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OnePlus's Carl Pei on earning respect and shedding a 'cocky' image in the Android space

Florence Ion | June 16, 2016
What has OnePlus learned from a few difficult years as a smartphone maker? We talked to OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei to find out.

On capturing the mass market

“We really need to do a great job with our core audience before we get ahead of ourselves and try to capture a mass market. We really need people to believe in what we stand for, and spread the word for us.”

On other Chinese brands gunning for the U.S.

“The U.S. will always be important because American consumers are the most demanding in the world. If you can manage to make it, everything else becomes easier.

Our positioning is quite different from other Chinese brands. We only create flagship products, and we provide good value for the money. But if you look at the broader Android market, the average Android phone is $200 to $250. You have to have a brand that people are willing to pay money for. In China, these players are subsidizing growth with their investments. It’s not a sustainable model.”

On OnePlus’s strategy for the long term

“We know that over time, people will make more of their purchases online. We know that consumers will become more informed about their purchasing decisions, and that a product can’t shine on its own. So we’re focusing on creating the best products, on e-commerce, and on developing a brand that has a defensible margin. Hopefully we can play in a different field where we’ll be okay with having a more focused approach. We might grow slower, but in the long run I think this is the correct strategy.”

 

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