The OnePlus Z (or whatever OnePlus decides to call its next phone) isn’t the only affordable product that OnePlus has in store for India.
Remember the OnePlus X? Well, its successor is coming to India in July. Days after dropping subtle hints about it, OnePlus has confirmed that it’s gearing to launch a new, more affordable smartphone product line beginning with India (and Europe). Over time, OnePlus will also launch these phones in other markets such as North America though there’s no definitive timeline to reveal for now.
What’s interesting is how OnePlus is focusing on India, which is one of its biggest markets, though in an entirely new way. The OnePlus X, which was OnePlus’ last (and only) shot at making an affordable phone, was a big flop globally as well as in India though buyers and critics had some nice things to say about it especially its all-glass (ceramic) compact form factor. The OnePlus X was launched in 2015. Since then, OnePlus has built a reputation of making only premium high-end flagships, with every iteration climbing up the price ladder.
Jumping from that to an affordable lineup is a big change for the company in question even though OnePlus made headways back in the day on the back of some dreamy high-end smartphones that it sold at rock-bottom prices (in comparison to competing flagships). Moreover, the word play seems to suggest there will be more than one phone, though OnePlus may decide to bring them one by one.
“We know that there are many people who want a really solid smartphone that meets their everyday needs, and for a more accessible price,” OnePlus said in a blog post, adding that “we are going to start relatively small with this new product line by first introducing it in Europe and India.”
OnePlus has set up a new team internally with a “young, creative and enthusiastic” staff led by long-time product hardware development head Paul Yu to strategize and build this new product line. And it has started hyping its soon-to-launch product with a dedicated Instagram handle, called OnePlusLiteZThing, that may or may not be what it ends up calling it. This could be a jibe at all the leaks and rumours doing the rounds of the internet (for a while now) around a purported OnePlus phone called the OnePlus Z (also thought to be the OnePlus 8 Lite) for all we know.
The Instagram handle is private (for some reason) and inside there are a few teaser images. One of them confirms that OnePlus will launch the first phone in the new lineup in July (it’s actually a puzzle in Morse code). Also, the colour teal seems to be a headlining feature, so it could be one of the colour options for the new phone.
The OnePlus Z (or whatever OnePlus decides to call its next phone) isn’t the only affordable product that OnePlus has in store for India. On July 2, the company will launch an affordable smart TV lineup in the country. OnePlus has confirmed that at least one of the models of the upcoming OnePlus smart TVs will start at under Rs 20,000. These smart TVs will be designed to bring a premium experience across different screen sizes, to the mid-range as well as the entry-level price segment, according to OnePlus. It doesn’t look like OnePlus will launch its affordable smartphone on the same day, though we will have to wait and watch out on this one for more clarity.