In its early days, OnePlus had a ‘one phone per year’ strategy. Then, starting with the OnePlus 3, the company started adding a T version in winter to augment the summer release.
But with the OnePlus 7, the company started coming up with two handsets per cycle, effectively meaning it would be producing four phones each year. And it doesn’t look like OnePlus will be slowing down this release schedule any time soon.
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“When we decided to use the dual product strategy we think about the product itself,” CEO Pete Lau told The Times of India. “We want to provide the best user experience.
“Take OnePlus 7 Pro for example, for regular customers in Indian markets that’s a very high price but on the other hand we really want to give our customers the best user experience. That’s why we introduced the OnePlus 7 as a more approachable product for more users.”
That’s really just a marketing way of saying that more products means it can target more demographics, so it’s not like there’s anything particularly controversial there. It’s the same thing which companies like Samsung and Sony do all the time with their handsets. Still, it’s a sign of just how far OnePlus has come that it now has the resources to pursue this time-honoured approach itself.
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As for how the handsets have been doing: pretty well. But in the UK it does feel like the phones may cannibalise each other a bit, with the basic versions being more than enough for most people.
As Alistair wrote in our recent OnePlus 7T Pro review: “The biggest problem is that with the OnePlus 7T being released now, and sharing a number of the same features as the 7T Pro – and costing a bit less – there’s less incentive to opt for the more expensive Pro option than there was with the original OnePlus 7 line.” That didn’t stop it earning a four-star rating from us, though – it’s just that the plain 7T earned half a star more.