Considering the features that have been both teased and leaked for the OnePlus 2, it’s not exactly surprising that people would presume it’s going to cost quite a lot, almost at mainstream flagship smartphone levels of $500 or more. OnePlus CEO Peter Lau, however, is now disputing those speculations and putting a public promise on the price of the upcoming smartphone. But while the OnePlus 2 won’t cost you an arm or any limb, it’s promised less than $450 price tag is considerably more than the current OnePlus.
The OnePlus One currently sells for $249 for the 16 GB version. The 64 GB model, though four times the storage capacity, is only a stone’s throw away at $299. A less than $450 smartphone, whether it be $449.99 or $400, is without a doubt a huge jump in price and a sharp turn for the startup. Of course, that price might be justified given its features, both rumored and confirmed, such as a Snapdragon 810, a fingerprint sensor, glass and metal materials, and a dual camera setup. Lau himself was quoted saying that a $400 price tag wouldn’t be unreasonable.
The justification for the price jump might be understandable but it might be a difficult pill to swallow for true believers. Even more disturbing, however, is what OnePlus claims in the same breath.
“Honestly, it’s never been about the price. We simply make the best smartphones we can, and we go from there.”
The second part might be true, but the first one is questionable. Truth be told, there have been smartphones, from the same generation even, that outshine the OnePlus One but its biggest pull is that it has made that affordable. It’s the same strategy that Xiaomi employs, flagship features at a wallet-friendly price, except OnePlus isn’t confined to China. In saying that it has never been about the price, OnePlus might be betraying ignorance of market dynamics and a tinge of hubris.
Will the OnePlus 2 fly or flop due to this price change? it’s too soon to tell and will depend on many but small factors. Admittedly, a $400 tag is still considerably less than current flagships and if the OnePlus 2 can match those in features and quality, people might still have reason to root for it. Quality will definitely be the biggest question mark here, especially with OnePlus promising a lot of things. It remains to be seen if it will be able to deliver.