Oppo exits the German smartphone market after the company lost out in a patent dispute with Nokia.
After a lost patent dispute with Nokia , which was about the use of 5G technology, Oppo decided to stop selling in Germany. Ultimately, this could damage the German smartphone market more than Oppo.
Oppo’s withdrawal could trigger a shortage of mobile phones
According to a report by Wirtschaftswoche, the smartphone manufacturer Oppo is withdrawing from the German market after a patent dispute that lasted several years. Accordingly, Oppo has already revised its website accordingly and no longer offers smartphones there.
Up to 10 percent of the German smartphone market would be eliminated. That could even be enough to cause a shortage of mobile phones in Germany. Patent expert Florian Müller warns: “The battle with mobile phone patents is thus reaching a new dimension.“
Sales ban due to infringed 5G patents
One of the reasons for the withdrawal was certainly the legal dispute over 5G patents that the Mannheim district court decided in July in favor of Nokia decided. As Oppo therefore does not have any valid licenses for the 5G technology used, the court threatened to ban the sale. After the Chinese group initially filed new appeals, however, this case became quiet.
But now Oppo’s website has a new look and presents itself from its minimalist side. Smartphones are no longer to be found there. But Oppo appeases its users. “You can continue to use your OPPO products without restrictions, access the support and of course you will also receive all future updates“, it says on the otherwise pretty bare side. In addition, resellers can continue to sell devices from their inventory. In principle, purchasing new smartphones by importing them from neighboring countries would also be conceivable.
According to the Wirtschaftswoche report, this was Oppo’s reaction to a sales ban that the Munich 1 district court had recently issued against Oppo and OnePlus . And Vivo is also involved in such a patent dispute, which could also result in a sales ban for the German market. This would mean that another 10 percent of the German smartphone market would break away.
For Oppo, Germany is a small market
For Oppo, the withdrawal from Germany is a logical step in purely mathematical terms. The group achieves only one percent of its total sales on the German market. However, to salvage that one percent, Oppo would be forced to take a worldwide license. Because the German courts insist on it. However, this worldwide license would also drive up the costs of the smartphones sold in all other countries.
It is still unclear whether Oppo is only implementing the court order and continuing to fight, or whether the group is doing so permanently withdraw from Germany. But either way, the judgment at least has a signal effect. Because legal disputes between Nokia and Oppo are also ongoing in other EU countries. A move away from the entire western European market cannot be ruled out.
This is not Nokia’s first win against a Chinese company. Because even with the expansion of the German mobile communications infrastructure, Nokia could emerge as one of the winners if the recently announced Huawei ban is actually decided.
Update ..17 19: 45 Watch
As can be seen from the Wirtschaftswoche report, Oppo does not intend to withdraw from the German market in general. Peter Manderfeld, Oppo’s spokesman, said: “Aside from suspending the sale and marketing of certain products, Oppo will continue to operate in Germany.” It remains to be seen whether Oppo will sell smartphones again in Germany, or whether the company will be targeting other product categories. An alternative would also be to sell smartphones without 5G technology.
It should also be noted that all BBK Electronics subsidiaries are affected by patent disputes with Nokia. After the sales stop for Oppo and OnePlus that has now been issued, such a stop could follow not only for Vivo, but also for Realme, since these two manufacturers also belong to the BBK Group.
We would like to thank the Telegram user “general17” for pointing out this update!