OPPO’s 18 years, the mountain blue and white are about to burn

The average life expectancy of Chinese companies is about 3.7 years. Under the normal state of rapid growth and rapid decay, the words "everlasting business" are rarely mentioned. Instead, people are more concerned about who has created the "fastest time to market" or "market value". How much to grow" such an inflationary story.

In the current environment, when I look back at the book "Everlasting Business" and think about these simple four words, I can't help but come to a realization: the life span goes through the cycle, the pursuit of surpassing the profit, and the gradual formation of culture is more attractive.

Twenty years after its "WTO accession", from 2G to 5G, China's mobile phone industry has grown from the era of copycats to now occupying seven of the top ten global shares. In addition to racing against time, it is actually a story of making friends with time.

Just 18 years old, OPPO is a resident guest of the top 5 smartphones in the world. It is a big R&D company that dares to cross the "trench" and build "wetland", and of course, it is also a design company with endless products.

One of the characteristics of an evergreen company is "pragmatic idealism". In fact, if the translation is condensed, it is innovation . If you look at OPPO products in the time dimension of 18 years, you can better understand what it means.

Regarding the pursuit and direction of innovation, looking back at OPPO in the past 18 years, it can actually be divided into four different cycles:

In 2004, OPPO was established. OPPO, which is independent of the BBK audio-visual business, decided early on to focus on both design and technology. Therefore, the determination to launch products that refresh users' eyes and ears has become the foundation of OPPO's early standing.

OPPO's first product was an MP3 player called the X3. It uses OPPO's self-developed PAD noise reduction technology, and chooses to cooperate with Sennheiser to provide users with the original MX400 headphones as standard. In addition, the appearance design adopts the rounded style of the star ring frame, which caused a strong response in the market once it was launched.

The OPPO X9, which was launched shortly after, is equipped with Philips high-standard decoding chip, and the appearance is also made of diamond cutting technology. With a unique hanging chain design, it is presented to the user like a beautiful piece of art. It is precisely because OPPO X9 is not inferior to international manufacturers from the inside to the outside, so X9 is also known as "the real good start of domestic MP3".

▲ OPPO X3 and OPPO Enco X

On the other hand, the DVD player created by OPPO has become synonymous with high-end brands and excellent products in the hearts of global enthusiasts with its excellent performance and exquisite craftsmanship. Moreover, the later Blu-ray DVD players were popular in the domestic and foreign markets and won many awards. For example, in 2014, the PM-1 flat diaphragm won the EISA Award of the European Audiovisual Association, and the UDP-205 Blu-ray player won the American Audiovisual Magazine 2017. Annual recommendation.

With such a splendid product history, OPPO is now often dubbed by users as a "hidden acoustic factory".

Of course, there are still engineers in the OPPO audio team who used to build OPPO Blu-ray players, as well as engineers who first developed the first generation of high-end wired headphones for OPPO PM1. Even the general manager of OPPO's Blu-ray business department is still working at OPPO at that time. His name is Liu Zuohu, and his slightly friendly nickname is "Boss Zhang".

▲ Liu Zuohu, Chief Product Officer of OPPO

In other words, OPPO's innovative genes for good design and sound quality have never been missing.

Insight into market changes, and choosing the right direction to respond to changes are essential skills for the helm of Evergreen Enterprises.

Around 2006, the founder Chen Mingyong realized that the consumer electronics industry was undergoing rapid changes. In the audio-visual electronics era, OPPO, which was rising steadily, had to transform if it wanted to embrace the changes of the new era and seek greater development.

By chance, Chen Mingyong listened to a friend's suggestion and wanted to buy a domestic mobile phone to support domestic products. As a result, after he went to Huaqiangbei and turned around, he did not see any domestic mobile phones that satisfied him.

Because in 2006, the top five mobile phone market shares in China were Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony and Motorola, all of which were occupied by overseas brands. The domestic mobile phone brands are mixed. He believes that Samsung's design details are good, and Nokia's interactive experience is good, and it happens that these two parts are what OPPO is good at in the era of MP3 and DVD. The brand is just as good.

So Chen Mingyong decided at that time that OPPO would make its own mobile phone.

