Tue. May 21st, 2019

Smartphone companies ring in price cuts

CHENNAI: Consumers are set to be spoilt for choice as smartphone makers compete with one another with flagship launches at attractive prices.

In a move unheard of in the industry, OnePlus rolled out the OnePlus 7, a successor to its popular OnePlus 6, at Rs 32,999 — 6% lower than the launch price of its previous variant and equal to the offer price at which OnePlus 6T is currently selling. Industry trackers TOI spoke to said this is a departure from regular practice and also a new move for OnePlus, which usually prices successive flagships at an average 12.6% increase.

Smartphone cos ring in price cuts

Further, Vivo last week slashed the price of a base variant of Vivo V15 Pro (6GB of RAM and 128GB of inbuilt storage) by Rs 2,000 to around Rs 27,000. Samsung’s S10 too went through a round of price cuts recently in the run-up to One-Plus’ latest launch, offering almost a Rs 5,000 discount.

“We expected OnePlus to price their new base variant OnePlus 7 at around Rs 38,000, and were surprised to see a Rs 32,999 price tag,” Faisal Kawoosa, founder of consulting firm techARC, said. Models like Vivo V15 Pro and Oppo F11 Pro, which offer similar highquality specs at price points of around Rs 26,000, may be influencing OnePlus’ pricing strategy, he added.

Both OnePlus and Vivo declined to comment.

Tarun Pathak, associate director, Counterpoint Research, considers OnePlus 7’s pricing a smart move to drive volumes in the Indian market amid increasing competition. He also noted a difference of almost Rs 16,000 between One-Plus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro (a luxury flagship that competes with the likes of iPhone XR and Samsung S10). “If the prices were too close, one may have cannibalised the other,” Pathak added.

Nokia recently announced a flat discount of Rs 6,000 on its 8.1 model and Rs 1,000 on the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Further, Oppo F11 Pro also saw a price cut of Rs 2,000 recently, along with Samsung A9 that reduced prices too.

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