Late last year, when OnePlus launched a new device with the latest hardware specs, it somehow ended up in the bad books of its loyalists. The OnePlus 3T was an improvement on every aspect over the OnePlus 3. So why did it irk people? That’s because OnePlus suddenly decided to change their product update cycle. The beloved Chinese upstart seemingly believed they were falling back on the competition and they can’t not give the best that their is to their fanbase. That did the trick of making the OnePlus 3T a success. That, and media reports of OnePlus selling out their stock in less than a minute during the first sale on Amazon.
Fast forward to a year later and OnePlus has done the same thing with the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T. Just six months after launching the OnePlus 5, the company has launched the OnePlus 5T that now comes with a taller 18:9 display and a different dual camera application while everything else remained the same. So we asked OnePlus users whether they were happy with the update cycle OnePlus has settled for. The answer was a resounding NO.
Out of the 251 responses we received, 66 percent people said they weren’t happy with OnePlus phasing out a device just six months after launch and introducing a new one, while 34 percent respondents said they were quite happy with the strategy.
Is OnePlus holding back on innovation?
The negativity is understandable. It’s not like the OnePlus 5T is a bad phone. It is a great device and for Rs 37,000 and you will be hard pressed to find an all-rounder smartphone like this one. It’s the timing. The fact that OnePlus believes it is okay to introduce an upgrade every six months is the problem. Nobody wants to find out a new and nearly identical device (at the same price) is available right after they bought what they thought was the latest. It leaves users feeling cheated, and OnePlus carries the reputation of listening to its user base which is why it hurts the company more.
Digit readers have been quite vocal about OnePlus' decision to discontinue a six-month old flagship in place of a new one which is just an incremental upgrade.
OnePlus carries the tag of “Never Settle”. Yet when the OnePlus 5 launched back in June, there wasn’t a bezel-less display to boot, even though Samsung had made it mainstream with the Galaxy S8. More so, Xiaomi had made ripples a year back with the Mi Mix that had a bezel-less display. That means the technology was available at the time of the OnePlus 5 but OnePlus didn’t implement it till the OnePlus 5T. That sounds a lot like making their loyalists settle for something less.
One of our readers lamented about the fact that the OnePlus 5 was his first "flagship" phone bought with his own savings in the hope of having the latest technology in his fingertips. Now he feels cheated as the device is now obsolete after just four months.
"A loyal customer fan base buy a phone out of other elite brands in the market trusting a company's proposition and delight it offers to its customers. There is still a loyal base of customers who will still love the OnePlus 5 as it has a front mounted fingerprint sensor and hardware of same specs, which hardly makes any difference with predecessor phone. A few spec changes with highlighting them as a major change doesn't go well with loyal customers," he said.
Business as usual?
OnePlus portray themselves as a small company that puts everything into making just one product and they do it with sheer perfection. Till last year, OnePlus would throw all its eggs into one basket to make a single great Android device. But at the end of the day, OnePlus is a business looking to make money. And in the face of cut throat competition, OnePlus couldn’t do with just one phone. Especially when companies like Xiaomi and Nokia are clawing at the “Flagship Killer” status.
That sort of justifies OnePlus’ decision to launch the OnePlus 5T, at least from the company's perspective. But is it really fair on its loyal band of fans who shelled out money to “Never settle”? The problem is OnePlus promised a lot ever since their first device and has struggled to deliver on the promises with each upgrade.This year, Xiaomi had the Mi Mix 2 with a bezel-less screen while the Nokia 8 was an all-rounder with the promise of latest updates. For instance, this year, the OnePlus 5 neither had an edge-to-edge display nor did it provide updates the quickest.
At the end of the day, OnePlus comes out as a company that has lost its direction. It gathered a lot of followers and they all feel let down. Here is a company that once gave every possible flagship feature on one phone. Since last year, the company divided the features up into two devices with the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 5T being just incremental updates. So is it worth it to to shell out Rs 37,000 once again for a tall, new display?
Here is what the readers are saying:
|Release Date:||21 Nov 2017|