OnePlus CEO Says India will be Largest R&D Base in Three Years


OnePlus, with a 30 per cent revenue in the premium category of smartphones is planning to stay in India for a longer term

Pete Lau, Co-founder, CEO, OnePlus
(Image Courtesy – The Hindu)

Pete Lau, Co-founder and CEO, OnePlus is anticipating that India will be the premium smartphone maker’s largest Research and Development (R&D) base in 3 or more years. OnePlus is looking at India as a global talent hub and with the support of the R&D centres, it plans to have a long-term approach to its engagement with the country.

The CEO said that the emphasis would be more on the software and technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to reach out to the global audience.

India’s smartphone market has potential

According to Lau, the Indian market for smartphones in the premium segment has a significant untapped potential for growth. About 4 to 5 per cent of the overall smartphone shipment is in the premium price range. “The premium segment is about 4-5 per cent right now but if 3-5 years from now, it were to be 15-20 per cent, the market scenario would be totally different,” he told PTI. He highlighted that OnePlus was planning to stay in India for a longer period.

OnePlus R&D centres

OnePlus has R&D centres in Shenzhen, Taiwan and the US. Overall, its global staff strength is that of 700. It recently launched one in Hyderabad with about 100 people working. India accounts for about one-third of OnePlus’ revenues in 2017 and the CEO had earlier said that the country would become the second home ground for the company.

India has become a key market for smartphone players across the world. Major brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Asus and many more are currently launching their devices in India and is eyeing to increase their shares in the market.

OnePlus held a 30 per cent share in the premium category (Rs 30,000 and above) during the July-September 2018 quarter, as per research firm Counterpoint. Samsung was the second largest player in the category with a 28 per cent market share, followed by Apple (25 per cent).