As OnePlus gears up to launch its OnePlus 8 series as early as the end of March, it looks like more players in India are eyeing a share of the premium segment in India (Rs 30,000 and above), which grew 29 per cent on a year-on-year in 2019, according to Counterpoint Research.
OnePlus has managed to carve a niche for itself in the premium smartphone segment in India, thanks to its affordable flagships. But the competition in this category is about to get tough as budget players like Realme and new brand iQOO have unveiled their premium phones in India.
The premium smartphone segment in India is largely dominated by OnePlus, Apple, and Samsung. But lately, Realme is aggressively pushing ‘affordable flagships’. Realme took a leap in the premium smartphone category with Realme X2 Pro, which is priced at Rs 29,999. More recently, Realme unveiled its 5G-enabled X50 Pro 5G smartphone, price for which starts at Rs 37,999.
Meanwhile, iQOO has already said that it will focus on the premium space. For those unaware, iQOO is a sub-brand of Vivo in China, but will function as an independent brand in India. The company has already launched its first phone, iQOO 3 in India and it comes with 5G support at Rs 44,990. There is a 4G LTE variant as well at a starting price of Rs 36,990.
Whether 5G makes sense for India is another question, but some brands are confident that there are consumers who want to be future-ready and thus the 5G-enabled phone. But what can’t be missed is the overall package including the latest Snapdragon 865 processor and quad cameras that might attract buyers.
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Though we will have to wait for the launch to know official details, rumours suggest there will be three OnePlus 8 phones including a standard OnePlus 8 variant, premium OnePlus 8 Pro and a more affordable OnePlus 8 Lite.
It remains to be seen if Realme and iQOO can successfully break into the premium segment and eat into OnePlus’ shares, but one thing is for sure – consumers will have more choice in the premium segment in 2020.