As we previously thought, 2006 wasn't a particularly good year to start making phones. Before that, the first wave of domestic mobile phones had died down, and mobile phone brands such as Amoi, Bird and Panda were very far away for today's young users. They have tried hard to meet international mobile phone brands, but due to various product and marketing problems, they had to end in failure.

Taking over the baton as a mobile phone in the residual temperature of feature phones, OPPO certainly seems courageous. In fact, its choice is also called brave, not only abandoned the shortcut of most domestic mobile phone manufacturers to take the operator's cheap custom machine, but also spared no effort in the first move. OPPO made the first function in 2008. Phone – A103 Smiley Phone.

In a later interview, we learned that OPPO's first mobile phone set the record for the "slowest mobile phone".

Before the official release of the A103 smiley phone, OPPO spent a year and a half making two generations of military training machines, repeatedly verifying the functions and quality of the products, and investing a lot of money and time.

Compared with other models on the market, which usually takes half a year of research and development, the "slow work and careful work" smiley phone uses the best materials, the strictest quality standards, and the best equipment – the display screen cost a high price to choose Hitachi Compared with the Truly screen on the market, the quality of the screen has been greatly improved; for the camera, the 300,000-pixel camera on the market has been abandoned, and a 1.3 million camera has been adopted.

It is worth mentioning that although there were almost no mobile phones on the market at that time that cared about sound quality, OPPO, which was transformed into audio-visual equipment, insisted on choosing the YAMAHA audio chip.

Such an eclectic and self-contained personality has enabled OPPO to bring many distinctive works to the Chinese mobile phone market during the historical transition period between feature phones and smartphones.

For example, in 2009, OPPO focused on the field of mobile phone photography earlier, and launched a mobile phone P51 that focuses on taking pictures. It also took the lead in adding support for LOMO special effects, which innovatively enriched the fun of taking pictures. In the same year, OPPO also launched a touch-screen mobile phone T9 with an independent decoding chip, which can directly play lossless music and video through hard decoding, also to cater to the mobile multimedia entertainment boom at that time.

The following flip phone U529 and slider phone A201 are the OPPO team's attempts to diversify the form of mobile phones. At the end of the era of feature phones, OPPO has been keen to choose bold design forms, and pays great attention to the experience of interactive details, and is good at highlighting the differentiated characteristics of "people don't have me".

At that time, some designs may not be able to be listed in other companies, but OPPO will respect excellent designs and boldly try to be a leader in products. For designers, this is a very lucky thing . —— Fan Xiaoyu, Design Director of OPPO ID

Bold and careful, the design is not out of the way, and the function is unique, and it has naturally won the recognition of the first batch of young users.

At this time, the innovative and adventurous spirit of the OPPO team has begun to take shape.

In 2010, with the official release of the iPhone 4, the global mobile phone market once again set off a huge wave, and the former mobile phone overlord Nokia also ushered in the dusk. Seeing that the interactive form of the touch screen has become overwhelming. And OPPO has also begun to officially enter the field of smartphones.

Just as every climber who climbs the peaks has to face unknown difficulties, the road to OPPO's smartphone creation has not been smooth.

In 2011, OPPO's first smartphone, the OPPO X903, was released. At that time, it didn't look like a water test at all. Whether it was the appearance of the side-sliding full keyboard and the customized UI interface, or the series of TVC blockbusters that Leonardo was invited to shoot, they all left the audience with Very impressed.

However, the side-sliding keyboard made with one heart to achieve differentiation has become a "heart disease" of the OPPO team, because the complex mechanical structure makes the OPPO X903 body too heavy, and the high price leads to poor user acceptance. high, and finally achieved unsatisfactory market results.

The market performance and internal evaluation made the OPPO R&D team seem to have been poured cold water. After sobering up, they deeply summarized the gains and losses, and realized the meaning and value of user orientation: "The product is not good or not, but the market and the market have the final say. The user has the final say.”

After recollecting the pain, with the guilt of being criticized and the unwillingness to admit defeat, OPPO's structural department silently established a "light and thin group", and set "lighter and thinner mobile phones" as the main direction of the design. We try our best to improve the user experience on the three modules that are the main consumption.

