There is another smartphone gamechanger in town. In fact, 2014 will go down in history as the year in which the smartphone market in India saw one gamechanger come in after the other. The latest is the OnePlus One, one of the most awaited smartphones of this year. OnePlus One started selling in India from Tuesday exclusively on Amazon.in.
The phone is priced at R21,999, which gets a real edge when you consider that this 5.5-inch Full HD phone comes with a 64GB internal memory. The other USP of the phone, the Cyanogenmod operating system, however, has been lost to Micromax after the Indian smartphone maker managed an exclusive deal with Cyanogen just days before the OnePlus One India launch. Even then, no other phone in this price range can boast of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.5GHz Quad-core, 3GB RAM, 13MP rear camera + 5MP front camera and 3100 mAh battery.
OnePlus co-founder and global director Carl Pei said that they were really surprised by the Cyanogen move as the two companies had worked together for the India launch. “We will now introduce a new OS by Friday… It will be closer to pure Android,” he said.
The first batch of phones coming from OnePlus in India will have the Cyanogenmod OS as well as the cobranding. However, the branding will be removed in subsequent batches. Those buying the first phones will get to update the OS to the new OS.
Pei said the 16GB version of the phone will be available in India soon. The company has already brought in 20,000 units for the first wave and the second shipment could be in the country in a week or so, he added. “The invitation format lets us control demand and minimise risks. That is very crucial as we have very small margins,” he added.
Vikas Agarwal, India head of OnePlus, said the company will launch a helpline and a network of service centres from Day 1. Sharad Talwar, head of HCL Care, said they will handle the 200-odd service centres as well as the helpline for OnePlus.