OnePlus: We will return to making more affordable phones
OnePlus has indicated in an interview that it wants to – and will – return to making more affordable devices again, and while that includes smartphones, it also relates to a wider range of connected smart products.
The timing of the interview suggests OnePlus is preparing a phone for launch in the near future, and the original article does mention an unveiling aimed primarily at the Indian market.
It could well be that OnePlus is going to launch its rumoured OnePlus 8 Lite or OnePlus Z in the coming weeks and months, as had been predicted in the run up to the launch of the 8 and 8 Pro.
Pete Lau, the company’s co-founder, sat down with Fast Company and stated within that session that its goal is to sell more phones with lower price tags, and making them work within a wider ecosystem of devices.
That doesn’t mean OnePlus is suddenly going to take its eye off the ball when it comes to device performance and quality though.
That will remain a focus, but Lau seems to acknowledge something many of us have been thinking; in that OnePlus has moved away from what made its early devices so appealing, and alienated a lot of early fans in the process.
Those fans who might now be looking at devices from the likes of Redmi and Realme and thinking they can get flagship specs for less than even OnePlus is offering.
“What we’re seeing is that with current products, there’s still a demand from a large consumer base for a more suitable price…” Lau stated, and that’s no surprise.
When OnePlus launched its first ever phone, the product was created to be powerful but very affordable, undercutting the big-name flagship smartphones.
The OnePlus One featured the processing power of a true flagship, with plenty of RAM and storage, an awesome battery and a big screen, all in a package that cost about half what you would pay for something from Apple or Samsung.
That helped it appeal to a large group of tech-savvy buyers who perhaps didn’t have the budget – or just didn’t want to spend the money – required to get a more established brand.
Fast forward six years, and now we’re on to the 8th major series of OnePlus launches and there’s no affordable phone in sight.
The latest phones may still be cheaper than the ‘Pro’ lineups from Apple and Samsung, but it’s hard to call a £600 or £800 phone ‘affordable’.
Exactly what the ecosystem of affordable devices surrounding the phones looks like, we don’t exactly know, but the company has given us a glimpse of it with the launch of the OnePlus TV, and that seems like just the beginning for a company that sees its future as being much more than just smartphones.