May 28 : Even before OnePlus launched its OnePlus 8 series, there was a buzz that the company would launch an affordable variant this year for the masses. While the launch seemed to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is yet again abuzz with the news that the company has hinted launching an affordable smartphone in India soon.
The Shenzhen-based company has always been into premium smartphones, except once when it launched a mid-range version, the OnePlus X in 2015, which was a commercial failure in India and elsewhere. OnePlus immediately called off the launch of OnePlus X2 and never tried to enter the budget smartphone segment again.
With its CEO Pete Lau, hinting during a recent interview, that the company is yet again considering making a comeback in the affordable market segment, and would launch budget smartphones in India soon, speculations in the market started once again.
With India’s masses falling in the budget smartphone segment, every smartphone maker eyes this segment for a profitable business.
In recent times, OnePlus has been launching its flagship smartphones. Its OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro models are highly-priced between Rs. 41,999 and Rs. 59,999. With a 33 percent share last year, the brand dominated the premium smartphone market in India by overtaking Apple and Samsung.
A challenge to Xiaomi or OnePlus?
Will Xiaomi, which has a reputation for selling affordable phones in India, be affected by OnePlus’ decision to venture into a low-priced market segment? On the contrary, Xiaomi, which has done well in the low-margin smartphone market, has announced that it will launch its flagship Mi 10 in the Indian market soon, which may be priced at Rs 50,000 or more. This would, in fact, challenge OnePlus 8 Pro. Earlier, Xiaomi sold Redmi Note 9 series in India.
However, Xiaomi and Realme are already present in India’s low-budget smartphone market segment. Experts believe that this time, OnePlus will have a tough time faced with the competition. While Xiaomi and Realme’s budget smartphones have good specs and affordable prices, it would be interesting to see how OnePlus strategises to enter this segment with better specs and affordable price.
Earlier, when OnePlus wanted to launch the affordable OnePlus Z, it was supposed to be the first smartphone with a Snapdragon SoC, powered by Snapdragon 765 SoC. The smartphone was said to be run on Android 10 OS, which is based on OxygenOS. Will this newly hinted low-budget OnePlus variant be OnePlus Z? Let’s wait for the company’s confirmation.