Global Head of Sustainable Finance and Managing Director, Bank of America
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If you’ve purchased a new smartphone in the past few years, you’re well aware that prices have skyrocketed. That holds true now more than ever as 5G technology has driven up the prices of top-of-the-line models from Samsung and others.
But Pete Lau, the CEO of China-based tech firm OnePlus, has been combatting that trend even before it started. The company built its success on selling smartphones with high-end specifications designed to challenge the latest devices from Apple and Samsung for a fraction of the price — a tactic that’s led it to establish a cult-like status among gadget enthusiasts.
The company’s fervent following also comes from OnePlus’ decision to lean on word-of-mouth marketing rather than large, flashy campaigns, giving it a closer ear to the ground when it comes to understanding its markets.
“It’s always been this process of taking that feedback closest to the users and building the best possible user experience in quality of the product,” OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said to Business Insider via a translator. “So that’s really the first key principle.”
And that hasn’t changed with the advent of 5G, as OnePlus was unsurprisingly one of the first gadget makers to release a 5G device that wouldn’t break the bank. While Samsung launched its first 5G phone for $1,300 in 2019, OnePlus’ 5G-equipped OnePlus 7 Pro only costs $840. It’s latest device, the OnePlus Nord, is even cheaper, offering 5G connectivity and six cameras for 400 euros.
Companies like Samsung and Apple have taken notice. Samsung recently brought 5G to its cheaper line of Galaxy A devices, while Apple launched the $400 iPhone SE in April.
Of course that’s not all OnePlus is doing. But the fact that industry-leading companies like Samsung and Apple are following suit proves that OnePlus has been on to something.