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OnePlus has followed up its Q series smart televisions with a new U series that brings down the price points. Navnit Nakra, Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer, OnePlus India replied to a set of questions around the new products, the company’s television strategy and the new trends visible post the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
An edited version of the responses:
The guiding principle for all our products has always been our burdenless design philosophy and this has been consistently translated to our OnePlus TVs as well. With our focus on connected devices, the OnePlus TVs deliver a smarter interaction and seamless connected experience through superior technology and remarkable design curated to deliver the best possible viewing experience. Through our offerings, we aim to set the standard for future smart TV products, because we focus on every last detail.
A great example of how this is reflected in our products is the OnePlus Connect App that was specially designed for the OnePlus TV. With OnePlus Connect, we have inculcated all the feedback we received with OnePlus Q1 Series and added multiple new features. With OnePlus Connect you can now have seamless connectivity with up to five different devices in a household, giving every user a personalized and intuitive experience. With smart features such as TypeSync, Quick App Switch, Smart Volume Control, Wi-Fi Sharing and Trackpad control users interact with the TVs in an intelligent manner. Users can also control their smart TVs with Google Assistant, which has been fully integrated into Android TV as well as Google Home, making it easy to open entertainment platforms, fine-tune various settings and have full control over any media. Users can also choose to control your OnePlus TV U & Y Series with Alexa, performing a range of activities such as volume control, changing the input source or switching between your favourite channels. Finally, users can also utilise a wide range of casting solutions on their OnePlus TVs, compatible with Chromecast and DNLA.
Our Never Settle approach and our burdernless design philosophy do not focus on software and hardware in isolation. We believe that a truly burdernless experience can only be achieved with software innovations that complement good industrial design. Moreover, we have also integrated with several international and local content providers including YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Prime Video, Eros Now, Hungama, Jio Cinema, Zee 5 and many more to provide our users with a large array of entertainment options on the OnePlus TV.
The new norm we are all living in is heavily reliant on online services. Even post lockdown, we are continuing to witness an increased focus on digital modes of communication, consumption, and transaction, which in turn will lead to higher adoption of e-commerce and mobile commerce platforms. This places greater emphasis on robust networks and devices to drive this increased consumer demand.
The current scenario coupled with a growing shift towards digitisation has resulted in a consumer need for reliable technology devices that deliver exceptional performance and can seamlessly interact with one another. Additionally, we are also exploring various formats wherein we can continue to deliver premium OnePlus experience to our users beyond just our products and have already resumed our unique and first of its kind doorstep repair service initiative in over six cities which is especially helpful given the circumstances.
At OnePlus, our community is at the core of everything we do. This user-centricity has also played a fundamental role in determining our brand partnerships over the years. With Oxygen Play we have looked to provide a burdernless yet premium experience through simplicity, efficiency, and intelligent functionality.
Empowering users with exceptional content is a fundamental pillar for OnePlus. OxygenPlay is powered by partnerships with prominent content providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and more to offer users a myriad of movies and series to choose from. We have always had a very positive relationship with all content providers in India, who have always been willing to partner with us, will continue to grow our content catalog in 2020.
India is one of the largest markets in the world with more than 200 million potential TV households as per Counterpoint 2019 report on India’s smart TV market and is still under-penetrated which makes India a more key growth market for the entire TV and content value chain. Furthermore, India’s TV shipments climbed to a record 15 million units and the Smart TV segment was the fastest-growing, up by 25 per cent YoY as per Counterpoint. With the popularity of OTT platforms and robust Internet connectivity, the smart TV market has steadily continued to grow and evolve in India.
The demand for smart TVs is being driven by the rising consumer preference for built-in smart functions in personal devices, sleeker designs, a range of display options, and increasing internet penetration. Additionally, with emerging technologies including Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driving digital transformation, a connected ecosystem will be the primary factor ensuring the relevance of smart TVs in the near future.
For OnePlus, designing a TV is about more than creating a high-quality display. We believe that a TV takes up a prominent spot in a household, meaning its design must be worth viewing even when the TV is turned off. Our smart TVs are a step towards a future of interconnectivity, with seamless integration into a home network. We envision a future where devices can seamlessly interact with one another, elevating the burdenless user experience.
The overwhelmingly positive response and acceptance we received from customers was a testament to our efforts to build a connected ecosystem by diversifying offerings and reaching a wider audience. In fact, according to Counterpoint, in the premium smart TV segment of 55 Inch and above with the price range of Rs 50000 and above, OnePlus became the 5th largest TV brand in terms of shipment in 2019
Taking into account the feedback we received for OnePlus Connect during the launch of OnePlus Q1 series, we now have added several additional features to it. This now allows consumers to have seamless connectivity with up to 5 different devices in a household, giving every user a personalized and intuitive experience.
In addition to addressing the feedback we received from customers, our community programmes play a critical role in building some key features. In February 2020, the company laid down a new initiative for a new kind of community programme. The OnePlus TV Product Ninjas in collaboration with our Closed Beta Tester group, have hosted three formal webinars, 10+ group discussions on the official TV Product Ninja Slack group. In fact, the OnePlus TV Product Ninjas have been responsible for major contributions in the following areas of the new OnePlus TVs: Kids Mode (Parental Control), Data Saver Plus, Oxygen Play and OnePlus Connect.
Additionally, our current remote design was also created based on our community’s collective feedback wherein they desired a more functional remote. As per their preferences, the decision was taken to create this type of remote.
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