One Plus announced its newest flagship to the market the One Plus 6 starting to retail at $529 yet another increase in price.
When One Plus One was announced, there was two things that turned on everyone’s attention.
- It had Cyanogen Mod OS, the community tweaked version of Android. One Plus was the first manufacturer to give the OS out of the box and the only manufacturer that allowed users to tweak the software to their needs without voiding the warranty.
- It’s Price. One Plus offered flagship specifications at an incredibly lower price point.
One Plus One started retailing at approximately $250 while phones with similar specifications were retailing at $600. But the device had many limitations. Major one being the mediocre camera performance. Two, it’s design aesthetics was not up to its competitors (I am not mentioning Samsung here). Flagships at that time sported aluminium uni-body design with dual front facing speakers and variety of camera tweaks. But the market at that time wasn’t much about these flashy features. It was all about specifications. When One Plus gave flagship features at such a low price, everyone’s eye turned to One Plus. Demands far exceeded the supply. It forced the company to move to invite only system. Only people with invite can buy the phone. Nexus followed the same strategy as One Plus. It offered stock android with flagship specifications at a lower price.
But at the years to come, market slowed changed. As social applications and photo sharing became much common, the phones needed to have a better camera. One Plus and Nexus strategy of giving flagship phones at cheaper prices were no longer working. People started to opt costlier iPhones and Samsung’s for their camera performance. One Plus Two and Nexus 6 became failures.
After camera came the design aesthetics. People preferred phones with more beautiful designs with traditional ones. One Plus had to increase its price range to give users with aluminum design with its One Plus Three. Companies like HTC started facing heavy loses as it could not cope up with the expectations of the users. One Plus 5 did have another price increase but have slightly lower camera performance when compared to other flagships. Camera designs became so perfect among competitors that the differences they gave wasn’t comparative. People had different tastes and people preferred different camera. Dual camera setup became a necessary. One Plus identified that it had to offer something different to its users in order to attract them. One Plus 6 features the same notch design, which promises a much more screen-body ratio with a better camera (from specifications). The new design means more complex manufacturing processes and yet another increase in price.
On a side note, while One Plus offers its new flagship with 8GB of RAM in favor of speed, even the most demanding user would find it difficult to completely utilize 6GB of RAM in its lower end model. RAM management by Android has become so efficient these days, I feel that One Plus is opting for 8GB RAM to attract users by showing the difference in specifications that the competitors has to offer.