Earlier this week, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said he wants to see a point where the company can get back to its roots: cheap phones. Not handsets that are cheap to use or don't offer any sort of quality, but smartphones that aren't going to break the bank for many customers even as they go after the flagships out there that cost quite a bit more. This is how OnePlus made a name for itself all those years ago, so it certainly makes sense that the chief executive would want to see a return to that way of life for the company.
But OnePlus's popularity has only grown over the years, even as its most popular smartphones have become more expensive.
So what's the right move here? That's hard to say. After all, there's a significant gap that OnePlus would need to close before it could really say it's making "cheap phones" again. When the company started to go after the flagships with its first smartphone, the handset only cost $299. That was significantly less than what the likes of Samsung and others were charging at the time for their top-tier handsets, but OnePlus didn't hold back on many of the features people expected from those types of devices.
Could you imagine if OnePlus came back to the table with a high-end handset, with features people desire in a smartphone that typically costs around $1,000, that only cost around $400? Or even $300? That would probably really rock the industry, and it would be pretty exciting to see something like that happen.
And we may! We've been hearing about a handset called the OnePlus Z for quite some time now, and it's believed to be a more affordable handset. However, the only catch is that it's expected to be a follow-up to the OnePlus X from 2015, which would probably mean it's a mid-range handset. That wouldn't really fit the bill, but it would technically bring OnePlus back to its cheap phone roots.
After all, OnePlus can have both options, right? The high-end, more expensive flagship model and the cheaper, more affordable option. That's something we've seen work for companies like Apple, so it would be interesting to see if 2020 is going to be the year OnePlus jumps back into the "affordable phone" market. And, if they do, if the handset is worthwhile.
Are you ready to see OnePlus get back to its cheap phone roots? Let me know!