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After 1,284 days in the making, OnePlus 5 sees a mega India launch

Harshith Mallya & Sindhu Kashyaap
23rd Jun 2017
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The smartphone goes on an early access sale on Amazon from today and will be available in stores from 27 June.

“I've been here since 8:45 in the morning,” said one among the hordes of OnePlus fans thronging Mumbai’s NSCI Dome, where the much-awaited OnePlus 5 smartphone was launched on Thursday at a glittering ceremony attended by Bollywood celebrities including Anushka Sharma. Vir Das and Bani.

The big India launch of the flagship OnePlus 5 comes two days after its global launch on Tuesday.

India important market for OnePlus

The smartphone goes on an early access sale on Amazon from Thursday (22 June). It will start selling in stores on 27 June. The phones will also be available in experience stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi from 24 June.

OnePlus experience store in Bengaluru.

Priced between Rs 32,999 and Rs 37,999, the OnePlus 5 boasts features like dual camera and Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The phone has been in the making for the past three years.

But the saga of OnePlus and it's war with microphones didn't end here, as the emcee for the evening, Rajeev Makhani, Managing Editor, Technology, NDTV, faced microphone trouble on more than one occasion.

“You can tell that OnePlus doesn't make microphones. So they're still open to innovation in the space,” joked Rajeev.

OnePlus has always believed in a community driven marketing approach where people who truly believe in the brand use it and and spread the word about it.

Speaking to YourStory, Kyle Kiang, Global Marketing Head of OnePlus said:

“India is an important market for us. We will continue to focus on our influencer-based marketing approach. We have a strong community in India and our focus is on that.”

Working with influencers

However, influencer marketing can be tricky. There have been instances of it not working at all. However, Kyle believes that the team focuses and chooses the right evangelists.

Speaking of roping in Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador, Kyle added,

“He is actually in-tune with what is happening in terms of technology and what works and doesn't. We choose our ambassadors carefully.”

The team claimed that their net promoter score for India is at 74.2 percent. Currently, the team claims to have more than 50 exclusive service centres across the country. Kyle says,

“The focus of the service centres is on transparency where the customer can see the cost of servicing. There is an executive who looks into the matter. We have even opened a door delivery and pick up service.”

The iPhone complex

Interestingly, the OnePlus team couldn’t resist playing the comparison game with the iPhone 7 and trying to show how the new phone fared better than Apple’s latest smartphone, in terms of camera features and the infamous headphone jacks.

“It’s a little unfair to compare with a version of the iPhone that was launched a year ago. What would be nice is to make a distinction between the OnePlus 5 and the iPhone that is about to be launched in the next two months,” said a phone reviewer at the event.

However, the team plans an aggressive push in India. Vikas Agarwal, India Head, OnePlus added, “We are looking at an aggressive online sales push and strategy. Also, we are revamping our service centres across the country. We will continue to be an online first brand. And maybe as we grow further look at a omni-channel plan.”

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