Chinese conglomerate BBK Electronics – which owns smartphone brands like OnePlus, Realme, OPPO and Vivo – has now set its eyes to dethrone Xiaomi from the TV market in the country. Headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong, BBK Group accounted for over 30 percent of Indian smartphone shipments in the June quarter. It has bolstered its India plans, first by introducing disruptive Realme smartphones in the price segment dominated by Xiaomi. Now, the company is launching OnePlus TV this month to take on Xiaomi’s Mi TVs.

In the second quarter (Q2) 2019, Xiaomi had 28 percent market share in smartphone shipments in India. The BBK Electronics with Vivo (11 percent), Realme (9 percent), OPPO (8 percent) and OnePlus (43 percent share in the premium segment which is Rs 30,000 and above) outclassed Xiaomi in the second quarter, according to Counterpoint Research.

In the India TV segment, Xiaomi’s Mi TVs have been highly successful till date. The company had a good start in the TV segment by shipping 2 million TVs. According to IDC, Xiaomi registered 39 percent share of the smart TV market in India in Q2. In terms of smart TV shipments, Xiaomi has been ranked first in India for five consecutive quarters as of the June quarter this year. This scenario is set to change seismically in the coming quarter with the first OnePlus TV that will be an Android device loaded with Google Assistant, Chromecast built-in and Google Play.

OnePlus has maintained that its new TV will be a premium offering. It is expected to compete with the likes of Sony, Samsung and LG. But, analysts see the device to be a competitive force against Xiaomi Mi TV offering in the market. According to OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, India would be the first market to get the OnePlus TV because the company has great relations with the content providers in the country.

OnePlus TV would be available on Amazon India. Ahead of its launch, OnePlus has confirmed that the 4K TV will come with a 55-inch QLED panel and support Dolby Vision. It is also expected to carry disruptive price similar to OnePlus’ flagship killer smartphones. According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, TV is a natural extension for smartphone brands like OnePlus, which aim to grab the maximum share of the users’ screen-viewing time.

“Additionally, the supply chain overlaps to a certain extent which further reduces the barrier to entry. Content is going to be a major play and presence in the TV segment will enable smartphone makers to forge better partnerships with content players,” Pathak told IANS.

BBK Electronics grew 27 percent (year-on-year) in India in 2018, positioning itself at third place after Xiaomi and Samsung, before becoming the top vendor with four-brand strategy this year. It is today collectively the world’s third largest manufacturer, even bigger than Huawei, in terms of volume. Next on OnePlus agenda is to capture a bigger pie of the TV market in the country that is going through a lot of churning.

“OnePlus is likely to do well in the space as like smartphones, we have limited brands in the premium TV segment,” said Pathak.

(Written with IANS inputs)

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