OnePlus will maintain a flagship-only product strategy for at least three more years, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Pete Lau revealed in a recent interview with NDTV Gadgets. That planned approach doesn't just dismiss the possibility of another mid-range experiment such as the OnePlus X debuting until at least 2021 but also eliminates the chances of the company moving away from its business model that sees it retail only one smartphone model at a time. Save for rare exceptions such as India, OnePlus-made devices go out of stock in most markets before their successors are announced and released, with Mr. Lau pointing to that trend as a conscious effort allowing the Chinese firm to concentrate its marketing operations and maximize the amount of exposure it generates for any particular product.
Besides streamlined operations, a single-smartphone strategy is also something OnePlus's target demographic wants, according to the CEO. The feedback generated through the company's market research efforts largely points to the vast majority of its fans wanting the very latest handset from the firm and not an older model at a slightly lower price, the executive said. A minor discount would also make it unlikely that consumers would want to buy an older phone if they could get a significantly better one at a similar price, whereas aggressive price cuts would only generate losses as OnePlus already operates on extremely thin profit margins relative to the rest of the manufacturers competing in the premium segment of the market, which is what allows it to undercut its rivals in the first place, Mr. Lau suggested. The newly released OnePlus 6 starts at $539, with its most capable variant retailing at $100 more.
OnePlus remains focused on the e-commerce space and it's still selling the majority of its products online, the CEO confirmed. Over the next three years, the display notch introduced with the handset will get smaller, while its overall bezels will also shrink, as per the industry veteran's predictions. The top model of the OnePlus 6 is already out of stock in the U.S., only a week after being released, though sales are expected to resume shortly.