Exclusive: OnePlus weighs options to launch television brand, holds talks with Amazon

OnePlus

Smartphone maker OnePlus has been exploring options to launch a separate television vertical in India. The Oppo-owned phone brand has been weighing chances of launching a range of smart television, said two sources aware of the plan.

The move is likely to be driven by Xiaomi entry into television vertical. “After clinching pole position in the smartphone segment, the company has been making a significant noise in television segment with disruptive feature and a price that seems difficult to match for most brands,” said one of the above sources based out of China.

Xiaomi has a partnership with Flipkart for selling Mi TV. Another Chinese television manufacturer-TCL, which claims to be among top three TV manufacturers globally is launching India-focused TV range iFFALCON. The Softbank-backed online marketplace would exclusively begin offering its models from May.

French television brand Thomson also has an exclusive partnership with Flipkart for selling its upcoming three models.

Meanwhile, OnePlus has also held preliminary talks with Amazon India for having potential synergies in the television segment. Importantly, the Amit Aggarwal-led company is also scouting for an exclusive partnership in the television segment on the lines of TCL.

The Chinese television brand had claimed to sell 100,000 units in 2017.

“Since Amazon has been a key partner of OnePlus in India, there could be some synergies,” added the second source. As Flipkart has been aggressive when it comes to partnering with television brands, Amazon wants more exclusive tie-ups for ramping up its stake in the segment against the arch-rival.

Entrackr queries sent to OnePlus didn’t elicit an immediate response. We will update the post as we receive the response.

Currently, OnePlus claims to have about 25 per cent market share in the premium smartphone category. With the popularity of OnePlus 5T, the company has recently left Apple behind in terms of sales.

The overall television market in India is worth around $2.4 billion (Rs 15,430 crore). With the debut of Xiaomi, TCL, and Thomson, the market has turned competitive in low cost as well as premium 40-inch plus segments.

Update: We have updated the post with OnePlus market share in the premium smartphone category. The early version said it has 12-15 per cent market share, however, the company has reached out to us saying it has 25 per cent market share.

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