OnePlus on Thursday said the sales of its smartphones, especially the newly arrived OnePlus 7T, have not been impacted by the launch of the iPhone 11 and the price cut on iPhone XR in India.
“Not apparently from what we’ve seen so far,” OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told indianexpress.com on the sidelines of the global launch of OnePlus 7T Pro in London. “The OnePlus 7T started selling in India last week and it’s been on sale already. What we see with our users is that they also look at educating themselves and make choices a bit differently. We continue to see growth and we’re excited about it,” he said.
Analysts and trade pundits had predicted that Apple’s aggressive push in India with the iPhone 11 and recently discounted iPhone XR might hurt the OnePlus brand the most.
When pressed on the impact of the iPhone 11 on OnePlus’ current lineup of devices, Lau showed confidence in the products it currently offers in the market. “Each product that we release has its differentiated characteristics and features. If we look at the Onelus 7T with a 90Hz display and the smoothness it offers, that really is something stand out from all products in the market,” he said, though Lau did not share any specific sales figures related to the newly launched OnePlus 7T.
Global smartphone sales have stalled as the market matures, but India is amongst the few markets where people continue to upgrade to newer phones, especially on the high-end. OnePlus rules the top-end of the smartphone market in India, where it competes with Apple and Samsung. Its phones are cheaper than other flagships from Samsung and Apple while featuring the same or similar specifications, performance and premium design.
However, Apple seems to be changing its market strategy in India and that could mean more pressure on brands like OnePlus. With the launch of iPhone 11, the Cupertino aims to corner the high-end of the smartphone market in India. Apple’s entry-level iPhone 11 starts at Rs 64,900. That’s Rs 12,000 cheaper than the price at which the iPhone XR was launched. In fact, customers can buy the iPhone 11 for as low as Rs 58,000 after including bank offers.
Apple had also given a price cut on last year’s iPhone XR, which was available for as low as Rs 35,999 during the recently concluded festive sale on Flipkart. This made the iPhone XR cheaper than the OnePlus 7T, which costs Rs 37,999. There were reports that both these phones were sold out in the recent festival sales.
OnePlus has a loyal following and the brand continues to offer terrific smartphones. The only problem is that if the competition starts getting aggressive, like in the case of Apple, it could mean OnePlus will start losing the price advantage to competitors.
Disclaimer: The author is in London at the invite of OnePlus India