Oppo may be the most popular smartphone you've never heard of. Outside of Asia it has next to no market presence, with a small Australian operation selling phones through JB Hifi, and very little else. For a top five smartphone OEM that's a ridiculously localised market
Now Oppo is crossing The Ditch and will launch its smartphones in New Zealand, which is a more interesting move than the introduction to a market just 4.5m strong would suggest.
New Zealand is a notoriously good bellwether for other markets around the world and has been used as a test bed for all sorts of products. Manufacturers are able to get an indication of the success or failure of their design or recipe decisions here.
For Oppo a successful launch in New Zealand could be the harbinger of a more global expansion, similar to Huawei's rapid growth in the last three years.
For now Oppo's phones a well-priced well specified Android phones that blatantly rip off Apple's hardware designs and software presentation. There's the ever present iOS-alike Chinese OEM Android skin, which ditches the app drawer in exchange for an iPhone like all apps together feel.
That's something unlikely to go down well if Oppo makes moves into the global market. But like Huawei and Xiaomi before it, booming sales in home territories should allow it to fund the development and design of its own brand identity rather than cribbing off Apple's.