TV wars: OnePlus plays it smart

Smartphone maker to take on Xiaomi with its foray into smart TVs

Pankti Mehta Kadakia
Published: Sep 26, 2018 05:40:06 PM IST

g_109553_rts186jv_petelau_oneplus_280x210.jpgImage: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Five-year-old smartphone company OnePlus has announced its next big step. The firm has begun developing its first smart television, christened OnePlus TV. OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau will lead the new division along with the existing smartphone vertical.

“For most of us, there are four major environments we experience each day: The home, the workplace, the commute and being on-the-move. The home—perhaps the most important environment experience—is just starting to enjoy the benefits of intelligent connectivity,” he wrote in a forum post on the company website. “We want to bring the home environment to the next level of intelligent connectivity. To do this, we are building a new product of OnePlus’s premium flagship design, image quality and audio experience to more seamlessly connect the home. We believe your TV has the potential to be so much more than where you watch your favourite shows.”

Lau said OnePlus is also exploring developments in 5G and artificial intelligence to build a more ‘connected human experience’.

OnePlus is likely to compete directly with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which also dove into the smart TV space recently. Xiaomi began to retail its Mi TVs in India earlier this year; it claims to have sold half a million units in six months. India is currently OnePlus’s largest global market.

According to industry analyst Counterpoint, OnePlus surpassed Samsung and Apple to lead the premium smartphone segment in India for a full quarter for the first time, in Q2 2018. It captured 40 percent of the market, driven by record shipments of its OnePlus 6 device. 

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