OnePlus expands marketing strategy but Rupee fall may impact prices

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Bengaluru | Updated: November 12, 2018 3:28:29 PM

Smartphone maker OnePlus is widening its marketing and promotions campaigns while it leads the premium smartphone market but prices could be impacted by rupee depreciation.

OnePlus, OnePlus expands marketing strategy, OnePlus price, OnePlus 6T,  OnePlus IndiaThe company is looking into new campaigns to effectively market its products, given the increasing competition in the premium segment. (IE)

Smartphone maker OnePlus is widening its marketing and promotions campaigns while it leads the premium smartphone market but prices could be impacted by rupee depreciation. According to Counterpoint Reseach’s latest report on India smartphone market, OnePlus holds 30% of the market even though the company hasn’t launched a product in the last six months.

Counterpoint attributed OnePlus’s performance to strong word of mouth along with effective social media strategy, which helped the company in targeting a new user base. The company is looking into new campaigns to effectively market its products, given the increasing competition in the premium segment.

The Shenzen-based company announced that it will hold pop-up events across the country in early November for its new product, the OnePlus 6T, which will launch on October 30 in New York. It also has partnered with electronics retail chain, Reliance Digital, to expand its offline options in addition to its OnePlus experience stores. OnePlus currently has 10 stores live and said it wants to open 14 stores by the end of this year.

“Offline continues to be a strategic channel for us; it is not really a revenue driver because online continues to be our majority sales channel,” said Vikas Agarwal, GM, OnePlus India. “Our offline channels are for creating awareness, trust with customers, and giving a touch and feel experience,” he added. Agarwal said for a relatively new brand operating on the premium segment, these physical touch points are important.

Agarwal reiterated that OnePlus has no plans to expand into mid-range and entry-level smartphone segments. However, that philosophy is not shared by other brands. Counterpoint, in its report, notes that new players in the segment are led by Vivo’s Nex, OPPO’s FindX, Asus’s Zenfone 5Z, LG, among others. The contribution of the top three premium brands, Samsung, Apple and OnePlus fell 5% from 88% in Q1 to 83% in Q2 due to the entry of these new smartphones, the report shows.

But Agarwal said the rupee depreciation will impact the prices of the smartphones in the near future like with all other brands.  “Most of the smartphone production and supply schedules are locked down at least three months in advance; so since most of the depreciation has been in the last three months, price changes will reflect in the coming quarter,” he said. He added that for the last quarter, the company was able to absorb the impact of depreciation. So, while rupee drop won’t affect the October and early November festive sales, the Christmas and New Year sales will be impacted.

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