There are 108 people in the structure department. I think we can definitely accomplish this with the skills of our 108 people with a total of 800 years of service. – Finder Structural Engineer

On January 12, 2012, with the concerted efforts of the project team, a hand-made ultra-thin mobile phone prototype was successfully installed.

At the annual meeting, the team members plucked up their courage and showed an ultra-thin prototype of only 6.65mm to everyone while toasting. Shocked all the executives present, the annual meeting was immediately suspended to discuss the launch plan of this mobile phone.

This is the only time OPPO has had a prototype before project approval so far.

Soon, OPPO Finder was mass-produced and put into the market. With a body thickness of 6.65mm, it became the thinnest mobile phone in the world at that time and was widely praised by users. This Finder, which opened the era of OPPO ultra-thin smartphones, is also considered by Chen Mingyong to be the mobile phone that best represents OPPO's innovative spirit.

While the structural department is working hard on a thin and light body, another aspect of focusing on the market and user experience is an attempt to take selfies with beauty.

It is said that at that time, there was a product designer in OPPO who liked to use the "Casio Selfie Artifact", but due to the low pixels of the front camera of mobile phones at that time generally around 1-2 million, it was impossible to obtain satisfactory filming results, so I wanted to make a special one. A mobile phone for taking selfies.

Soon, the Ulike2 mobile phone launched by OPPO in 2012 was equipped with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and built-in beauty algorithm function, which made OPPO become the first domestic brand to propose the concept of beauty selfie, and also for the later R The birth of the series laid the groundwork.

Of course, OPPO's structural department has not been idle either. To seize the user's needs for beauty selfies, and combined with the structural experience accumulated in the era of feature phones, OPPO released the OPPO N1 mobile phone with a free-stop rotating camera in 2013, as well as the electric rotation after that. Camera phone OPPO N3.

It can be said that OPPO was able to come up with various innovative technologies in a very short period of time and continue to ignite people's enthusiasm, which has a great relationship with its various explorations in the early stage of smartphones.

In 2014, OPPO launched the Find 7, which advertised as the "all-round flagship", which brought together many of the technical achievements and R&D experience gained by OPPO before in one machine, bringing leading features such as large screen, thin and light, and photography. In addition to using the best core configuration at the time, Find 7 was also equipped with OPPO's self-developed VOOC flash charge for the first time, and was the first to put forward the concept of "flash charge" on smartphones.

Then on the OPPO R7 next year, OPPO has prepared an advertising slogan that will soon become popular in the north and south of the country:

charge for 5 minutes,
2 hours of talk time.

With this slogan, OPPO has successfully established a highly recognizable brand image among mass users. Since then, the fast-charging arms race in the mobile phone industry has continued to this day. The two core functions of ultra-fast flash charging + beauty selfie directly hit the pain point of mass consumers, and also effectively promoted the differentiated development of OPPO mobile phones.

However, after Find 7, this series that was supposed to be the flagship has been stopped for four years. During this period, there was no shortage of memories of the Find series on the Internet. People often missed the 2K screen and skyline breathing light of Find 7, the aesthetic design of the screen of Find 5, the world's thinnest body of Finder, and so on. After all, in the era of "no design is the best design", the Find series is a rare mobile phone series with a design philosophy or design philosophy.

The origin of hobbies is difficult to write,
One poem, a thousand changes, can bring peace of mind.

It is most appropriate to use this poem by Yuan Mei to describe the process of OPPO's continuous overthrow and repeated polishing of the Find series in the past four years. Although OPPO never admitted it, we could always have prototypes and concept maps on the Internet at that time. Find clues about the continuous development of the Find series here.

During that time, Ai Faner asked about the progress of Find's new products in many exclusive interviews. Most of the answers he got were that they were still under development, and a positive response made us sure that this series has not been abandoned:

We will launch a product that is perfect enough.

As the outgoing pictures become more and more dreamy and the exposure information becomes more and more abundant, we can indeed feel that OPPO does have such a product and is ready to go.

So, what is a "perfect enough" product?

On June 1, 2018, in Paris, France, OPPO officially released Find X, the "true full-screen" flagship mobile phone.

