Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has announced a new sub-brand ‘Reno’. The announcement was made through a Weibo post with an official Reno account. The new sub-brand was later confirmed by Alex MacGregor, Oppo’s global PR head, on Twitter. His tweet read, “Let’s shake things up a bit. More soon. #OPPOReno.”
After Realme, Reno is Oppo’s second smartphone sub-brand. However, the company is yet to officially announce a smartphone in the newly created ‘Reno’ sub-brand. Oppo has not revealed a new smartphone as of writing but the web is rife with speculation that Reno’s first smartphone will be a premium device.
Earlier, Oppo’s VP Shen Yiren had announced that the company will announce a new smartphone on April 10. The smartphone, which still has no formal marketing name, will feature a Snapdragon 855 processor, a 4065mAh battery and a 10x lossless zoom lens. There’s a real possibility that the said high-end smartphone will be launched under the Reno sub-brand.
— Alex MacGregor (@ajmcgr) March 11, 2019
The rise of sub-brands
Oppo’s latest move sheds light on the growing craze among Chinese smartphone makers to create sub-brands. Last year, Oppo announced Realme which caters to the mid-end of the smartphone market. The gamble paid off as Realme is now counted among the fastest growing smartphone brands in India. Earlier this year, Vivo also announced a new sub-brand ‘IQOO’. The brand’s first smartphone is aimed at hardware mobile gamers.
Xiaomi too came with two new sub-brands in 2018. While Poco is focused on selling premium phones at mid-range prices, whereas Redmi wants to encash on the growing popularity of budget-to-mid-range smartphones. Its latest smartphone Redmi Note 7 Pro packs a 48MP camera sensor and a Snapdragon 675 processor. The Redmi Note 7 Pro retails for Rs 13,999 ($199), making it the only phone in the sub-15k segment to feature a 48MP camera sensor on the back.
Huawei is another brand that has successfully managed to increase sales of smartphones through its sub-brand Honor, although it found little to no success in India. First announced in 2013, Honor predominantly sells mid to mid-premium smartphones. But there are exceptions too. For example, Lenovo couldn’t manage to tap the potential of Motorola, which it bought from Google in 2014. Sales of Motorola phones have actually fallen in the past few months due to increased competition in India, where it once used to enjoy the dominant position.