Interview: OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei explains why their smart TV is only launching in India

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Interview: OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei explains why their smart TV is only launching in India
Carl Pei, OnePlus co-founder, explains that there’s potential for growth since Indian users are ‘leapfrog’ from CRT TVs to Smart TVs.
  • OnePlus just launched its smart TV exclusively for the Indian market at a price of Rs. 69,900.
  • Carl Pei, OnePlus co-founder, explains that there’s potential for growth since Indian users are ‘leapfrog’ from CRT TVs to Smart TVs.
  • The OnePlus TV is also only available in 55-inches.

OnePlus TV launched today and it’s exclusive to the Indian market. At a price of Rs. 69,900, OnePlus has chosen to two variants of the OnePlus TV — regular and Pro — but in a single size of 55-inches. The Pro version has been priced at Rs. 99,900.


“It’s a balance. We think at this stage, for this product and price point, 55-inches is the best size,” Carl Pei, OnePlus co-founder, told Business Insider.

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When it comes to price, Pei believes that Indian consumers may be ‘price conscious’ but they can discern between the value and the price tag.


“We saw with the smart phones. We could have sold a lot more if we were to sell ₹10,000 phones instead of ₹50,000 phones, but that’s not where we think we can add value,” explained Pei.

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India exclusive OnePlus TV


OnePlus had multiple options to expand its portfolio but it chose TVs as that where the sweet spot in india lies.


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“We see a real need for TV because consumers are upgrading in a ‘leapfrog’ way to smart TVs,” said Pei.


“Here in India, people are going from CRT TV’s directly to smart TVs. And, we’re seeing the growth for this category,” stated Pei explaining that Indians have skipped over Plasma TV technology.


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As of now, OnePlus TV will only be available in India. The company is looking at other regions as well, but is yet to make a decision.


“We have to look at the feedback but the market dynamics are not the same in western markets — people don’t watch TV anymore,” said Pei.


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Premium product amid market slowdown


Launching a premium product in India at the time of a slowdown might be risky but Pei says the market fluctuations don’t really matter.


“We shouldn’t let short term market fluctuations change our company’s strategy,” he explained, “It’s all cyclical, the economies. In the upcycle, we’re going to do well.”
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OnePlus’ consumers are also mostly urban. Until 18 months ago, 70% of OnePlus over had a master’s degree, according to Pei.


But, OnePlus also recognises the opportunity in Tier II and Tier III cities as well. “We’re trying to address this because there’s still a lot of purchasing power in non-urban areas by rolling out more and more offline stores,” said Pei.
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