29 May 2020
OnePlus has set some goals for itself which it intends to complete sooner in order to build an even better relationship with its loyal followers. In an exclusive interview with FastCompany, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau revealed that the company will once again focus on the things the matter the most. While keeping the specific details with himself, he disclosed something that we all have wanted to hear.
Lau said that the company will make cheap phones again by taking a visit to its roots. He didn’t give out any additional details on the same but we suspect it will begin from the long-rumored OnePlus Z.
At the time of the OnePlus 8 series' launch, it was assumed that OnePlus will also launch an affordable model for its consumers. But it didn’t happen and since then we all have been holding-up our excitement. Now, Lau’s statement has given a ray of hope and in fact, a confirmation that a cheaper OnePlus phone is indeed on the way.
OnePlus didn’t make any haste at the time of the OnePlus 8 series launch. It appears that OnePlus would launch a separate series that would include only the affordable models of smartphones. And if we consider this assumption, it would make sense that why OnePlus didn’t launch the OnePlus Z at the event because that would have stolen OnePlus 8 thunder.
OnePlus is now speculated to launch its first-ever truly wireless earbuds in July and we believe, OnePlus would also bring its new affordable series at the same time. The introduction of a completely new series may kill the “T” series that OnePlus has been launching every year since the launch of OnePlus 3T. It is possible that OnePlus would follow the same cycle of launches from next year onwards that includes launching a flagship series first, followed by affordable ones.
In related news, it recently came to notice that OnePlus may never launch special McLaren Editions of its phones since the partnership between the two companies looks to have ended already. So it appears that OnePlus is restructuring and reconsidering many things at once to reshape its company and pivot it to the goals which actually need some attention. However, it is quite possible for the company to retain its “T” variants in order to offer a wide range of options at different price points to its customers.
The rumored OnePlus Z is expected to bear MediaTek’s Dimensity 1000 processor. And, OnePlus phones with T suffix come as trimmed-down versions of the flagship phones launched in the first half of every year. So, these are going to be two completely different series – one that serves budget-friendly customers and the other that would offer more at a considerably lesser price than flagship phones.
As Lau said,
“What we’re seeing is that with current products, there’s still a demand from a large consumer base for a more suitable price that enables more consumers to be able to access OnePlus products. That’s really important insight, and it’s something that we’re taking into very serious consideration.”
In the same interview and in a special post on Weibo, OnePlus has also addressed that it will expand into new product categories. Once again, Lau didn’t expose any details on the same, but he did utter “ecosystem of connected devices”. Lau, however, confirmed that “a glimpse of the new strategy will arrive soon with an announcement for India.”
OnePlus has already entered the smart TV era and forayed into other categories beyond the smartphone with Bullets earphones and now a TWS is also expected. The report made on the interview with Lau points out that the "hope is to create enough scale to offer a common ecosystem across devices."
We indeed have come from background and roots as a hardware company, but from what we see looking forward, building an ecosystem is a forward trend.
Looks like, OnePlus is now the new company getting smitten with software and service to build a new ecosystem. The company knows that it has to contend with some existing champs of the market but Lau says the opportunities still exist. In saying this, he exemplifies how their smart TV has a shortcut for switching between apps and can automatically reduce volume when a call comes on phones. OnePlus looks to be bullish on its decision but it only remains to be seen how the planned strategies go from here.
Lau further said,
“OnePlus is still a young brand,” Lau says. “We are a company that’s constantly considering, evaluating, iterating, working on our strategy, continuing to improve our strategy to really be focused on creating a long-term, sustainable success.”
Another key takeaway from the interview is that, OnePlus is hoping to bring lower-priced to other markets, including North America and Europe.