Chinese mobile device manufacturer OnePlus has announced its intention to manufacture televisions for the first time.
OnePlus already has a huge fan base in China due to its high-quality and well-priced smartphones. Many of those fans have been urging the company to build a smart TV for some time now.
OnePlus hasn’t formally launched its flagship OnePlus 6 handset in Australia yet due to issues with variable direct importer pricing. The lower tier 6GB RAM/64GB typically sells for around $800, while the upper tier 8GB RAM/128GB model usually sells for around $1,000, which are both considerably cheaper than the iPhone.
The OnePlus 6T has already been leaked and a formal announcement is due from the company soon, so those prices are expected to come down further when they become widely available in Australia.
OnePlus founder Pete Lau says the company has big plans for the television market and the ultimate aim would be to make a TV that interacts seamlessly with mobile devices, which are still the primary smart device in people’s lives.
“The current TV market feels traditional with regards to functionality and experience. They haven’t integrated well with the internet, and making the experience match with what would be expected in today’s connected society,” Lau said in an interview with Business Insider over the weekend. regarding the current state of smart TVs.
He also wants to add a smart AI assistant functionality such as Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, but with greater visual content and functionality.
Lau added that OnePlus would hopefully release its first TV in 2019, with constant software updates improving its level of connectivity over the five years following its launch.
“This will need to be a step-by-step process, without being revolutionary from the start. We can’t get everyone’s hopes up too soon,” Lau said.
OnePlus has not yet given an indication of whether next year’s launch will include 4K or HDR (high dynamic colour range) but that it plans to build “a premium, flagship TV with matching specs”.