Tech Talk: Don't Expect Wearables From OnePlus Any Time Soon

Chinese tech startup OnePlus recently announced that there would be no sequel to the OnePlus X smartphone that the company had launched with much fanfare last year. When asked about its decision, the co-founder of OnePlus, Mr. Carl Pei, revealed that the company plans to concentrate on just the “one true flagship” every year rather than diverting its resources into trying too many things too soon. Fielding questions from the media on the issue, the company’s official spokesperson, meanwhile, clarified that OnePlus will continue to sell the current OnePlus X handset as long as there’s demand. The company also said that it will continue providing support for all “existing and new OnePlus X customers”.

Even as every new tech startup seems to be jumping onto the smart wearable bandwagon with either smart bands, smart rings or smart eyewear, what's remarkable is that OnePlus apparently intends to stick to what it does best - make high quality smartphones at affordable prices. During the course of an interview, Mr. Carl Pei elaborated on the company’s plans for the near future, saying that investing in smart wearables would be "too risky" a proposition, given the current market dynamics. Earlier reports had indicated that an Android Wear-based smartwatch was in advanced stages of development at OnePlus, but the company apparently backed out from launching it commercially at the very last moment.

Mr. Pei also lauded his company’s decision to put smart wearables on the back burner for now. He claimed that OnePlus actually benefited from aborting its wearables plans, as the company would have “lost a lot of money” had it invested heavily in wearables last year. According to him, “You have to trust your own judgment, that's something we've come to learn over the past three years. You have to look objectively at the market and not be affected by pressure or excitement”. While OnePlus isn’t categorically dismissing the idea of entering the sector at some stage in the future, Mr. Pei’s stance on the issue means that the company will be in no hurry at all for launching a smart wearable.

Meanwhile, even though wearable technology is seemingly one step too far for OnePlus right now, the company isn’t shying away from another hot trend in the consumer tech space – virtual reality. The company has already been playing around with the upcoming technology, having launched the OnePlus 2 in VR last year. OnePlus has also given away around 30,000 Loop VR headsets to fans for free, so it’s pretty evident that at some stage, the company might look to test the market by offering something that might be of interest to consumers. However, Mr. Pei believes that VR will eventually be defined by one or two large multinationals, and is humble enough to acknowledge that OnePlus wouldn’t be one of them. According to him, the companies who stand a real chance of making VR work are Facebook (Oculus), Google and “maybe a wildcard – maybe Steam”. Which is why, fans should not expect a VR offering from OnePlus right now, although, there’s no telling if the company will decide to jump into the segment at some stage in the future. Especially as its celebrated co-founder insists that "there's no doubt VR will be a huge deal in the future”.

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Kishalaya Kundu

Senior Staff Writer
I've always been a tech buff and have been building my own PCs since as far back as I can remember. My first computer was a home-built desktop running MS-DOS on which I learnt to program in GW-BASIC and my interests apart from technology include automobiles and sports.
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