Opinion: Is The OnePlus 3's Price Hike In The UK Justified?

The OnePlus 3 is one of the hottest smartphones around at the moment. OnePlus had introduced this smartphone last month, and unlike past two years, this time around you don’t need an invite in order to buy the company’s flagship. The OnePlus 3 is available to everyone, presuming the company ships to your country, of course. Anyhow, we’ve already reviewed this device, in case you’d like to know more about it, but it sure is quite a compelling offering for $399, not only do you get premium specifications and build quality, but you also get an almost stock version of Android with some features from OnePlus, a great camera and an ultra fast fingerprint scanner. It is also worth mentioning that OnePlus has no intentions of launching the 2nd-gen OnePlus X this year, nor any other smartphone for that matter, so OnePlus 3 remains their sole focus in the smartphone department, which might be good news as far as updates are concerned. Why am I mentioning this? Well, OnePlus is not exactly famous for delivering fast updates, that’s for sure, the OnePlus 2 started receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow just recently.

Let us touch on OnePlus 3’s specs real quick. This smartphone sports a 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display, a whopping 6GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable internal storage. The device is fueled by the Snapdragon 820 64-bit quad-core processor, the most powerful mobile chip currently available out there, next to the Exynos 8890, of course. The 16-megapixel OIS + EIS camera is placed on the back of OnePlus’ newest flagship, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes out of the box here with OnePlus’ OxygenOS UI on top of it. Now, as you can see, these are quite a powerful specs, and no wonder OnePlus managed to intrigue quite a few people when they released this phone.

That being said, the OnePlus 3 went on sale basically immediately after the company announced it for the aforementioned price of $399, this is its price in the US, while the pricing is comparable in other markets. This smartphone was priced at £309 in the UK when OnePlus launched it, and it still is, but considering that the UK decided to leave the European Union, the pricing of this smartphone will increase in the UK. As most of you probably already know, 52% of voters from the UK voted for leaving the European Union, which basically caused mayhem online. Everyone was talking about it at first, and people still are, so it remains to be seen how the UK will handle being on its own. The Pound immediately weakened in the market, and the UK will be affected in numerous ways because of this. We’re not here to talk about the UK and their economy though, but something else that was affected by the UK’s decision (also known as Brexit).

As already mentioned, the OnePlus 3 will become more expensive in the UK due to Brexit, OnePlus had already confirmed this. The device will no longer cost £309, you’ll have to splash out an extra £20 if you’d like to get it, which brings its price to £329. This new pricing structure will become a reality on July 11th, and people are not all that happy about it, which is a completely normal reaction. Many people are actually wondering why OnePlus did this, was this truly needed? The OnePlus 3 costs are set against the Dollar, so many people think that this was a rushed decision by the company. Why did OnePlus do this so soon after Brexit, why didn’t they wait until everything stabilizes and then see what’s next?

In the company’s official blog post, they said that they’ve noticed a downward trend for the Pound against the Dollar a long time ago, they’ve been monitoring the situation for the last two years, and that they’ve held off raising the price in the UK for as long as they could. Now, the timing of this price hike seems like a measure of precaution more than anything else, OnePlus said that Brexit forced them to ‘re-evaluate the OnePlus 3’s pricing in the UK at a time of significant demand’. Now, I am aware that OnePlus is on a significantly tighter budget compared to larger companies like Samsung, LG and Huawei, for example, but was such a quick reaction truly necessary? The Pound did hit a 31-year low against the dollar following Brexit, and truth be told, it is possible that it affects the company, we don’t really have all the facts, but they could have waited for a couple of weeks in order to see what happens, it is possible the pound will stabilize sooner than they think. It is hardly likely that the currency fluctuations would have decreased OnePlus’ profits too much, which is probably why people reacted in such a fashion. Well, at the very least, the company’s accessory prices are not affected by Brexit, the prices have remained the same in the UK as they were before Brexit.

Following this price increase, some people have actually accused OnePlus of taking advantage of Brexit in order to grab consumers’ attention, marketing is everything (even negative marketing), isn’t it? Well, such accusations do seem exaggerated, but… we’ll never know. Now, one question does come to mind, does this mean that OnePlus intends to lower the OnePlus 3’s price if GBP gets back on its feet in the near future? That is a question only OnePlus can answer, but this whole reaction does seem a bit exaggerated, and has managed to annoy quite a bit of people, even though OnePlus might have a point in all this, especially considering the phone has launched quite recently and is still in high demand it seems. I do hope that other companies won’t follow OnePlus’ lead, we did not see many such reports flying around, so it seems like Brexit won’t affect pricing structures of larger companies, but we can’t know that for sure, we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, while we’ll also keep one eye on GBP, who knows, maybe it manages to stabilize in the coming weeks, though that’s not that likely.

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About the Author
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Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]