OnePlus last year entered the mid-range and budget smartphone market with its Nord lineup. The first Nord phone arrived in July with a price tag of €399 (~$480). The company then followed it with even more affordable Nord N10 and Nord N100 phones in October. It is now seemingly turning out to be a hugely successful move.
According to a Wave7 Research report, OnePlus is on track to sell more than two million Nord phones this year at T-Mobile’s Metro alone. The report says the arrival of the new low-cost OnePlus phones at the T-Mobile-owned MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) has hugely boosted its sales. The market share of nearly 15 percent is the highest the company has ever seen at a US carrier. Metro reportedly sells 15-16 million devices per year.
The OnePlus Nord N10 and Nord N100 are priced at $300 and $180 respectively on Metro. However, the carrier offers the phone free of cost if you switch to its network. This promotional offer has certainly boosted the sales but the Nord line’s increasing popularity is also down to the balance of specs and affordability these phones offer.
“OnePlus is getting back to its fundamentals, offering good specs at an affordable price,” Wave7 Research Principal Jeff Moore told PCMag. Note that the original OnePlus Nord is not available in the US. So only the other two members of the lineup have been included in the calculations.
OnePlus Nord phones are doing pretty well in the US
Smartphone sales declined globally last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pretty much every phone maker saw negative growth in smartphone shipments in the US in 2020 but not OnePlus. According to tracking firm Counterpoint Research, the Chinese company registered a whopping 163-percent sell-through growth in the US last year.
As the firm says, OnePlus was a “bright spot” in a declining market in 2020. The company was able to “grow its channel presence and overall size” in the US despite all other OEMs struggling to do so. The Nord phones didn’t arrive in the US until earlier this year and yet OnePlus managed to register strong growth in sales. This suggests that the company has got its strategy for the country on point.
T-Mobile continues to be the largest source of sales for OnePlus in the US. According to the Wave7 Research report, the company has seen its market share rise at the un-carrier in recent times. This is despite T-Mobile stores getting “minor shipments” of OnePlus models which “tend to sell out” quickly.
However, the OEM is now doubling down with new low-cost Nord devices and making them available through more prepaid channels. It is also preparing to launch the OnePlus 9 flagship series in the coming weeks. The OnePlus 9 phones may arrive sometime in March.