OnePlus came into the Indian market in 2014. The company announced that it would launch devices that will be ‘flagship killers’. While it followed up with its statement with the OnePlus 3, 3T, 5, 5T, 6, 6T, 7, and 7T, it felt like the company was trying to sway in the ultra-premium segment market with the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 8 Pro devices by pricing them up to Rs 60,000.
The OnePlus 9 series launched last month confirms the company’s plans to foray into the ultra-premium segment and compete directly with the likes of the iPhone 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S21. This means that its devices aren’t flagship killers anymore. In fact, they now come in the same range as that of the flagships it was trying to compete with.
OnePlus 9 Pro’s 12GB+256GB variant is priced at Rs 69,999. This is ambitious from OnePlus given that now the users will directly have to choose between the OnePlus 9 Pro or the iPhone 12 base variant with 64GB memory.
OnePlus Fans Disappointed By Average Devices
In the initial years, OnePlus was phenomenal with every product that it came out with. A few of its smartphones that were game-changers were the OnePlus 5T and the OnePlus 7 Pro. Both the devices brought something fresh and super cool with them. Even the OnePlus 6 series was a serious upgrade over the OnePlus 5 series.
However, with the OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus didn’t really push the boundaries like people expected it to. Or maybe, it did, but that got overshadowed by the expensive price tag that the devices came with.
All the new devices that OnePlus has launched since the OnePlus 8 series have had bugs, display issues, and over-heating issues. Most of the users feel like OnePlus has been launching average devices for quite some time now.
Not that they are not ‘good’, but they are ‘average good’. The ‘average good’ devices that we are talking about do have strong specifications, good cameras, power, the clean OxygenOS UI, but they have their fair share of issues.
Compared to this, the iPhone 12 didn’t have any major issue that we know of, and neither did the Samsung Galaxy S21. It is not a good sign when a company’s flagship device priced in the ultra-premium segment has issues on its launch. Further, it is even a worse sign when that happens with more than one device (OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 8T, and OnePlus 9 Pro).
What’s Disappointing For OnePlus Fans?
Most of the OnePlus fans aren’t disappointed by the pricing. Surprisingly, people are ready to pay whatever price OnePlus is asking them to; but they are disappointed in what the device has to offer.
A few years back, OnePlus launched stellar devices under Rs 40,000, which were as good as flagships in the ultra-premium segment. This made people think if OnePlus is offering so much for under Rs 40,000, just how much will it offer with the devices priced above Rs 50,000!
With the excitement of getting more by paying more, OnePlus fans purchased the latest offerings from the company only to find out; the devices had bugs, other issues, and most of all, they lacked the ‘magic’ OnePlus used to create with its low-range devices.
Again, they were not bad smartphones; they just didn’t meet the expectations of the OnePlus fans. The company started with an aim to compete with other companies offering over-priced ultra-premium flagships. But now, with the OnePlus 9 series, OnePlus has become one such company.
Xiaomi can overthrow OnePlus in the Indian market with its competitive offerings such as the Mi 11X, the Mi 11X Pro and the Mi 11 Ultra that’s directly competing with the OnePlus 9 Pro.
Where is the OnePlus We Know?
OnePlus seriously needs to dial things down and go back to its roots, talk about its plans in India and come up with amazing devices like it used to. Indians don’t only want cheap devices. For what it’s worth, OnePlus can price a device at Rs 1,00,000, and people would still pay for it. But, in order to be really successful in India once again, OnePlus will need to bring that magic to its devices.
The recent OnePlus partnership with Hasselblad was good, but it didn’t create a huge difference, and the Mi 11 Ultra priced at the same range has a better camera than the OnePlus 9 Pro. The OnePlus 9 Pro doesn’t even come near the S21 Ultra when the camera performance is concerned.
OnePlus has been all over the place with its offerings in India. It is no longer the brand that only manufactured and sold amazing smartphones; now, it has become a brand trying to do what others in the market are doing.
OnePlus has launched a plethora of products in the last few years, including audio products, power-banks, and more. What the company needs to do is focus on its smartphones again and not distribute its resources in other products.
While many would appreciate the OnePlus ecosystem of products, the company wouldn’t be able to create that ecosystem without stellar devices in the first place. It is not too late for the company; it still has a lot more to give to India. Hopefully, OnePlus finds its way back with the OnePlus 9T series and offers something the market couldn’t have imagined it would.