- OnePlus has explained why the Nord wonâ€™t be coming to the US.
- The firmâ€™s Carl Pei says itâ€™s focused on markets where it knows the product will succeed.
The OnePlus Nord is scheduled to launch later this month, but it wonâ€™t be coming to the US. The manufacturer previously confirmed that itâ€™s only offering proper launches in Europe and India. Now, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has explained the firmâ€™s reasoning in an interview with Android Authority.
â€œSo if you look at our markets right now, like in India, weâ€™re already doing really well and in Europe weâ€™re growing really quickly with the channel expansion weâ€™re doing there, so it makes sense to focus on those markets where we know for sure that this product is going to be a success,â€� Pei stated.
This sounds an awful lot like OnePlus thinks the Nord â€” which we got a sneak peak at earlier today â€” might not do well in North America. And to be fair, mid-range phones havenâ€™t traditionally been big sellers in the market.
The right move for OnePlus?
Canalys analyst Mo Jia told Android Authority that the $300 to $500 tier has been flat in the US, accounting for 10% market share in Q1 2020. Furthermore, Jia says that the $200 to $600 tier at large actually saw a decrease in market share, from 23% in Q1 2019 to 19% in Q1 2020.
In other words, the mid-range segment is dwarfed by low-end and premium smartphones in the US. But todayâ€™s economic climate has the potential to change things in a big way.
A Counterpoint Research survey found that over half of all US consumers will cut their smartphone purchase budget in the wake of COVID-19. In fact, 24% of US respondents said they planned to cut their budget for a future purchase by 20% or more.
This suggests that there hasnâ€™t been a better time to launch a more affordable OnePlus phone in the US. The Canalys representative agrees, noting that a â€œwell-positioned mid-rangerâ€� could be ideal as flagship spending drops. â€œI donâ€™t see any reason OnePlus should avoid launching the Nord in the US market,â€� Jia adds.
In any event, Pei has some consolation for fans in the market. â€œIn the meantime, weâ€™re planning a smaller beta program in the US,â€� he explained. â€œWe also said before that future products in the Nord line will be coming to the US.â€�
The OnePlus executive also said the company has been keeping a close eye on production. This came after the OnePlus 8 series was initially stymied by production issues. â€œThe team has been to the factory a lot of times to check up on our manufacturing, so far no issues,â€� Pei noted.
Be sure to check out our interview in the link above for more on the OnePlus Nord from the companyâ€™s co-founder.