OnePlus has managed to create a niche following for its “flagship killer” smartphones around the world. The company has been launching two flagship smartphones every year for the past two years, but it is still catering to a segment belonging to a niche audience.
While OnePlus has been focusing mainly on mid-range premium devices in the form of its flagship killers in the past few years, it released a one-off device in the form of OnePlus X in late 2015. The OnePlus X brought signature features of a OnePlus device with metal and glass design in a package that was considerably affordable. The smartphone belonged to the mid-range segment, a segment that contributes a large number of smartphone shipments.
Since the launch of OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T in 2016 followed by OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T in 2017, the Chinese smartphone maker has been rumored to introduce a mid-range variant of these devices multiple times. Now, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has set the record straight by confirming that the company will stick to its current plan of launching only flagship smartphones. According to GizmoChina, Lau confirms that OnePlus has no plan to launch a mid-range smartphone, at least not until 2021.
It means for the next three years, OnePlus will not introduce a successor to the OnePlus X and will not compete with mid-range devices from its sister brand Oppo and Chinese smartphone makers. It says the focus is on flagship smartphones, and is attempting to shift any/all remaining stocks before release of the next model.
The company is avoiding having old smartphone models in stock and selling them alongside newer models. Lau says the demand for the older devices isn’t high enough to continue making them alongside the new models. While having only one model for sale does limit the growth in general, the strategy does seem to be working well for OnePlus. In India, OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T have been the best-selling premium smartphones soon after their launch on Amazon India. The OnePlus 5T was the best-selling premium smartphone in India during the first quarter of 2018.
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OnePlus 6, the successor to OnePlus 5T, was launched this month and the company confirmed it surpassed the sales record set by it predecessor within 10 minutes of sale on May 21. Pete Lau says OnePlus 5T was a big success even by its own internal metrics. The OnePlus 6 is certainly set to surpass that in terms of net promoter score before its successor, OnePlus 6T, arrives later this year.
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