OnePlus on Sunday announced the Indian pricing of its OnePlus 8 series smartphones with the pricing seen as “aggressive” and on the “expected” lines. The company announced that the OnePlus 8 will begin at Rs 41,999 and the base variant of OnePlus 8 Pro is priced at Rs 54,999. While the company announced its pricing of the OnePlus 8 series smartphones for the US and European markets at its launch event on April 14, OnePlus skipped out on the Indian pricing. India is one of the crucial markets for OnePlus as Counterpoint Research in February revealed that the company took the top spot in the premium smartphone segment. Following the OnePlus 8 Series launch, Counterpoint Research said that “OnePlus has been gradually moving up in the premium category, and the price hike was justified with the addition of new features.” However, the firm said that OnePlus shipments will see a decline of 11% YoY in 2020.
The ‘Aggressively’ Priced OnePlus 8 Series
OnePlus on Sunday announced that the base variant of OnePlus 8 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage would be priced at Rs 41,999(US$548). The mid-tier variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at Rs 44,999 (US$587) while the top tiered variant with 256GB storage is priced at Rs 49,999 (US$653).
In comparison, the company in the US priced its base variant of the OnePlus 8 with 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage at US$699 (Rs 53,517). Further, the top spec variant with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage is priced at US$799 (Rs 61,173).
Similarly, the OnePlus 8 Pro with a base variant of 8 GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at Rs 54,999 (US$718) while in the US, the phone will set the consumers back by US$899 (Rs 68829). The top spec variant of the OnePlus 8 Pro with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage is priced at Rs 59,999 (US$783) while in the US, the phone retails for US$999 (Rs 76,486).
While the base spec variant of the OnePlus 8 is currently restricted to India, the savings in the mid-tier variant which is the base variant in the US is around Rs 8518. The Indian consumers can save around Rs 11,174 when purchasing the top spec variant of the OnePlus 8.
The OnePlus 8 Pro users will also save more in India with the difference between the two markets is currently around Rs 13,830 for the base variant. The top spec variant buyers of the OnePlus 8 Pro can save around Rs 16,487 in India with the phone priced cheaper than the top spec variant of the OnePlus 8 in the US.
“So OnePlus8Series priced aggressively as expected in India starting (~$543) with 6GB variant, undercutting even its starting price in RMB (though 8GB) & even iPhone SE 2020 here (~$555). Not often we see $ pricing translating 18% lower -Brave move considering 18% GST & strong $ [sic],” Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research, said on Twitter.
The OnePlus 8 Series Sales Could Still Suffer Due to COVID-19
Following the launch of the devices on April 14, Pathak said in a blog post on Counterpoint Research that the launch quarter will surely be impacted from a sales perspective.
“For instance, in India, around one-third of the company’s annual sales happen during launch Q2 quarter,” Pathak said. “To offset this, OnePlus will need to aggressively scale up its efforts in Q3 and Q4 where we think demand will be shifted in India due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.”
Further, Pathak said that the company can look at multiple ways to push its sales including those related to upgrades due to its loyal user base.
“This will also be the first time when OnePlus new launch sales will overlap the launch quarters of Samsung Note and Apple iPhone refresh too,” Pathak said. “We are expecting a strong competition in India’s premium market in Q3 and Q4 2020.”
It also has to be noted that OnePlus could also face some competition from its own smartphone family as Realme and iQOO have devices with Snapdragon 865 platform at similar price point.
The base variant of the iQOO 3 is priced at Rs 38,990 while the base variant of Realme X50 Pro is priced at Rs 39,999. While it remains to be seen how the devices all fare in comparison with the OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus certainly faces a stiff challenge at the top. In 2019, OnePlus shipments grew 28% YoY as it captured 33% market share in the premium smartphone segment. However, the company in 2020 has to withstand competition from its own smartphone family while also facing a fresh challenge from Apple with its iPhone SE 2020 launch. Further, the COVID-19 situation can also play a crucial factor in the sales of the OnePlus 8 series smartphones.