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OnePlus looks to Make in India

By Moulishree Srivastava
August 16, 2016 17:53 IST
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OnePlus became one of the top five in the high-end smartphone market, with 6.1 per cent market share in 2015

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus might manufacture its latest device OnePlus 3 in India.

The company last month suspended local production of its OnePlus X smartphone within five months of launch, due to tepid demand. But, demand for its latest OnePlus 3 model is outstripping supply and the Chinese company could make the handsets at the Foxconn factory in India.

New beginnings
Local production of OnePlus X suspended within five months of launch
Reason being tepid demand
To start assembling devices in India by year end
The company became one of the top five players in the high-end smartphone market
6.1% market share in 2015
Samsung dominates the premium segment with 44 per cent market share
Apple has 27.3 per cent, Sony 8.3 per cent & HTC 7.6 per cent
India is among the top three markets for OnePlus

“We are facing a supply crunch. Since we dropped the invite-only approach, demand is higher than expected,” said Vikas Agarwal, general manager, India, OnePlus.

“We are importing handsets from China but are looking to start assembling in India by the end of this year. We are searching for component suppliers for OnePlus 3,” he added.

“We ceased production of OnePlus X recently,” Agarwal said. “The demand was not enough to justify production,” he added.

According to a CMR report published in June, OnePlus became one of the top five in the high-end smartphone market, with 6.1 per cent market share in 2015.

This segment has smartphones priced above Rs 20,000 and accounts for five per cent of the overall smartphone market in the country.

Samsung dominates the premium segment with 44 per cent market share, Apple has 27.3 per cent, Sony 8.3 per cent and HTC 7.6 per cent.

India is among the top three markets for OnePlus. “When we launched OnePlus One in India, we did not have high hopes. But after a good response, we figured India was a value-conscious market,” Agarwal said.

The company manufactures all its devices in its facility in Shenzhen, China, which has a capacity of 500,000 handsets a month.

“We will phase out OnePlus One and OnePlus 2,” Agarwal said, adding, “We would like only one or two flagship products.” OnePlus is working on its next device, which may be launched by the middle of next year.

The company is facing increasing competition from other Chinese smartphone makers. Its distribution also is limited to online sales.

“Other brands entering India are in the mass market segments and follow the omni-channel approach. We are a pure premium player,” Agarwal said. OnePlus sells its smartphones exclusively on Amazon in India.

Agarwal said the company could look at other online platforms.

Photograph: Reuters

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Moulishree Srivastava in Mumbai
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