OnePlus took the market by surprise launching its television last year departing from its image as a pure smartphone manufacturer. The Chinese company now intends to assemble its television sets in India.
According to a senior executive of the companyâ€™s Indian operations, the production activity could start as early as this quarter itself. The company will initially be importing the various components for the television sets, but going ahead, these may be sourced locally. There are talks already underway with component makers to make this happen.
As per the information available, the current arrangement will involve the assembling of the OnePlus TV sets starting from the panel being imported in the open cell format to avoid higher import duty. The duty structure is designed to favour unassembled components and the duty is higher for assembled ones. In the open cell format, the import duty is zero.
The market report is that the company may be in talks with Dixon Technologies, which is involved in contract manufacturing of televisions for Samsung, Xiaomi and Panasonic.
The Indian governmentâ€™s â€˜Make in Indiaâ€™ policy is driving most foreign brands to start manufacturing their products within the country to stay competitive in the marketplace. Other major television brands like Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi and LG are all in various stages of expanding their local manufacturing capabilities. Many of them may opt for contract manufacturing. The mobile phone industry has already seen a large-scale shift to India and many of them have created a base here for exporting to many countries.
OnePlus too is expected to export its OnePlus TV from the sets to be manufactured here. The company will want to replicate its experience with the mobile phones in terms of expanding the distribution network for the OnePlus TVs. As of now, the appliance is being sold through its own website, besides Amazon and Reliance Digital, offline and online. OnePlus will expand its offline presence as well through its brand stores. The company executive quoted above has said the target is to reach 50 cities from the present 15 and take the number of stores from 30 to 100.