10/11/2017 – 3:28pm
Following a widely circulated report that the soon-to-arrive OnePlus 5T would NOT see a price increase over the RRP of the OnePlus 5, the company’s CEO Pete Lau took to Twitter with a statement that could be interpreted as a warning to expect a price increase after all.
The Tweet, which was also re-tweeted again by OnePlus Co-Founder Carl Pei, said “Cost of smartphone components is rising, but phones are also getting better. OnePlus users will appreciate what’s coming.”
Reading between the lines, that would indicate that Lau is telling us that the cost of production has gone up, so expect a price increase for the end consumer. But, at the same time, he’s also saying the phone will be better than before, and it might not be so much of a price increase to make the OnePlus 5T unattractive. Certainly the OnePlus 5 as it stands is one hell of a value proposition in terms of spec-to-price, at least compared to the competition.
To put things in context, the allegation that the OnePlus 5T would not see a price hike was based on UK pricing information. It said that it would cost the same as the OnePlus 5, which retails for £500 for the 128GB model; the 64GB version was cheaper, but only available via contract. In the EU it would be €560 for the 128GB model and €500 for the 64GB.
Taking a look at how the OnePlus pricing has changed over the years, the OnePlus One was €270, but did have a post-launch price increase to €300. The OnePlus 2 was €340, the OnePlus 3 was €400, the OnePlus 3T was €440 and replaced the OnePlus 3 inside the same year just as the OnePlus 5T is expected to with the OnePlus 5, which as we mentioned cost €500.
So we’ve seen price increases of €30, €40, €60, €40, and €60. You can see there’s not so much a pattern there, but a rough framework to give an idea of how much it might change, anywhere between €30-€60. That said, with the OnePlus 5T both the camera and display are said to be changing – a bigger 18:9 aspect ratio display which requires a new bodyshell design moving the fingerprint reader to the back, and an enhancement to the dual-camera.
These things are going to be expensive, relatively speaking, as screens and cameras are some of the most expensive components of phone manufacture. On top of that, it’s not like with the OnePlus 3 to OnePlus 3T transition where the design remained more or less the same, so the same manufacturing could be used. Nope, OnePlus will need to re-tool its manufacturing for a new design with the bigger screen and rear-mounted scanner, which, you guessed it, is another cost.
With all of that said, Lau’s comment does suggest that even with a price increase, OnePlus fans might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable the OnePlus 5T might remain, at least compared to key rivals with similar high-end tech.
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