Once upon a time, there were two dominant smartphone companies in India, Samsung and Apple. One day, came a third company that offered some magical things that swept people off their feet– affordable price and mind-boggling specifications.
It has been four years since the launch of OnePlus smartphone in India, and without doubt, the company is ruling India’s smartphone market. To what does the company owe its success? Apparently, word-of-mouth strategy is the only thing you need to gather the attention of 1.3 billion population of India. Since the release of its first smartphone, the company has been touted as a “flagship-killer”. Moreover, after the launch of OnePlus 6, the company holds almost 50 percent share of India’s premium smartphone segment.
Shenzhen-based OnePlus is still considered as a start-up in several countries. However, the growth shown by the company in just four years is so remarkable that the kings of smartphones such as Apple and Samsung are now considering OnePlus a serious threat. Kyle Kiang, OnePlus’s global marketing head, explained, “People believe that we invest huge amount of money in marketing, but we don’t. However, we focus most of our resources on the product.” On the contrary, OnePlus has India’s one of the highest paid actors, Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador. This has created a huge fan base for the company. However, signing famous actor for the promotion is not enough to drive the market growth. OnePlus launched itself at a time when there were few options in smartphone market. The biggest competitors for OnePlus were Samsung, LG, and Apple. OnePlus caters the best specifications at an affordable price. Being almost 65 percent cheaper than the price of Apple’s iPhone X, OnePlus 6 targets those users, who look for high-end processor, latest Android OS, remarkable storage, and long-lasting battery.
Another reason that boosted OnePlus’s market is online sale. In India, most of the smartphones sales are through online sites such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal. In addition, OnePlus’s partnership with Amazon turned out to be fruitful for the company’s growth. According Amazon India, OnePlus 5 was the bestseller smartphone during the recent Amazon ‘Prime Day’ as the company sells its smartphones exclusively Amazon. However, Kiang stated that the company will explore the offline options. Last year, OnePlus opened its first offline store in Bengaluru, and is expected to open five more stores in India in near future.
To compete with OnePlus, Huawei recently launched another smartphone, Huawei P20 Pro. As the specification of P20 Pro comes out on top, what OnePlus’s strategy will be to attract more consumers is the major question. On the other hand, Kiang declared in an interview in Mumbai on May 17, “If we continue to make good products, we’ll continue to grow. As long as we achieve that, we don’t have to worry about anything else.” It is crystal clear that from the most popular invite system to launching smartphones with special movie-inspired editions, OnePlus can come up with unique marketing strategies. However, people hope that the company keeps the trends alive with its dazzling products and never-seen-before strategies.