Are selfie-phones just a passing fad?

|April 8, 2016 0

Krishna Mukherjee

This week, Oppo introduced its Oppo F1 Plus in India, which flaunts a 16-mexapixels selfie camera. The company seems to have made selfie camera as its USP, unlike the internal memory, OS, RAM, HD Display, etc.

At a price tag of Rs 26,990 Oppo is offering a 13-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, and an f/2.2 aperture. The 16-megapixel front camera features a 78.1-degree wide-angle lens and an f/2.0 aperture. The Oppo F1 Plus also features PDAF (phase detection autofocus) and 4K video recording.

It is true that selfie is the new trend that is catching a lot of attention, but is the ‘selfie’ pitch enough to satiate the consumers and woo them to make a buying decision?

Just trying to recollect Asus Zenfone Selfie here, which was launched last year and added the suffix ‘Selfie’, just to make it clear that where its strength lies. But, even with a 13MP front camera with dual tone LED flash at a launch price of Rs 17,000, the phone received a lukewarm response only from the market.

In Q3, 2015, the shipments for ZenFone Selfie 16GB variant, ZD551KL were recorded at 11,200 and in Q4, 2015, they were at 31,800. The 32GB variant, ZD551KL  saw shipments of 11,600 in Q3 of 2015 and 10,200 in the following quarter.

In a market, where every other day, brands are coming out with multiple range of phones and showcasing their strengths in the form of high internal memory, HD display, etc, will a selfie-focussed phone help in drawing customers’ attention?

The ASUS Zenfone Selfie received huge competition from Micromax Canvas, which also came embedded with 13 MP rear and front facing cameras and hence, could not do well as the market was already flooded with a number of phones in the same range.

Now, Oppo F1 Plus will also face immense competition from Moto X Style, Sony Xperia Z3, Nexus 5X, HTC One ME and the likes and the challenge will be to stand out in the crowd, when almost all the brands are offering more or less the same features.

Oppo entered into the Indian market in 2013 and it recorded shipments of 0.2 million phones in CY 2014 and 0.9 million in CY 2015, riding high on the success of its top models R1011 Joy Plus, Neo5 1201 and Neo 7 4G, all priced at sub-10K level.

Now, only time will tell that how this new ‘selfie expert’, Oppo F1 Plus takes on the market. So, all the best Oppo!

The author is analyst –Telecoms, CMR 

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