OnePlus in 2014 vs 2020, no more a Flagship Killer?


The story of OnePlus 1, and The OnePlus 8 pro

oneplus in 2014 vs 2020 by business gamut
How OnePlus changed from being Flagship Killer to a Flagship producing Brand



Do you remember the time when OnePlus 1 was launched as the new Flagship Killer with the tag line “Never Settle”?

That was the time, OnePlus targetted the enthusiast customer segment which wanted to have the best performance in a phone, which is simple and, they shouldn’t need to break their bank to own a phone which checks all these boxes. 
OnePlus simply told people that if you want a great phone, which has the best processor, good camera, large amount of storage, good display, clean operating system but in the budget; here is OnePlus 1 for you just at Rs 21,999 only. The phone promised a top-notch performance like that from a Flagship phone like Apple iPhone which was priced at Rs. 53,500 at that point in time. 
The phone was sold online and it sold like hotcakes in India as well as across the globe. More than 1 million units were sold in 2014 itself. After this, OnePlus never looked back and they were able to earn a very loyal customer base in India and other parts of the world. Currently, OnePlus has 33% market share in the premium smartphone segment.

OnePlus recently launched its new smartphones the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. The prices of which are Rs. 41,999 and Rs. 54,999 respectively( special prices for India).

I would talk about the OnePlus 8 Pro here which is placed in competition with the iPhone 11, which was launched at Rs. 64,900 in India. There is still a difference in the prices of the two competing phones, but the difference between the competing phones has narrowed down significantly. We will see how the trend of the price difference has been over the years. 

Price Comparison of onePlus vs iPhone in the competition

Let’s have a look at how OnePlus priced its new phone over the years in comparison to the price of competing iPhone. We have taken the OnePlus phones which were positioned as the flagship killers and the phones which were in direct competition. 
oneplus vs iphone comparison over years by business gamut
OnePlus vs iPhone price comparison over the years


The table containing Years and Phones releases by Apple and OnePlus

Table of Years and Phones releases by Apple and OnePlus business gamut,

Looking at the current price of the OnePlus 8 pro, which is a significant amount of money the question arises here: Is it a flagship killer or a Flagship in itself?

How expensive is an iPhone as compared to a competitor OnePlus Device?

We have done an analysis of the launch prices of all the devices OnePlus has launched right from OnePlus 1 till the latest OnePlus 8 pro against the iPhones they were aimed to kill.
The following chart displays you how much would you need to pay to buy an iPhone over the price of the competing OnePlus device.
how much extrra you pay for an iphone over oneplus  by business gamut
how much extra you pay for an iPhone over OnePlus phone


Looking at the chart we can safely assume that iPhones are not very expensive anymore in comparison to the competing OnePlus phones in 2020, as they were used to be in the early days. The iPhone 6s was launched at a price which was 169% more as compared to the OnePlus 2 launch price. 
In 2020, the iPhone 11 costs just around 20% more than the OnePlus 8 pro.
Let’s have a flavour of crude numbers and see how the price difference between the two brands have trended over the time: 2014 to 2020.

The actual price difference between the OnePlus and competitor iPhone

Looking at the following chart we can see the reducing gap between the launch price of the two brands in the competition. In the year 2014, the price difference was huge and it was around Rs. 31,501; whereas the difference in the year 2020 is around Rs. 10,000. This shows how OnePlus has moved more towards the expensive smartphones, the so-called flagship smartphones.

price difference between iphone and oneplus


So, we discussed how the launch prices of OnePlus have been since the year 2014 till 2020. Also, we looked at the launch prices of competing iPhones over the years.

This discussion so far has been around the prices only. If we look at the point in the discussion from the Brand perspective, which of the two brands has higher brand value, and how much difference in price will be just enough to keep customers switching from one brand to another are important to consider.
The customer base of OnePlus will be happy with the increasing price points of the OnePlus devices and keep buying OnePlus or they will try other options with few more bucks and get a real flagship?
In the next article around OnePlus, we will discuss around how the Business Model of OnePlus has changed since its inception.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and do read other articles by Business Gamut  on the business models of some cool companies ( attaching the links below). 
Please share the blog with your friends who would like to give a read to this blog.

3 thoughts on “OnePlus in 2014 vs 2020, no more a Flagship Killer?

  1. But with increase in price, there is also an increase in performance. A comparative study of performance or oneplus vs iPhone would justify the increase in prices as oneplus phones these days have much more to offer than an Iphone ( from an oneplus user's view). And moreover, oneplus users are willing to pay higher prices and are ready to compromise on performance. The failure of oneplus x is a proof of that indeed.


  2. Thanks Srujin for your inputs.There is no doubt on the performance offered by the OnePlus phones. In this piece we have tried to show the up stretch OnePlus has done.Talking about the OnePlus user base, we would comeup with a detailed brand study of OnePlus, where we will discuss about the customer segment.


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