Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is currently ruling the premium segment of the Indian smartphone market and has even left technology giants like Apple and Samsung behind. In fact, its previous flagship, OnePlus 6 (review), has become the most sold smartphone by the company. OnePlus has mostly stuck to the mid-range segment in India. And if you were expecting the company to launch a smartphone in the budget segment, you may have to face disappointment.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has said in an interview with PTI that the company plans to stay only in the premium segment in the country and will only be launching flagships. But he did agree that there is a huge market in the Rs 15,000-20,000 category that can be catered to saying, “It is a temptation but we are not doing that. We have had a mission from the start of building a flagship phone with the best features, we will continue to focus there.”
So, while Lau may find the idea of making smartphones for the said segment, he isn’t losing the vision of only manufacturing flagship smartphones for India.
It is worth noticing that this isn’t the first time that the company has spoken about the affordable segment of smartphones. In 2015, it launched the OnePlus X in the said segment, but the handset did not see much success in India. So OnePlus discontinued the series after launching just one model. and since then, OnePlus has not gone back to making affordable smartphones and instead is only focussing on the premium segment. We should also point out that the company has doubled the number of units that it is making.
According to Counterpoint Research, in Q3 2018, OnePlus captured over 30% of the market share with its flagship OnePlus 6. Speaking of the premium segment of the smartphone market, OnePlus CEO said, “The premium segment is about 4-5% right now but if 3-5 years from now, it were to be 15-20%, the market scenario would be totally different…we are here for the long play. That is what we have told the India team, they need to focus on being healthy and sustainable in the long-term.”
The Chinese smartphone maker has confirmed that it is working on a 5G smartphone, which will cost higher than its current flagships and it is, therefore, expected to be unveiled as a part of a new different series from OnePlus. Besides this, the company is also working a smart TV. Other than OnePlus 7, both these devices will be launched next year in India.