The phenomenal success of OnePlus has alerted other brands to work on launching their own devices in the mid-premium segment. This is a segment that is below premium and may be a bit above what is traditionally described as the budget segment.
Google is reported to be eyeing this, particularly in the Indian market. The price of such a phone, when introduced, could be around Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. But the report claims Google will first go through with its launch of the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in October and the new upper middle segment phone could be released in January next. These top end phones are priced around Rs 75,000. These will continue to take on the rivals in the premium category, Apple and Samsung.
It is reported that a team from Google had visited India to understand the market sensitivities so that they could go back and build the design around these learnings.
Google has an issue on hand in trying to bolster up its market share in the premium segment too where its share is negligible when compared to the top three, which now includes OnePlus. Its last phone, the Google Pixel 2 sold only 80,000 units in India, it is reported.
Googleâ€™s plans to enter the segments other than the premium one has also to do with the desire to expand the user base for its devices. This in turn comes out of 2 factors: One is that Google feels it has now gained what it needs to be a hardware designer/manufacturer/supplier and if anything, the experience with Pixel 2 has established that. The other reason is that its phone can offer the pure Android experience to the users instead of being diluted by the interfaces added by the smartphone brands.
There are other technologies that are the preserve of the premium segment phones into these lower segments too and gain more traction with the users.