OnePlus was forced to launch the new OnePlus 8 via a digitally streamed “event.” The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen for the new phone.
The pandemic has forced the hands of several tech companies to turn to the internet for product launches. The first that took the lead was Apple with the iPad Pro 2020. It was then followed by Huawei with the P40. After this, OnePlus followed suit with the OnePlus 8.
Three times delayed
According to OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, the event had already been delayed three times before they decided to go with the online launch. They weren’t going to delay the launch for the fourth time to disappoint their fans.
— OnePlus USA (@OnePlus_USA) April 23, 2020
The company was forced to cross a thin line that evoked the sense of normalcy for the company and the sensitivity to New York City. Realistically, the event could also not push through because their launch was supposed to happen in New York.
At present, the city is the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The decision proved to be a sound one. Fans still watched the event despite not getting the full keynote experience.
Change in purchase habit and experience
OnePlus partnered with Verizon last year. They hoped that the partnership would help boost the sales of their phones because of the physical presence in Verizon stores. The vision immediately changed following the lock downs implemented across the United States.
The #OnePlus8 combines an incredible display, powerful hardware, and burdenless software for a smooth user experience.
With a never-before-seen 120 Hz QHD+ AMOLED Display, the #OnePlus8Pro sets a new standard for what a flagship can be.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) April 14, 2020
OnePlus is counting on its community of fans to drive interest instead of relying on the physical stores of Verizon. Nevertheless, OnePlus still expects that Verizon’s online marketing campaign will help drive interest towards the OnePlus 8.
Despite the turnout of the recent pandemic, Kyle Kiang, Chief Marketing Officer of OnePlus, still believe that the ‘appetite for new technology hasn’t changed.’
Price point turnoff among users
OnePlus started as a challenger brand in the premium flagship smartphone market. They launched the first-ever OnePlus at only AU$ 470. Ever since that launch, they have already doubled their price.
The price and premium value formula of OnePlus was their secret sauce to success. Fans and new users don’t have any more reason to buy this dated strategy. Several tech reviewers have officially killed OnePlus as the flagship killer.
They have already lined up OnePlus with the flagship phones of Samsung, Apple, and Huawei.
Kiang believes otherwise. He said that the value proposition of OnePlus still stands. He adds that OnePlus still delivers the best devices with the best user experience and the best performance.
The company refuses to comment on its forecast of OnePlus 8 sales.
Image courtesy of OnePlus/ Twitter