OnePlus eyes smart TV mass segment in India

China’s OnePlus, positioned as a premium player, is changing its strategy and preparing to enter the mass segment in smart TVs and smartphones, taking on Xiaomi, Realme, TCL and VU.

New Delhi: As India opens up after over two months of lockdown, consumers will be greeted with an array of choices in the affordable smart TV segment, backed by attractive financing offers.

China’s OnePlus, positioned as a premium player, is changing its strategy and preparing to enter the mass segment in smart TVs and smartphones, taking on Xiaomi, Realme, TCL and VU.

“Entry and mid-segments are growing rapidly and have captured our focus. If we want to diversify to a wide audience in India, then it is the best way to start,” Navnit Nakra, chief strategy officer, OnePlus India, told ET.


OnePlus’ entry-level smart TV will be around Rs 15,000 ($200), while the mid-range series is likely to be in Rs 20,000-40,000 range, people familiar with the matter said.

India's entry-level smart TV segment (below Rs 20,000) cornered 45% of the overall smart TV market in January-March, while the mid-level segment (up to Rs 40,000) cornered a 33% market share, as per Counterpoint. Affordable smart TVs (sub-Rs 20,000) recorded 80% on-year growth in the first quarter of 2020. Samsung leads the overall TV segment and Xiaomi is leader in smart TVs.

Discretionary spending is at its lowest in India, where economy is likely to degrow this fiscal, owing to the severe impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
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However, Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research, expects demand for TVs to come back in the second half of 2020, which is the time frame that companies would like to be ready for and would attract consumers with affordable financing options among multiple offers.

“This is a right time to enter entry-level and mid-segments for OnePlus…there is an installed base in India, which is on CRT and non-smart TV,” said Jaipal Singh, associate research manager-client devices at IDC India. “There's a demand in terms of replacement driven by growth in connectivity and buying power of consumers.”
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Pathak added, “Replacement cycle here is 3-4 years, hence features need to be significant. They can look at monetizing content.”
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