OnePlus is reversing its strategy.
At the Chinese launch of the OnePlus 3 in Shenzhen, company CEO Pete Lau made a surprising announcement: OnePlus X is the last of its line. Of course, it’s also the first, so what made OnePlus drop the idea?
According to Lau (via Engadget), the reason has nothing to do with the popularity of the device, or lack of thereof. The executive claims the actual reason is to allow OnePlus to channel all its creative energy into one device, the “true flagship,” the OnePlus 3.
We can speculate that the OnePlus X, while fairly well received by critics and users, is simply not sustainable, due to its low price. Despite of OnePlus’ public aversion to making a profit off its phones, the company can’t ignore reality for too long.
Looking forward, OnePlus is looking to strengthen its foundation, which was shaken by the mediocre performance of last year’s OnePlus 2. OnePlus plans to merge the development teams for its two operating systems, the China-only Hydrogen OS and the global Oxygen OS. The company recruited several members of the Paranoid Android custom ROM project (which just came back to life) to develop Oxygen OS, but we’re hearing attrition rates have been high.
Under these circumstances, it looks like OnePlus wants to streamline its software operation, and a merger of the two OS’s makes could be a good idea. That said, Hydrogen OS is highly skinned, while Oxygen is close to its stock roots, so OnePlus will need to strike a balance here. Lau said that an announcement regarding this merger will be made later this year.
Lifestyle products and after-sale services will continue to be a big focus for OnePlus, and the phone maker plans to spend more on marketing. OnePlus’ initial “guerilla marketing” approach worked well in the beginning, but by the time the OnePlus 2 was out, people were growing tired of all the antics. In contrast, the run-up to the release of the OnePlus 3 has been rather muted and it looks like this more mature demeanor is the new norm.
Pete Lau indirectly admitted that the OnePlus 2 did not live to the expectations created by the original OnePlus One. “We hope that once our fans have played with the OnePlus 3, they will feel the same way they did with the OnePlus One,” he said.
OnePlus 3 is now on sale globally, with the invite system all but forgotten. Check out our full review and let us know your thoughts!