I believe you still have a deep impression of Find X. It has a hidden design lift camera module, which cleverly hides the front camera and other components on the front of the phone, so that a narrow border screen can be fully displayed .

"Easy simplicity" is OPPO's design philosophy, and Find X is a "form-first" product. All internal structural designs, including lift cameras, hidden earpieces and antenna layouts, are actually serving this target form. , and make changes according to the needs to meet the user's ultimate experience needs and achieve the effect of "ideal state".

Zeng Zanjian, a structural engineer of OPPO, said to Ai Faner: "We wanted to make a full screen, a real full screen from the very beginning." And Find X has also become the only model of OPPO in recent years that has not been made before listing. A market research machine, because "it doesn't need it" and 100% will exceed user expectations.

The reality also proves this. It looks like a sci-fi concept model, but what amazes consumers and industry insiders is that it is a mass-produced flagship mobile phone that can really be bought.

Wu Qiang, vice president of OPPO, said: "The 'X' in OPPO Find X represents art and technology respectively, and there is a perfect intersection in X."

When the era of full-screen smartphones was just beginning, OPPO was different from the way its peers "learned" from the iPhone X, and chose to open up a path of "not following", which itself is a manifestation of courage. As for a series of technical problems behind Find X, there was no preset solution in the industry at that time. Some were just the mechanical structure experience accumulated by OPPO from the N series, as well as the imagination of engineers and ID designers.

This is also the first time that domestic mobile phone manufacturers began to issue demand to the upstream supply chain and tailor-made corresponding components. To a certain extent, we can think that Find X has officially opened the era of customization of domestic smartphone components.

Although Find X is indeed not easy to do, OPPO believes that as long as these problems are solved, they are OPPO's own technical barriers. The higher the barrier, the more difficult it is for others to copy. The technological leadership will eventually be reflected in the product, and Find X itself can reflect this.

Head of OPPO Find X R&D: "Find X chose the most difficult solution from the beginning, and this is the best thing now."

What is the "hard and right thing"?

For mobile phone manufacturers in the post-mobile Internet era, it is difficult and correct to insist on self-research. Only by continuing to innovate and enter the "deep water area" of self-research, can we hope to achieve the remodeling and breakthrough of the flagship market. Especially in the face of Top 1 and Top 2 mobile phone market shares.

OPPO, which sticks to its "duty", is well aware of this.

In 2020, OPPO announced the "3+N+X" technology transition strategy at the INNODAY Future Technology Conference. Liu Chang, vice president of OPPO and director of the research institute, said:

The "3+N+X" technology transition strategy is a solid foundation to support OPPO's new ecological construction of the integration of all things.

It is not difficult to find that the core of OPPO's innovation has not changed, and it still chooses to invest strategic resources to create differentiated technology points to bring unique innovations to products, thereby innovating user experience.

Good products can speak, and hardware is the carrier of experience. After Liu Zuohu returned to OPPO, he put the title of chief product officer in front of the founder of OnePlus according to his own habits. It seems that for him, no matter how much changes, the constant is still the product priority.

The first product that Liu Zuohu was responsible for after his return was OPPO Find N. This is a folding screen phone that broke through the price ceiling of OPPO's ordinary mass-produced machines, and it took four years and six prototypes to come out.

When the time went back to 2018, OPPO, who saw the birth of the folding screen mobile phone, did not want to understand the different experience and value of the new form of the folding screen.

After four years of research and development and in-depth thinking, in 2021, Liu Zuohu used the "golden size" Find N to unlock the door, trying to make this phone a popular folding screen.

From early adopters to common use.

We feel that it takes courage and insight for OPPO to shout this sentence as the Slogan of Find N. After all, in order to be commonly used, it must be easy to use, easy to use, and durable. To this end, Find N brings a "golden size" called the hand, Seiko quasi-cone hinge, and UTG ultra-thin flexible glass.

People's yearning for large screens has prompted the rapid transformation of folding forms into consumer electronics products. OPPO Find N has maintained a lot of thinking and innovation in the wave of folding form. In this reasonable size, multi-dimensional usage and experience are introduced.

Obviously, time will give us the answer. After more than half a year, sales and user reputation have proved that OPPO Find N with "golden size" is still a popular and reasonable choice, and it has withstood the test of time and the market.

