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OnePlus will bring premium tech for retail users this year

Aiming to cement its position in the highly-congested premium smartphone market in India, Shenzhen-headquartered handset maker OnePlus is working towards bringing premium technology to more offline users in the country in 2020, a top company executive has said.

OnePlus continued to lead the premium smartphone market in India in Q3 (July-September period) last year, according to Counterpoint Research. The company, with 35 per cent market share, grew 95 per cent year-over-year (YoY).

"In 2020, we plan to scale up investments in the offline retail space and bring premium technology to more consumers who are primarily offline-based through our OnePlus Experience Centres and retail partnerships," Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India, told IANS in an interview.

This comes at a time when OnePlus is experiencing stiff competition from Apple, which has witnessed a turnaround in the highly-competitive premium smartphone market with an increased market share.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple garnered 51.3 per cent share in the Rs 35,000 and above price segment in Q3 of 2019 that ended on September 30.

According to Agarwal, "Expansion of retail presence is one of our key focus areas this year."

The company is investing heavily in creating premium service experiences for customers so that every touchpoint with the brand is a remarkable experience for its users.

"The plan is to have at least over 5,000 stores across India in 2020. We are already working to open 100 new 'Experience Centres' in the country's top 50 cities this year," the OnePlus executive informed.

In terms of offline presence, the company has collaborated with large-format retail chains including Croma, Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales, Bajaj Electronics, Poorvika Mobiles and Sangeetha Mobiles.

It currently has presence in over 2,000 retail stores.

"We will continue to expand our partnerships so that our community and OnePlus enthusiasts can walk into their nearest electronic store to experience our latest products," added Agarwal.

The company is also mulling to inaugurate its largest and one-of-its-kind Experience Centre, spanning 16,000 sq ft, in Hyderabad soon.

Asked if OnePlus also wants to bring its concept phone with colour-shifting glass technology that makes the rear camera "invisible" to India, Agarwal said: "The OnePlus Concept One phone and its camera setup are an innovative experiment in the future of smartphone design, and OnePlus's R&D and product teams are continuing to test and extend this technology.

"A new technology application requires valuable user and market feedback, and when the time is ripe, we will introduce it to the market."

The handset maker unveiled the OnePlus Concept One at the CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

Concept One is an exploration into the future form of smartphones (including camera layouts and exterior form) and ECMF (electronics' colour, materials and finishing), and offers a breakthrough solution to the growing problem of unsightly protruding camera designs.
 

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