Why the aura surrounding Oneplus has started to ebb

I remember the first time I heard about One plus. It was from "one Youtuber called MKBHD" some 3/4 years ago. Obviously I cannot remember exactly all that he said. But the sheer delight in his eyes while he was raving and talking excitedly about its flagship features and at such a cheap price was very contagious. And boy, that phone truly lived up to the hype as a flagship killer.

Thereafter came the launch of the One plus 2, which was received with a mixed atmosphere. See the phone lacked an NFC chip. One plus argument was somewhat correct of people around the world not majorly using the NFC chips in their phone. True, but tech enthusiasts would appreciate every little bit of tech. Popularly appealing or not. A few months later, they released the One plus X. A budget, budget phone with quality specs and most notably a unique design made out of ceramic. One plus fans were momentarily appeased.

Then came the widely acclaimed One plus 3. By this time, One plus had learnt from its mistakes, and built the perfect flagship killer. 6 months later the One plus 3T came along. Coming with an even better processor and more battery in the same form factor, One plus didn't seem capable of doing anything wrong. Now here comes the One plus 5. A very decent phone in its own right, but for the first time happens to be the One plus phone that faces a little "detest".
And why is this you might ask? Well the answer lies in the One plus business model. You see when One plus launched, it was offering flagship quality phones at around the 300-350 dollar range. At that time, it was unbelievable. But with each new generation, Oneplus phones kept getting more and more expensive with the current model retailing for about 539 dollars depending on where you get it. But its phones were still flagship quality right, right. In fact, Oneplus phones are so highly regarded that they are called the iPhones of Android thanks to their almost stock Android user interface but which adds a couple of useful features. 

Also Oneplus has a global community of fans who are mostly tech enthusiasts and who regularly meet up and regard themselves as family and Android purits, determined to break away from the stratified Android ecosystem. So where did things go wrong for Oneplus, well it started with the Oneplus 3T. Oneplus business of making flagship products at cheap prices was gradually being defeated. As prices of mobile phone components kept increasing, Oneplus was forced to raise prices.

Meanwhile competitors around it especially the Chinese ones like Oppo and Xiaomi then started making good phones that were also cheap. In fact, currently, phones from companies like Alcatel and ZTE eg the Axon 7 do exactly what Oneplus is doing but at a cheaper rate since they are usually bigger companies and they can cover the costs elsewhere. 

Now Oneplus being the small mobile phone company that it is had to depend on its loyal fan base for sales. And they did turn up and purchased their products in droves. But for the Oneplus 5, it was not to be so. With it looking like an iPhone 6/6s/7 exact lookalike, it appeared Oneplus had run out of ideas. And since the phone was not even cheap anymore, and with no real extra feature to it apart from "dash charge", even loyal customers took a chill pill.

See hate phones like Samsung and LG for all you want, but it is all those extra features that they pack that differentiate it from the congested market. Their usefulness is a story for another day, but nowadays with every phone having good cameras, good performance, good build quality and a good battery life, Oneplus is not that different anymore. And it is not the cheapest. Thus they actually didn't do anything wrong, but it just that the market became too saturated for them. Thus they are simply a victim of the openness of the Android ecosystem. But they are fighting back. Trust Carl Pei. With diversification into fashion e.g. bags, we can only wish then Good luck.

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