(Pocket-lint) - It’s rare that a company decides it’s just going to stop making stuff.
At a time when Oppo’s mobile arm is expanding, Oppo’s audio visual division has decided that there’s no money in audio or its excellent 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and will no longer design and make new products, ending a 14-year history.
Oppo’s statement makes it clear that “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.”
As for the UK arm, it seems that Oppo Digital UK will continue to trade while stocks last but “expects to close its doors in the Summer”. Technical support, warranty claims, servicing and spares will be handled by a third party in future, though there are no further details at present. “All commitments made by Oppo Digital UK will be met,” said the statement.
Oppo Digital makes it clear that firmware will “continue to be maintained and updates released from time to time”, though history with other companies tells us that updates aren’t likely to be as regular as they have been in the past. And with good reason; you can’t make money out of stuff you’ve already sold.
Nigel Rich, managing director of Oppo Digital UK had this to say: “We can be very proud of our achievements over the past few years. I am very proud of our staff and very sad that we will now be closing our doors for good.”
But the Oppo name will live on; Oppo’s mobile division is one of the top smartphone brands in China. What's more, its chief recently let slip that it will follow the lead of Xiaomi and Huawei and begin to sell phones in Europe soon – no doubt starting with the R15 and R15 Pro that it has recently announced.
We reckon these sales are likely to be SIM-free and online to start with rather than replicating its strategy in China, which has mostly been around in-store sales.
Check out our guide to the best Android phones around