OnePlus Will Only Launch Flagship Smartphones Till 2021
OnePlus launched the OnePlus One back in 2014 and has dubbed its smartphones as the “flagship killers” ever since. The company experimented with the OnePlus X but, reverted to launching flagship devices soon after. Recently, the Chinese smartphone maker launched the OnePlus 6, another flagship-grade smartphones at a much more affordable price compared to the Samsung Galaxy S9, Huawei P20 Pro and more.
In an interview, the company’s founder Pete Lau conceded that OnePlus plans on sticking with the same launch policy for the next three years at least. This means that OnePlus will only launch flagship smartphones till 2021. Apart from the last two times when OnePlus simultaneously launched a special edition OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 6, the company launches one smartphone at a time.
Also unlike in countries such as India, the company only sells one smartphone at a time. For example in North America, the OnePlus 5T went out of stock before the OnePlus 6 was launched. Pete Lau points out that this helps the young company to concentrate its marketing operations and maximise the amount of exposure it generates for any particular product. He also claims that this strategy is what OnePlus fans also like. The company’s market research found out that OnePlus consumers want the latest device from the company instead of an older one at a lower price.
One of the main attractions of a OnePlus smartphone is its price. The OnePlus 6, for example, has top notch specifications similar to the Galaxy S9 and is still priced at Rs 34999 for the base model. The S9, on the hand, costs Rs 57900 in India. Pete Lau says that OnePlus operates on extremely thin profit margins compared to the rest of the manufacturers in the premium smartphone segment. This allows the company to undercut its competitors significantly, which is extremely crucial for price-sensitive markets like India.
While it may take a bit of time before we see OnePlus selling a budget smartphone, it is fair to say that it will have high expectations. The idea of a OnePlus X2 running on Snapdragon 835 SoC priced at under Rs 20000 floated around a bit before Carl Pei declared it was “fake news.” When will we see a OnePlus X successor? Only time (and OnePlus) will tell.