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OnePlus Carl Pei: another phone by Christmas & NFC is overblown

The OnePlus 2 launched last week but the company may yet release another handset this year with co-founder Carl Pei also saying NFC was omitted from the OnePlus 2 as it is overblown and the company plans to be the third biggest OEM in five year.

Published onAugust 3, 2015

oneplus 2 launch aa (48 of 93)

It’s barely been a week since OnePlus released its latest flagship – the OnePlus 2 – but the company already has its sight set on another phone for later this year. In an interview with USAToday, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei revealed that the company has already turned its attention to another phone planned for before the end of this year and it may be a mid-range device.

Pei was asked whether the company had plans for another phone this year, to which he replied:

There’s going to be a second phone this year, before the end of the year. Hopefully for Christmas.
It may or may not be (higher spec’d than the OnePlus 2). When I saw the prototype for that phone I was like ‘holy s— that’s going to be my daily driver’ but then when the OnePlus 2 production version came out it’s also super nice, so its really hard to decide now what to use.
It’s going to be amazing, but today I’m not going to talk about it.

Pei’s answer suggests that we may see the company launch a handset that fits into the mid-range market but with the OnePlus 2 covering the $330-$400 price range and the OnePlus One filling in below that, the new handset will certainly need to be very aggressively priced.

Should you buy the OnePlus 2?

Rival companies such as Samsung, LG and Motorola have all gained significant market share by focusing on devices in the sub-$200 price range and OnePlus could be looking at a similar strategy. Pei said the company is targeting being the third major OEM in the market (alongside Apple and Samsung) in five years and expects all other OEMs to have died.

In 5 years I think it will be Apple, OnePlus and Samsung because there’s no more room in the market. Everyone else would’ve died because they couldn’t reach the scale they wanted fast enough or they couldn’t have a margin to sustain their business. Look at the soft drink space: there are only two players, Pepsi and Coke.

Pei was interviewed after OnePlus launched the OnePlus 2 last Tuesday and since then, the company has received somewhat mixed feedback; on the one hand, its latest smartphone delivers an impressive feature set at a reasonable price but on the other, it left out some features that many users associate with a flagship device.

OnePlus 2 hands-on and first impressions

One of these is NFC (Near Field Communications), which is a major requirement for the increasing trend of using your mobile phone to pay for items. Pei said the company didn’t include NFC as very few people use it and that NFC is overblow.

I think the entire issue of NFC is overblown. Very few people are using NFC, so we cut it. It’s as simple as that.
I know that Android Pay is coming but all that is in the future. It (NFC) is going to gain widespread adoption in stores 12-18 months from now. By that time people will have moved on to the next device.

The last comment is definitely interesting given that the company teased the OnePlus 2 by calling it the “2016 Flaship Killer” and we were expecting the handset that challenged flagships, both this year and next. Yet Pei expects people to be moving on within a year, which may yet happen but surprising given the forward-thinking claims of the Chinese company’s latest flagship.

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Would you buy a low to mid-range OnePlus smartphone at the end of the year? What about Carl Pei’s thoughts on being one of only three manufacturers in five years and the lack of NFC in the OnePlus 2? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!

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