Since OnePlus made its smartphone debut with the OnePlus One in 2014, the price of the company's handsets has been creeping up, but CEO Pete Lau says he wants the company to make affordable phones again, while branching out to make other devices.
OnePlus smartphones started off at a modest £220, and now we have the OnePlus 8 series which starts at £600 for the OnePlus 8 and £800 for the OnePlus 8 Pro. In an interview with FastCompany, Lau explained his vision for the business' new strategy that will see a return to cheaper handsets that don't compromise on performance.
"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.”
OnePlus branched out into the world of tellies with the OnePlus TV which launched in India last year, as well as turning its hand to headphones, with a new pair of truly wireless earbuds rumoured to be on the way. Lau suggests there's even more in store, saying the company will be expanding into other product categories, and wants to create an ecosystem of connected devices, because every bugger is doing it. Just this week, we saw Xiaomi tease a streaming stick alongside a scooter, so everyone's getting on board.
"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...
"OnePlus remains an independent company, but what this means is there’s a larger base of users across this group for potential access to building out a wider ecosystem."
The new products are under wraps right now, but we all know OnePlus loves a good tease, so it won't keep a lid on it for too long I imagine. Lau says OnePlus wants to bring lower-priced smartphones to markets including North America and Europe, with the goal being to flog more handsets thanks to the wallet-friendly price, laying the foundation for a connected ecosystem of devices.
"We can look at it as having a more affordable product offering, but all products that still remain up to the OnePlus standard . . . and through this enabling, more people to have access to OnePlus products.”