other form factors, which, perhaps, we do not yet have in our plans.

So, the smartphone market with flexible screens is already diversified.

On the one hand, of course, there are differences in the hardware of smartphones. On the other hand, we are seeing improvements in software, and perhaps we will also see companies in the future focus on new technologies such as AR VR. Probably (and we will see this in the future), the company that is the first to get good results in software and hardware will be very successful in the future. What we’re really interested in right now is seeing how our OPPO Find N – our first clamshell smartphone – will contribute to this market. But I think in the coming years that foldable phones will take up a much larger share than the traditional form factor of smartphones.

gg: Could you make a prediction – when will the share of folding smartphones reach 50% of the market?

Nils Stockdale: I think now it is very difficult to judge when folding smartphones will be at the level of 50% of all smartphones. Because there will be other form factors that use flexible displays. So then, perhaps, some share of the market will be in smartphones with a folding screen, and some – in smartphones with a folding screen. I think this is all very interesting because the desire of companies to implement foldable display designs is not enough.

We must, of course, get approval from the users.

They need to get used to the new form factors, to all the new productivity features they can get with them. Moreover, all these convergence processes will be different in different markets, right? Some markets will very, very quickly adapt to new smartphones – where we have early adopters. Other markets will be more conservative, and users in them will not be in a hurry to change their smartphone to a new form factor. I think you’re curious to know what we’re targeting to achieve 50% global market share for these new smartphones? This is quite difficult to assess. Perhaps in the next five to ten years, but this is more my personal opinion. Frankly, my colleagues and I have not yet focused on the prospects for this new market in this way.

gg: Why release a smartphone in such a form factor as a tablet? Why didn’t OPPO focus on a simpler clamshell model?

Nils Stockdale: What we wanted to do with our OPPO Find N was adhere to industry standards when going to market.

We were the first in the industry to implement the ability to switch the view from an external display to an internal display without changing its orientation.

We deliberately did just that, and we deliberately want the user to immediately switch to landscape view mode without turning the smartphone 90 degrees. And the reason we think this is the right way to go is because, as I said, we offer a seamless user experience. You are viewing content on the front (as in a typical smartphone use scenario), but you might want more content on the display. In this case, you simply open it and the content smoothly transitions to landscape orientation. And we think this is the most intuitive way to use foldable devices compared to other devices on the market. For example, one such device on the market is narrower and longer (apparently, we are talking about smartphones of the Galaxy Fold series – editor’s note).

And when folded, you have a very long and narrow smartphone. And you need to rotate it yourself to get a more comfortable landscape orientation. This is one step that we actually save. We believe that, for example, watching a video or playing games is a more convenient activity in this case, this is a step forward. This is the main reason why we made just such a device, and not just a smartphone that folds in half. We are the first in the industry to take this approach.

It is more intuitive and user-friendly.

It’s more emotional. It looks like an extension of your body. You do not need to doubt what you are doing and whether it is right, you just use your smartphone. At OPPO, we always have a human-centered approach. Every time we start a new development, we ask ourselves questions of convenience. And in most cases, our actions improve and develop the user experience. If you have a foldable smartphone, then you get a pause in the user experience when you unfold it. And at some point, you want to deploy the device. We find our default way of using a smartphone when unfolded to be intuitive.

gg: Can you tell us what the prices for OPPO Find N will be?

Nils Stockdale: One of the factors behind our foldable phone is to make it a truly affordable, highly affordable flagship smartphone for a large number of people. What do we see now? The prices for folding devices are very, very high, right? And we really want to make it more accessible. We want to set a price for the Fold N, somewhere between our flagship Find X3 Pro model, which retail prices in Europe between 1200 and 1300 euros, depending on the country. And the price of some competitors, which is about 1800 or 2000 euros. And we want to be somewhere in the middle of this fork. I would say that our price will be higher than that of the Find X3 Pro, which is currently at 1200 euros, and will be more expensive than this level by about 300 euros. But not more than 1800 euros. This will be a suggested retail price that includes taxes, but we do not yet have an exact price in euros or dollars. Perhaps for the United States it will be a price of $ 1200-1300, excluding taxes. Different countries have different tax systems, so for now I can only rely on direct conversion of prices in Chinese yuan on the Chinese market. But the price will definitely not be $ 3,000.

gg: Are there any plans to sell OPPO Find N on the Ukrainian market?

Nils Stockdale: No matter how we assess our strengths, Find N sales will begin in the first quarter of 2022, and will start in our domestic market in China. Of course, we are constantly analyzing the market situation, revising our portfolio and assessing the prospects for the release of this smartphone abroad, in various markets, including the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

We hope that OPPO Find N will be available for the Ukrainian market.

gg: Can you announce the sales plans for Find N?

Nils Stockdale: I cannot give an exact figure – how many of these smartphones we plan to produce or sell. But what I can say is that we now have a foldable smartphone. Which will become much more affordable than similar smartphones on the market. Of course, we plan to make it available to a much wider audience than the expensive folding models that are currently on the market. Surely, not everyone wants to afford them, right? Because it always depends on our tastes and preferences, whether you are connected with technology and whether you need it. Therefore, the volume of sales will, I believe, very significant, especially for our domestic Chinese market, in which we will test this new product. We want to increase customer awareness. Find out how customers will find out about it, how they will receive the device. How will this smartphone be received and how it will be used.

And of course, I’m pretty sure OPPO will have other foldable smartphones as well.

This is the first such smartphone, but I am quite sure that it will not be the last.

gg: Do you think the main obstacle for foldable smartphones is their high price or are there others?

Nils Stockdale: You mean what stops people from buying a smartphone like this other than the price? I can imagine that the more affordable the price gets, the more people might want to try this form factor. Again, I think a collapsible solution by itself may not be a solution for everyone, right? Let’s take, for example, my mom (she’s quite good at technology). I’m not entirely sure she would be impressed by a smartphone like this. Most likely she will say, “Look, I just don’t need this. I need a regular smartphone in the form of a candy bar, it can do everything that I need. ” My mom would hardly spend that kind of money. At the same time, if the price falls, and she does not risk throwing money down the drain, trying its advantages at a lower price, she will try such a novelty. And I believe that by lowering the price, we will indeed make foldable smartphones a lot more affordable. Price is very important, because by lowering it, we get access to a much wider audience. And, of course, we want to draw the market’s attention to our new product. So yes, the issue of price is very important today.

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