OnePlus started off as a company who sold decent smartphones at really cheap prices. Unofrtunately, even with their “Never Settle” motto this resulted in them cutting corners at times. As the company has matured and grown they have not just cut less corners but unfortunately because of this had to increase the cost of their phones. Now they are heading back to their roots and will start adding more affordable smartphones to their lineup.
According to CEO Pete Lau, starting with India, OnePlus will start releasing smartphones (and other devices) for all segments of the market. Earlier this year we saw rumours of a OnePlus 8 Lite or OnePlus Z but it didn’t eventuate at the OnePlus 8 Series announcement but is now expected to make an appearance as one of their more affordable devices.
The new smartphone as part of this strategy is expected to arrive with a Mediatek processor, 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage — way more than most devices in that expected price range. It will be interesting to see if they bring a 90Hz display to this cheaper device — it can be done as shown by their stablemate realme. Hopefully the device also brings their new-found smartphone photography chops.
Lau told Fast Company that while the phones will be cheaper they will “remain up to the OnePlus standard” — ie. will still have a great build quality. The first affordable device is “coming soon” apparently and is expected to launch in India sometime in July. When the phone is announced OnePlus will also announce their new strategy of bringing and detail their plans to bring “lower-priced devices to other markets, including North America and Europe”.
At the same time we expect OnePlus to announce their true wireless earbuds and plan on using that as a springboard to build an ecosystem of OnePlus devices. This does not mean that they will stop making their premium and ultra-premium devices but rather attempt to cover all segments of the market.
Hopefully the announcement will include their plans to bring their devices into Australia — unlikely I know but we can always dream.