BBK Electronics-The manufacturer who Rivaled Apple [Case Study]

BBK Electronics-The manufacturer who Rivaled Apple [Case Study]

BBK electronics is a Chinese multinational conglomerate. It owns over half of the smartphone market in India through its subsidiaries OPPO, VIVO, Realme, iQOO and OnePlus. It has been branded as the most innovative company for its ingenious strategy. BBK has multiple brands to cater to every market segment from entry-level models to mid-range and premium models. In 2017, BBK electronics emerged as the second-largest producer of smartphones by shipping over 56.7 million smartphones, beating Apple and Huawei.

The Strategy Behind Each of their Brands


BBK Electronics was founded in the year 1998 by a Chinese billionaire and entrepreneur Duan Yongping. After he left his gaming company Subor which was a heavy competitor to Nintendo in the 1990s. He started an electronics manufacturing company named Bubugao, which later was renamed BBK electronics. BBK Electronics specialized in consumer electronics such as television sets, CD and DVD players, Blu ray players, digital cameras and smartphones.

The Strategy Behind Each of their Brands


In 2004 that Duan founded OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. with CEO Tony Chen. The company got into the mobile phones market in the year 2008. In another 5 years it became the second most profitable company in China alongside other players like Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi and Lenovo.

Oppo first made its presence in 2014 in the Indian smartphone market with the release of its flagship device Oppo N1. With an overall market share of just 4%, Oppo needed a better marketing strategy to stay in the competition. Since then Oppo used various marketing strategies like celebrity marketing, retail marketing, sponsor marketing etc. to increase brand awareness.

Oppo is also known for its retail strategy having opened more than 600 stores in shopping malls and plans to add 400 more stores by the end of 2020. Oppo has an international presence across 21 countries globally. Oppo has made its name as selfie expert technology and is ranked 4th for creating the best selfie experiences among the younger generations globally.

They were also the first to feature an in-display front-facing camera, meaning you won’t be able to see the camera hidden under the display. Oppo's success does not come from any complex marketing strategy but based on a customer-oriented strategy to provide a better customer experience.

Oppo owns most of its supply chain and distribution networks. They have manufacturing units that produce all the devices and equipment. While companies like Samsung, Huawei etc. are focused on all segments from entry-level to high-end mobiles, Oppo has its offering on high-end specs with low prices.

Share of Smartphone Users in India BBK Case study
Share of Smartphone Users in India

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Vivo was founded in the year 2009 by CEO Shen Wei. It was in 2011 that Vivo smartphones first appeared with the focus on ultra-slim factor and relying on celebrity endorsements to capitalize on the smartphone boom. Vivo's core business lies in the mid-range smartphone section, however recently the brand had stepped into concept APEX and NEX ranges.

Vivo NEX was the first truly bezel-less smartphone with a selfie pop-up camera. Vivo is also known for its Hi-Fi technology, which is short for high fidelity audio experience. They market themselves as a camera and music smartphone model. Vivo entered the Indian market in late 2014 with the world's officially slimmest smartphone. Vivo was the first to introduce an in-display fingerprint scanner with its Chinese model Vivo X20 Plus UD. It also came up with the fastest charging technology called VOOC and super flash technology.

Vivo has a very proactive advertising and marketing strategy. It uses medium such as print, television advertising and social media marketing to promote its products.

For an example, Vivo had already replaced PepsiCo to become the official sponsor for Indian Premier League Season (IPL) in 2016. Vivo promotes its wide range of products by advertising on billboards using an extensive OOH (OutOfHome) campaign.

Vivo Advertising Billboard
Vivo Advertising Billboard

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OnePlus was founded in the year 2014 by Pete Lau and Carl Lei. OnePlus launched one smartphone every year, unlike any other smartphone brand who have unveiled 4 to 5 products every year. The chose to launch all their products exclusively through online marketplace Amazon and have opened thier stores in selected cities.

It has made its mark in the premium smartphone category and its tie-ups with OTT platforms like Netflix have further increased the brand reputation. The brand slogan is "Never Settle" which became very popular among young generation. Users started to opt OnePlus phones which provided higher specifications and are cheaper compared to their premium end rivals such as Samsung and Apple.

Netflix Oneplus tie-up
Netflix OnePlus tie-up

OnePlus is known for making viral waves with its invite-only system. OnePlus adopted influencer marketing to reach a variety of audience. It built an online platform for technology enthusiasts to discuss android app development related queries.

OnePlus also has some amazing brand ambassadors such as Robert Downey Jr. and Amitabh Bachchan. It has made an aggressive campaign online to promote sales, which are usually booked within moments as the sales go live.

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Realme was founded in the year 2018 by former OPPO vice president Sky Li. Realme was introduced in the Indian market as a competition against another Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi which dominated the lower price segment. Realme adopted Xiaomi's strategy and sold most of its phones through an online channel. It has also partnered with offline retail chains to expand its reach. Realme has adopted slogans like Dare to Leap, dare to buy, to promote purchase of their smartphone. They target young consumers through social media marketing campaigns and viral media campaigns.


The latest smartphone from BBK electronics to enter the competitive Indian smartphone market is IQOO (pronounced I-koo). With the launch of premium smartphone IQOO 3, the phone comes with both 4G and its 5G variants. They are focused on providing an advanced smartphone to grow its small user base.

Virat Kohli Brand ambassador of IQOO
Virat Kohli Brand ambassador of IQOO

IQOO partnered with Flipkart on the distribution end and endorsed by Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. Initially released through online stores they are planning on setting up offline stores, so that customers can get a hands-on experience of device functionality.


Is Xiaomi owned by BBK?

BBK does not own Xiaomi. BBK owns 5 smartphone brands that are Oppo, Vivo, Oneplus, Realme and iQOO.

Who is the owner of BBK Electronics?

Duan Yongping is the founder and owner of BBK Electronics.

How much is BBK Electronics worth?

BBK Electronics was estimated at $77 billion as of 2020.

Is Nokia a Chinese company?

Nokia is a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology, and consumer electronics company.


Owing to the well-established supply chain and distribution centers set up by Vivo and Oppo, these brands can enter the markets pretty easily. Whereas OnePlus has set its user base primarily in the North American, European and Indian Markets. As OnePlus is starting to cater to the mid-range segments with a device like “Nord”. Vivo and Oppo are entering the premium segment.

Realme is proving itself as a leading competitor in the entry-level mobile segment challenging the likes of Xiaomi. Vivo's IQOO brand is targeting premium segment with the introduction of 5G flagship smartphones in Indian markets.

BBK electronics has reached this level of success by wisely adopting an age-old adage which states to don't put all your eggs in one basket. Every brand under the parent company BBK electronics has its range of products towards each market segment, So if one fails, they can depend on the other to make a profit.

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