Did you know that the OPPO R9s is the best-selling Android smartphone in the world so far this year? You should if you read our recent article about it! More amazing, though, is how secluded it is to certain countries despite the worldwide success. We decided to get to the bottom of this.

One glaring exclusion from the R9s’ international scope is the Philippines, where OPPO is one of the leading brands thanks to a consistently strong marketing push and several prominent endorsers. We got in touch with Stephen Cheng, Brand Marketing Manager of OPPO Philippines, to ask why their popular phone isn’t available locally.

According to Cheng, there’s no plan at all to bring the R9s to the Philippines in the foreseeable future. “We just decided not to bring the R9s here in the Philippines because of how well the F1s is doing. We want to concentrate all our marketing efforts on the F1s,” he said.

A budget-friendly smartphone carrying a top-five international brand like OPPO? If you’re familiar with the company’s recent sales figures and the Philippines’ love for entry-level offerings, you’d understand why.

According to their statistics, the F1s had the most sales out of all smartphones in the Philippines near the end of 2016, and the momentum hasn’t stopped yet. The selfie-centric phone’s numbers surpassed those of popular entries like Samsung’s Galaxy J7 Prime.

Adding the R9s to the local portfolio doesn’t seem like a bad move if you think about it, but the recent launch of the F3 and F3 Plus may have changed the landscape. “We want to focus our resources on the F3 and F3 Plus as of the moment,” said Cheng.

Comparing the F3 Plus to the R9s, the plan makes sense. Looking at the feature list, the F3 Plus is a cross between the R9s and its larger counterpart, the R9s Plus. In addition, the F3 Plus has that dual-selfie camera everyone is raving about, and it’s priced similarly to the aforementioned pair. Introducing the R9s might only add confusion.

Still, any hope for a true OPPO flagship reaching Philippine shores this year isn’t out of the question. The recent unveiling of the brand’s high-tech optical camera zoom technology during MWC last February only means a premium handset is in the works, and it would be criminal if the Chinese company didn’t launch this on a more global scale.

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