OnePlus TV India launch likely around mid 2019, will be exclusively sold through Amazon India
It's been several months since OnePlus CEO Pete Lau announced to the world that his company, which has already made a significant mark in the smartphone market, would launch a smart TV. But since that announcement on September 14, OnePlus hasn't talked much about its upcoming television. CEO Lau now tells India Today Tech the reason for that is because OnePlus is hard at perfecting its upcoming TV and that the company doesn't want to talk about it until it gets the product ready and a launch date fixed.
Talking of the launch date, the OnePlus smart TV is likely to launch in India in middle of 2019, though there is no specific date for now. "We have not set a date because first we want to get the product right. This is a big project for us. Initially, the idea was to launch the OnePlus TV in India around May, when the cricket season starts (June 1 is when the World Cup begins). But now we are not thinking of any specific launch date. At OnePlus we are obsessed about the quality and we want to ensure that our TV meets the high standards we set for ourselves," Lau told India Today Tech recently.
The OnePlus CEO was recently in India to celebrate the company's four-year partnership with Amazon India. The strong partnership between the two companies has been instrumental in making OnePlus the top premium smartphone company in India.
For the television too, OnePlus and Amazon will join hands. "Of course, the OnePlus TV will be exclusive to Amazon India when it launches," said Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President & Country Manager, Amazon India, when the India Today Tech asked him if OnePlus and Amazon would follow the same model for TV that they employed for the phones.
"Television is a growing category for us and we have invested heavily in making sure that people who buy TVs from Amazon India get seamless experience. That is why we have even started 'install on delivery' service for TVs. We will be able to utilise all of our expertise in delivering TVs to sell the OnePlus TV whenever it launches," said Amit.
Chances are that onePlus will not only come out with a television that has great value for money preposition similar to what OnePlus phones offer, but it will also probably seamlessly integrate with a phone like the OnePlus 6T. It is also possible that the OnePlus TV will come with several content services, including Amazon Prime, built into it so that consumers get a wholesome experience.
Selling offline vs online
Talking of Amazon and OnePlus partnership, it is still going strong four years after the two companies started selling the OnePlus phones. Of late, OnePlus has dipped its toes in the offline retail with its own stores as well as with partnership with Croma and Reliance Digital. But around 80 per cent of total OnePlus phone sales is still online.
"For us offline stores are a good place where we can let our fans and community experience the new products. And we have seen that offline experience often drives sales online because people try the phones in stores and then they buy them online," said Pete.
To make the experience even better for online shoppers, OnePlus and Amazon are also planning to bring in some sort of trade-in programme for the existing OnePlus users. This programme will let the existing OnePlus users jump on to the latest OnePlus phone -- for example OnePlus 6T -- by upgrading to that phone at a more affordable price. "While I don't have any specifics to share on this right now, we are working on a plan that existing OnePlus users will like," said Amit.