OPPO Digital Announces Decision to Gradually Stop Manufacturing New Products

April 3 2018, 09:00
It could well have been an April's Fool story, but unfortunately it was released on April 2nd... In a message of farewell, OPPO Digital has confirmed it will gradually stop manufacturing new products, causing a shockwave across home theater and audio enthusiasts all over the world. A decision which is hard to understand given the success stories of the brand's range of Blu-ray Disc players, planar magnetic headphones and the recent entry in the wireless speaker segment. Meanwhile, OPPO Digital confirmed they are open to proposals regarding the IP related to their product design.
OPPO Digital's website message front and center. How many companies would be willing to pay to have this range of products?

Here in audioXpress we are as shocked as everyone else, and of course we reached out to OPPO Digital for further commentary. Understandably they must have their hands full right now and we just received a short confirmation that basically OPPO Digital is "going to transition from a product development and sales company to a product support role. We will take care of the existing customers and continue to support the products."

For now, what we can say is what the company has released and is  possible to find in their website:
"It has been 14 years since we established OPPO Digital in the United States, and with the support of our customers, technical partners, and movie/music studios, we produced many award-winning Hi-Fi audio products and universal disc players, spanning three generations from DVD, Blu-ray, to 4K UHD."

"As our latest 4K UHD players reach the pinnacle of their performance, it is time to say goodbye. We are proud to have made such well-regarded products and to have served the enthusiast community. Without our customers' suggestions, encouragement, and support, we could not have accomplished these achievements."

The announcement confirms the decision to gradually stop manufacturing new products, while existing products will continue to be supported, warranties will still be valid, and both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repair services will continue to be available. Firmware will continue to be maintained and updates released from time to time. The company clearly commits to provide the same high quality service and support.

After all, OPPO Digital is part of a much, much larger parent company in China, which controls something like 7% of the world market for Android smartphones, and 17% of the Chinese market with thousands of company-owned stores and hundreds of thousands of retailers... In fact, both OPPO and Vivo brands share much of the same industrial resources, and control manufacturing for many other smartphone brands in China.

So, when OPPO Digital says farewell, stating "We greatly appreciate the opportunity to have developed such exciting products for our customers. It has been an honor. Best regards," it basically means that the parent company has decided on the strategy and will be supporting the market for years to come, even if they will not develop further products. That's why they will be able to keep technical support going, (https://www.oppodigital.com/Support.aspx) and repairs available.

As OPPO Digital states, "Newer products such as the UDP-203 and UDP-205 will likely receive more frequent upgrades while mature products such as the BDP-103 and earlier models will only get firmware upgrades if there are critical fixes." And of course, existing products will continue to be sold through OPPO Digital's website, authorized resellers and distributors, while stocks last.
audioXpress November 2017 featured one of the most eagerly awaited reviews: the OPPO Digital UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc Player. Click the photo to see all the recent OPPO Digital articles and updates.
According to our well-informed sources, apparently OPPO Digital decided on the strategy already for some time and the news will not come as a shock for their suppliers and distributors. Even with the success of OPPO Digital’s products, the parent company decided that the future of DVD/Blu-Ray is a dead-end, and that high-end headphones is too much of a small market for them. Even if OPPO Digital was a separate company, and made a good margin on their headphones and BD players, that part of the business was considered too small, when you are in the smartphone business.

Of course, when looking at OPPO Digital's current portfolio, we can't help thinking of how many other companies would be willing to pay to get just a share of that business. And that might be the key for a possible future... We have asked the company to comment on that possibility and we received confirmation that if "anyone is interested in acquiring the IP related to our product design, we are happy to talk."
We'll hope for the best.

audioXpress will continue to update this story as appropriate.
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