Compared with the four-year research and development of the folding screen form, the more difficult and correct thing should be self-developed chips.

Since 2011, the domestic mobile phone industry has transformed into an intelligent one, and the screen, image, charging, system interaction and other parts of the domestic smartphone have undergone various self-research. Ten years later, the innovation pace of leading mobile phone manufacturers has begun to focus on the bottom and core chip parts.

The OPPO chip team told Ai Faner that when self-developed chips, a tape-out would cost 100 million yuan.

After three years of research and development, when OPPO showed the Mariana X chip to the world, it not only proved OPPO's ability to design and mass-produce 6nm chips, but also marked OPPO's entry into the deep water area of ​​research and development.

During this period, OPPO built a three-in-one R&D system: "Basic Technology Organization + Advanced Research Organization + Engineering Technology Organization", which each performed their own duties to ensure technological leadership and product delivery.

The hardware is carried on the system, which is the system.
Or, in other words, ecology.

This year, with ColorOS 13, it is the Pantanal Smart Cross-Terminal System.

This is OPPO's first self-developed smart cross-end system: the core features are integrated computing, ubiquitous services, and trusted openness; based on the openness of services in different scenarios, Pantanal's smart cross-end system can achieve smart car space, One-stop travel, unbounded collaborative office, cross-end memory album, multi-end security guard and many other functions.

Similar to the aquatic design concept of ColorOS 13, the appearance is water, and the result is living, that is, living ecology. OPPO's Pantanal not only hopes to provide users with a smooth cross-end experience, but also hopes to embrace more partners with an open ecological model.

This is a philosophy of "water conserving all things without fighting".

You must know that there are rainy seasons and dry seasons in the Pantanal wetlands. The flood irrigation in the rainy season and the rise of water in the dry season form a stable flood pulse, allowing the water to circulate and ultimately nourish the ecology.

The Pantanal smart cross-terminal system inspired by this also provides a similar underlying ecological pulse, allowing services to move with people, and equipment and services that exist around people. It can be a mobile phone, tablet, PC, TV, headset; it can also be a refrigerator, washing machine, sweeping robot or drone, or it can be Air Travel, Meituan Takeaway or Tencent Video…

According to OPPO's vision, for partners and hardware, as long as they are connected to the Pantanal smart cross-end system, they can participate in the ecology and connect more closely with users; for users, these services will follow the user, Instead of pulling users to do it.

Jiang Bibird surpasses white,
Mountain blue and white want to burn.

As a technology company integrating software and hardware, the emergence of the OPPO Pantanal smart cross-end system makes the "3+N+X" technology transition strategy more three-dimensional, and also provides a new ecological construction for the future integration of all things. indicated the direction.

Looking back on the 18-year history of OPPO, we can already find a clear main line from hundreds of products and many historical moments. It boils down to four words: continuous innovation.

To paraphrase the words of "Building to Last", it is the one who makes the clock, not the one who tells the time.

Jumping out of the guns and swords and staying away from the battles of the rivers and lakes is particularly special in the Chinese mobile phone market, which is full of wolf culture, but it is also one of the principles that OPPO must abide by from top to bottom. Emphasizing duty, in short, is to focus on doing what you should do. In fact, OPPO CEO Chen Mingyong wrote it into the company's corporate culture very early. He also reposted it on Weibo 4 years ago. In one sentence:

If someone throws a stone at you, don't throw it back, keep it as the cornerstone for your tall buildings.

OPPO has always adhered to the value of "duty", insisted on doing the right thing, and insisted on doing things that took time to accumulate. In the future, we also hope to solve key problems with key technologies through real technological innovation, and move forward with a smile with more climbers of the era. —— Chen Mingyong, founder of OPPO

Some companies can fool a few users for ten years, some companies can fool many users for one year, but no company can fool many users for ten years.

Competing and growing in a brutal market, and going through several consumer electronics industry cycles, it is now embarking on the most difficult technical and ecological research and development work, OPPO's past history and products, more than 1 billion total equipment shipments, and ColorOS users with more than 500 million monthly active users are the lush trees on the green hills.

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