OnePlus will soon announce its new mid-range smartphone, and its name will allegedly be ‘OnePlus Nord’. Do note that the phone’s name is still not confirmed, though. We’ll refer to it as ‘Nord’ for the remainder of the article, though. In any case, the OnePlus Nord won’t be coming to the States, and many people are wondering why that is. OnePlus has announced quite recently that the OnePlus Nord will launch in Europe and India, while the US wasn’t mentioned.
It is worth noting that OnePlus said the phone will be “first introduced in Europe and India”, so it’s possible that more markets will follow. The US probably won’t see the ‘Nord’ at all, even though there’s a chance it will arrive later on. OnePlus has a rather odd market placement strategy when it comes to its smartphones, or at least it seems that way. I wouldn’t hold my breath for the US launch, but we’ve reached out to OnePlus for a comment in the meantime (comment included below the article).
That being said, let’s try to answer that question, why won’t the OnePlus Nord launch in the US, at least initially. Well, OnePlus is extremely careful when it comes to choosing markets for its product launches. The company wants to sell the most units, and it’s usually choosing the markets that are the best-suited for that. And there’s our main reason, OnePlus probably doesn’t think the US is a suitable market or the OnePlus Nord. Now, you can always ask “why is that?”, read on.
It’s “only” a mid-range smartphone
OnePlus tends to launch its best of the best devices in the US. And by that, we mean the highest-end, most expensive products. OnePlus is not the only company that does that, several other OEMs are following the same path. They all seem to think that consumers in the US prefer flagship phones, at least the vast majority of them. While that may be the case for some people, I do see a hole in this thinking. There are quite a few mid-range phones that did extremely well in the US.
The iPhone SE may not be the best example, as it’s Apple’s handset, and those phones are extremely popular in the US. It also comes with a flagship processor. Samsung did launch quite a few mid-range phones in the US, and they sold really well. Google’s Pixel 3a may be the perfect example, actually. That device sold better than its higher-end siblings, and there are people in the US who don’t want to break the bank for a phone.
The thing is, consumers in the US usually buy phones on contract, that is the way, still. Well, that’s not the case for all of them, the Pixel 3a and similar phones proved that. Perhaps OnePlus should have taken a risk and launch the ‘Nord’ in the US as well, to see how it does. Some people are craving a great mid-range smartphone, and by the looks of it, the ‘Nord’ could tick all the boxes.
OnePlus stands in its own way
Even with its flagship-grade offerings, OnePlus had a rather odd policy when it comes to smartphone launches in the US. When releasing two flagship-grade phones, it only made one available in the US. Let’s take the OnePlus 7 series as an example. The OnePlus 7 was the more affordable variant, while still packing the flagship processor, and the same main camera as its sibling. That device did not reach the US, unfortunately.
OnePlus opted to launch only the OnePlus 7 Pro, its premium offering. And while most people who are interested in OnePlus devices would probably jump towards the ‘Pro’ model, we’ve seen quite a few complaints on OnePlus’ decision. Quite a few consumers wanted to get the regular model instead. There could be several reasons for that, its price could be one, its size another.
Extreme focus on India
Now, the OnePlus Nord is coming to Europe as well, not just India, but India will still be the main market for the device. Some of you probably already know that OnePlus released two smart TVs by now, the OnePlus TV Q1 and Q1 Pro. Both of those TVs arrived last year, and by this day, they’re only available in India. Indian users seem to be extremely interested in OnePlus devices, which is one of the main reasons why OnePlus puts such great focus on that country. The company is even manufacturing devices in India.
The thing is, those TVs would probably do really well in both Europe and the US. OnePlus is not exactly a well-known TV manufacturer, but perhaps OnePlus should have taken the risk. We do hope that it will happen with the upcoming budget smart TVs, though we somehow doubt it. Those TVs will also launch in India first, and it’s possible they won’t become anywhere else. Let’s hope the same faith won’t follow for the OnePlus Nord, as it would be great to see that device in the US as well.
Let’s hope things will change
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, we’ve reached out to OnePlus for a comment (check it out down below), and we’ll update this article if / when we get an answer. We do hope that OnePlus launches will cease to be regional for some products, though. The OnePlus Nord has a huge potential, based on what we know thus far, and it would be a shame not to offer it in more markets. If you’d like to know more about the device itself, check out our preview article.
"At OnePlus, we’re dedicated to bringing flagship experiences to all our devices. Our history has shown that focusing on just a few markets first and then expanding has worked well. While this new smartphone product line will initially be available in Europe and India, we look forward to bringing more affordable smartphones to North America in the future."
So, it seems like OnePlus is planning to bring affordable handsets to the US, but it did not strictly say it will be the OnePlus Nord. It remains to be seen.