Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has announced that it has signed a deal with Optus, with the telecommunications company to sell the R7 device in Australia from Monday.
Oppo unveiled its high-end R7 and R7 Plus devices in May, with the former sporting specs of 3GB of RAM; an 8MP front-facing, autofocusing, anti-shake camera; a 5-inch, 1080p Super AMOLED screen; a Snapdragon 615 processor; a rapidly charging battery; and an Android 4.4-based version of ColorOS.
"We're delighted to be working with Optus to bring the Oppo R7 to market. Australia has always been a nation of early adopters, and our partnership with Optus provides yet another channel for them to experience the Oppo R7 style in a flash," Michael Tran, Oppo Australia marketing director, said.
Optus' 24-month post-paid contract will provide customers with the R7 handset, 500MB of data, and unlimited texts and calls to Australian numbers for AU$40 per month.
In China, the R7 costs 2,500 yuan ($402) upfront.
"We've seen how well Oppo has done in other markets, so we're delighted to be able to bring the device to Optus customers in Australia," VP of mobile marketing at Optus Ben White said.
Oppo entered the United States and European markets in December 2013 with its 5.9-inch N1 smartphone, priced at €449 in Europe -- including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe -- and $599 in the US. The company then launched the same device in India. The N1 was the first CyanogenMod Android smartphone to be produced.
Oppo faces stiff competition in its home market, contending with Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE for traction, as well as foreign phone giants including Samsung and Apple.
For the first quarter of 2015, the smartphone market in China actually shrank by 4 percent year on year after reaching saturation, compounding Chinese phone manufacturers' decision to launch their products abroad.
Huawei announced its results for the first half of 2015 last month, with the company generating revenue of 175.9 billion yuan ($28.3 billion), a year-on-year increase of 30 percent, with operating margins of 18 percent.
"Huawei's mid-range and high-end smartphones ... have made solid progress, helping us guarantee quality and sustainable growth in the consumer business," Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou said.
Huawei, which has the third-highest spot in the Chinese market, is aiming for the same spot in the US market. It has also reportedly been granted approval by Indian government authorities to begin manufacturing handsets in India. This could further increase sales figures for the company, as the Indian smartphone market is expected to expand at a rate of 26 percent per annum for the next four years, according to a Sina news report. Bloomberg reported in May that Oppo will also begin manufacturing devices in India as of this month.
Xiaomi saw similar success, selling 34.7 million devices in the first half of the year, an increase of 33 percent year on year. However, while it sells products in the US and South Korea, phones are not among these.
Hugo Barra, chief of Xiaomi's international operations, said in February that this was due to language barriers in regards to regulations, packaging, manufacturing, and software, and added that the company had "no new information to share regarding Europe".
The company has been successful in launching phones in the Indian market, though, with its low-end 12,999 rupees ($205) Mi 4i phone announced in April.
Last month, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission began legal action against Oppo for pre-installing apps on its smartphones, according to a report by Shanghai Daily. One of the offending devices was the Oppo X9007, which came with 71 apps pre-installed, many of which could not be uninstalled.
Optus announces Data Pool
Optus on Monday also announced Data Pool, which will allow customers to share a single data allowance across their devices, including phones, tablets, and dongles.
These mobile and mobile broadband post-paid plans can be unified across the devices of individuals, families, and small businesses, with a single bill and data allocation for all.
"We want customers to get the most out of their mobile and tablet plans," said White.
"Sharing from one data pool means you only have one bill, and keeping track of data usage is so much simpler."
Optus in May reported a growth in its mobile customer base of 42,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2015. Mobile revenue in the quarter rose by 15.9 percent year on year, to AU$1.4 billion, and by 6.8 percent for the full year, to AU$5.4 billion.
From January to March, Optus added 59,000 post-paid customers.
"We will continue to lead the market with innovative, value-driven offers, an expanding 4G network footprint, and exceptional customer experience," Optus CEO Allen Lew said at the time.
"Looking ahead, Optus will continue to differentiate its brand with new home and mobile products that lead the market in value and flexibility, and which give our customers the freedom to use data in ways that suit their lifestyle."