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OPPO's strategic realignment post-patent dispute

OPPO's strategic realignment post-patent dispute

On 24 January 2024, OPPO finalized a global cross-license agreement with Nokia, effectively concluding a two-and-a-half-year patent dispute. This blog discusses OPPO's strategic realignment following its global patent dispute settlement with Nokia, examining the implications for the company's international expansion, partner relations and innovation trajectory.


On 24 January 2024, OPPO finalized a global cross-license agreement with Nokia, effectively concluding a two-and-a-half-year patent dispute. The comprehensive deal spans all mobile communication patents, including essential 5G technology. It will resolve all pending litigation across various jurisdictions, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Mainland China, the UK and four additional countries.

The patent conflict was a notable event in the mobile industry, particularly impacting OPPO's international expansion plans and operations in key existing markets such as China, India and Indonesia. The complexities of managing global operations and the strategic capabilities required to navigate various geographic and business climates have been underscored by this dispute. OPPO's challenges during this period were multifaceted; it had to handle extensive litigation, maintain business partnerships and uphold its brand image in the tumultuous smartphone industry landscape of the past two years.

The settlement has provided substantial relief to OPPO and its affiliates, including OnePlus and Realme. For instance, OnePlus promptly resumed sales in its German online store on the announcement day, indicating an immediate positive turnaround in sales operations following the lifting of legal constraints. The resolution suggests two primary strategic outcomes for OPPO this year:

  • Rebuilding key market relationships: the protracted litigation affected OPPO's finances and reputation, stalling investments and progress in its global outreach. The uncertainty also impacted its supply chain and global channel partners. A prioritized focus for OPPO will be to reengage with channel partners, particularly in Europe, where business disruptions were most acute due to suspended operations.
  • Enhancing R&D investment: the cross-licensing agreement underscores the importance for OPPO to develop its own cellular technologies, including 5G and 6G. Advancing R&D can help prevent future disputes and possibly generate licensing revenue.

Way forward for OPPO

OPPO's immediate strategy revision is crucial as it emerges from the dispute into a recovering global market. Several opportunities could serve as catalysts for OPPO's short-term growth, despite market challenges and competitive pressures:

Leveraging multi-brand strategy: OPPO can capitalize on its various brands to strengthen its market presence, such as focusing on expanding OnePlus in Europe. The recent OnePlus Open launches in various European markets, which have been well-received, offer a solid foundation for rebuilding local channels and confidence.

Aggressive 5G expansion: OPPO (excluding OnePlus)'s 5G share of its overall shipments outside Greater China has increased modestly from 15% to 31% between 2021 and 2023, in contrast to Samsung's leap from 28% to 61%. OPPO should expedite its 5G integration, especially in European markets where 5G is becoming standard for mid-to-high-end devices.

Global branding campaign: reinforcing OPPO's brand image and innovation commitment is essential. This effort should manifest through launching new products and services, and engaging in thought leadership, particularly in areas where OPPO has invested significantly, such as AI, user experience innovations with foldable devices, and digital health features in wearable technology.

The patent dispute resolution presents OPPO with an opportunity to reassess and recalibrate its global strategy. The effectiveness of OPPO's future actions, particularly in rebuilding partnerships and advancing R&D, will be closely watched by its industry partners and could serve as a benchmark for resilience and adaptability in the dynamic mobile industry.





  • 重塑关键的市场关系:旷日持久的诉讼影响了OPPO的财务状况和声誉,阻碍其全球业务拓展的投资和进展。这种不确定性也对其供应链和全球渠道伙伴造成了影响。OPPO的首要任务是重建与各个渠道伙伴的合作关系,特别是在因业务暂停而受打击最严重的欧洲。
  • 加大研发投入:交叉许可协议凸显了OPPO自主开发蜂窝技术(包括5G和6G)的重要性。推进研发有助于防止未来的纠纷,并可能产生专利许可收入。



运用多品牌战略:OPPO 可以利用旗下的各个品牌来扩大市场影响力,例如重点扩张一加在欧洲的市场。近期一加Open 在欧洲各市场上市,广受好评,为重建当地渠道和消费者信心奠定坚实的基础。




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