Smartphone brands push factory tech upgrades, as Q3 sales decline
Smartphone brands like OPPO and Honor have invested in smart tech upgrades, such as AI and remote connection technology, at their manufacturing facilities to support expansion into the middle- and high-end market segments.
The companies are also focusing more on improved cameras and chip features in their flagship models as total market sales declined almost 7 percent in the third quarter.
OPPO announced upgrades to its manufacturing facility in Chongqing, Southwest China, where output reached 30 billion yuan (US$4.69 billion) in the first three quarters.
The smart factory upgrades include 5G, cloud, industrial AR and VR and AI-powered automated vehicles. An intelligent warehouse will be built in Chongqing next year, OPPO said.
In a newly-built Shenzhen smart factory, Honor can make a smartphone within 29 seconds on average. There are only 24 workers on a 146-meter production line in the factory, with an automation rate exceeding 75 percent, Zhao Ming, Honor's president, said in an online conference for the new Honor 60 model.
Smartphone firms care more about production technology and efficiency, rather than capacity, when total market sales decline.
In the third quarter, global smartphone sales dropped 6.8 percent among the top five vendors, Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO, according to research firm Gartner.
OPPO released its new Reno 7 model with a jointly developed Sony camera sensor that supports improved portrait photography effects.
The Honor 60 model targets middle- and high-end markets where the company dominates at prices between 2,000 to 4,000 yuan, Zhao said.