OnePlus set to enter the Indian smart TV market, but only with flagship models


  • The Chinese smartphone manufacturer, OnePlus, is ready to embark into the smart TV segment in India.
  • The company’s co-founder, Carl Pei, stated that OnePlus will position the TVs as flagship models as they have done with their smartphones.
  • The increase in competition is good news for consumers since it could spell cheaper prices in the future.
The demand for smart TVs in India has been increasing with disposable incomes shooting up. Xiaomi already disrupted the space with their ₹40,000 smart TV and now it looks like OnePlus is ready to jump into the fray.

While both of the Chinese smartphone manufacturers are profiting from sales in India, their strategies in the Indian market are worlds apart.

That being said, OnePlus plans on launching smart TVs in the flagship segment rather than the budget segment according to the company’s co-founder, Carl Pei.

“The market is big. There are different segments…while we haven't revealed our product rollout plans, the positioning of TVs has to be the flagship… There is still a lot of work that could be done in terms of user experience,” Pei stated in an interview with the Economic Times.

Even when it comes to smartphones, Xiaomi may have the most amount of sales, but consumers are more satisfied with OnePlus phones. And for OnePlus, India contributes to nearly one-third of their global revenue making it a key market for the company.

Over the past year, OnePlus has been aggressively campaigning any new products that come into the Indian market like setting up hubs for research and development locally.

Good news for the TV consumer

Currently, the market for smart TVs in India is pegged at ₹22 billion, and set to grow another 30.2% between 2018 and 2024. The burgeoning demand for products in India can be attributed not only to the increase in people’s incomes but also to the level of internet penetration in the country.

Not to mention that since there are more companies competing in the segment, the prices of smarts TVs have dropped.

And, OnePlus isn’t the only brand looking to make a move.

In the past year, Thomson, Kodak, Xiaomi and even the locally-groomed Micromax tried to foray into the smart TV segment. While Xiaomi definitely made an impact, other televisions weren’t as impressive.

Competing in the budget segment, where features are generally comprised for costs, not all smart TVs are as ‘smart’ as they need to be.

Any smart device is a gadget that can connect to the internet. But a well functioning smart device has to do more than just that. And, that’s where most smart TV manufacturers are struggling. While most TVs run on Android, they’re not necessarily running Android TV. And with custom user interfaces, even if the TVs come preloaded with Netflix or YouTube, other OTT platforms like Hotstar or Amazon Video Prime tend to crash when installed later.

If OnePlus is looking to launch into the flagship segment, then user experience of the smart TV has to be its top priority.
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