OnePlus launched itself into the smartphone market with the incredible value of the OnePlus One, which was priced at under $300 back in 2014. Since then, the company has steadily increased both the quality of its devices ... and their prices. Recently, though, there have been rumors going around about interest in getting back to offering a lower-cost phone, and now OnePlus CEO Pete Lau is confirming the company's commitment to offering a cheaper option.
After six years in the smartphone game, OnePlus is ready to reinvent itself yet again. In a new interview, CEO Pete Lau says the company will be returning to its roots in a way by focusing on offering a product range that extends beyond traditional flagship phones. “We can look at it as having a more affordable product offering,” says Lau, “but all products that still remain up to the OnePlus standard... and through this enabling, more people to have access to OnePlus products.”
This isn't necessarily a step back from its current operations. Lau says the flagship devices will continue, and that this is just a way to fill another need in the market. “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," he says.
If previous leaks are to be believed, the new affordable option may boast a MediaTek processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. High refresh rate screens are all the rage right now, so the new device is likely to use a 90Hz 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with a hole-punch camera and an embedded fingerprint reader. There also could be three cameras on the back (please no macro lens) along with a big 4,000mAh battery.
A CAD render of the rumored low-cost phone, which might be dubbed the OnePlus Z.
This news isn't the only new tidbit to come out of the article. Lau also says that this new product won't be the only one, and OnePlus is looking to expand into other device categories. OnePlus already sells accessories like earbuds and cases, and it released a smart TV in India last year. The goal is to create enough scale to offer a common ecosystem across multiple devices, like Apple or (kind of) Google.
“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,” Lau states. “OnePlus is still a young brand. 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.”
This might just be a bunch of PR, but along with the leaks from earlier this year, I think it's safe to say that OnePlus is serious about testing the waters of the more mid-range market. More competition in that space is always welcome, and I can't help but be curious about the new products that will show up in OnePlus's portfolio next.
- Fast Company