As OnePlus gears up to launch its new flagship OnePlus 8 series sometime in May, it is safe to say 2019 was pretty good for the brand in India as it maintained its leadership in the premium smartphone segment for all of last year. The new year might not be much different. There’s already news that OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro have been spotted on Amazon India’s affiliate site suggesting the two phones will make it to India in the first batch.
But, what about the OnePlus 8 Lite? Let’s come to that later.
So according to data from a recent Counterpoint report, OnePlus captured one-third of the premium smartphone segment (Rs 30,000 and above) in India in 2019 with a 28 per cent year-on-year growth in its shipments. Interestingly, shipments for OnePlus in 2019 crossed two million, which is a first for a premium smartphone brand in India.
The numbers make sense given the brand continued with its strategy of launching only premium smartphones in its portfolio. We did see a slight shift with the ‘Pro’ version of the OnePlus 7T being introduced, targeted at high-end flagships from Samsung, Apple, and Huawei.
Apart from making premium affordable for users with OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T, which are priced starting below Rs 35,000, OnePlus also forayed into the top-end flagship segment with OnePlus 7T Pro. Then, there was a more expensive McLaren Edition as well. Interestingly, ultra-premium segment or phones priced above Rs 45,000 accounted for 25 per cent of OnePlus’ entire portfolio in 2019.
In 2020, it looks like we could see another shift in the company’s strategy with rumours of a OnePlus 8 Lite variant, said to be a mid-premium device, doing the rounds. So the OnePlus 8 series portfolio could have the premium OnePlus 8, ultra-premium OnePlus 8 Pro and an affordable OnePlus 8 Lite. Unfortunately, there is no word on how much the OnePlus 8 Lite could actually cost.
Meanwhile, OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were spotted on Amazon’s Affiliate website by a Twitter user, essentially confirming the name of the two upcoming smartphones as OnePlus is yet to officially reveal the devices. The OnePlus 8 phones were listed alongside OnePlus 7T Pro, 7T Pro McLaren, 7T, 7 Pro as well as a bunch of Xiaomi, Realme and Samsung phones at apparently one per cent advertising fee.
To be clear, this is no clear confirmation that only OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will come to India. It could be that OnePlus decides to bring the two phones in the first batch and if there’s a OnePlus 8 Lite as well, it might come later.
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