OnePlus exploded onto the smartphone scene in 2014 with the aggressively priced OnePlus One. The company continued to gain market share by undercutting more established smartphone makers like Samsung and LG. That trend might not continue with the upcoming OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. A new leak points to prices that are almost as high as Samsung’s, and that could disappoint a lot of OnePlus fans.
As recently as last year, OnePlus was still pushing flagship-tier phones that cost hundreds less than comparable devices from other OEMs. For example, the OnePlus 7T started at just $600, and it had a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 90Hz OLED panel. The OnePlus 7 Pro (above) started at$670, and it had a neat pop-up selfie camera.
A report from WinFuture now points to much higher prices for the next-gen OnePlus devices. The cheaper phone would reportedly start around €719 and the Pro would be €919. That works out to $786 and $1,005, respectively. We’ve come to expect a price bump from OnePlus phones — they started at less than $300 in 2014 and have gotten a bit more expensive every year. However, this would be a sizeable jump, and it’s not the first big price increase of 2020.
Just a few years ago, the idea of a $1,000 phone seemed crazy even for Samsung and Apple. Now, here’s a previously budget-friendly manufacturer hitting four-digit pricing. Meanwhile, Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S20 Ultra has skyrocketed to $1,400. We would place the blame on two primary factors: a slowing upgrade cycle and 5G.
It’s no secret that people don’t upgrade their phones as often as they once did. Samsung says people now wait over two years before buying a new phone, and that means fewer overall sales each generation. Increasing prices can help prop up revenues as upgrades continue to slow. The other factor is the increased cost of 5G technology. 5G phones are harder to design and require more antennas than 4G phones did. Plus, the cost of chips and licenses for 5G are higher. In particular, the Snapdragon 865 is reportedly so expensive that LG is planning to use the cheaper 765 in an upcoming phone.
OnePlus will announce the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro at 11 AM ET on April 14th. The company will most likely start taking pre-orders shortly thereafter.
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