The ongoing pandemic took its sweet toll on the smartphone industry, catalyzing a 15% drop in shipments and forcing smartphone brands to adjust their expectations for what comes next. In the US market especially, each brand witnessed its growth trajectory return to a downward slope, with one exception – OnePlus. As per a Counterpoint Research report, OnePlus actually saw its channel presence and overall size grow by an impressive 163% on a YoY basis. Here’s what the report mentions about the key factors behind OnePlus’ growth:

OnePlus was able to achieve this growth by appealing to consumers who became disenfranchised with current premium smartphone offerings. iPhone prices have increased, especially with the iPhone 12, while Samsung Galaxy S20 devices also saw a price increase due to 5G support. Average selling prices (ASPs) for premium smartphones have continued to rise over the last year. While most consumers acquiesced to this market shift, there were still some that preferred to look for more affordable alternatives.
Image: Counterpoint Research

In simple words, OnePlus offered smartphone buyers an alternative high-end phone experience on a much tighter budget, something that has been the objective of the brand since its beginning. The company had a particularly solid growth when it comes to carrier channels, with T-Mobile proving to be the single largest sales outlet for OnePlus. In Q4 2020, the industry returned to a recovery path and the momentum is likely to carry forward in 2021 as well.

As for OnePlus, the company is rumored to launch three new top-of-the-line phones – the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro and 9 Lite – in the first quarter. Additionally, the company’s first smartwatch is also rumored to make its debut soon, after entering the health wearable segment with the OnePlus Band last month. Additionally, OnePlus is expected to release more devices in the Nord series that will cater to the budget segment by offering features such as a high refresh display, multi-camera setups, large battery, and 5G support at an affordable price point.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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