OnePlus handsets

Phone manufacturer OnePlus has launched its ecommerce portal in India where users can buy OnePlus merchandise exclusively. Currently, the portal lists OnePlus 3, OnePlus 2, bundles of screen protectors, cases, cables, back covers, earphones and adapters, but only the accessories can be bought through the portal. Clicking on “buy now” on the phones redirects to the Amazon pages. OnePlus users can login with their email IDs, Google and Facebook. There is customer support via chat and in order to access warranties and repairs, users need to login. OnePlus had tied up exclusively with Amazon last year for its OnePlus One sale in India which was then being sold on an invite basis. In April 2015, the company released a DIY Android Lollipop update for its users

Earlier in 2015, when OnePlus released the 16GB version of its phone in, we mentioned that OnePlus did not really have an operating system to offer in India, as Micromax had signed an exclusive agreement with Cyanogenmod for its OS in the country. However, both the companies buried the hatchet after Carl Pei, director of OnePlus, said that Indian users would receive the new build of the CyanogenMod operating system as an over-the-air update. Today, AndroidAuthority reported that OnePlus would make the OxygenOS Beta program available to all.

The company had plans to start manufacturing its devices in India in October last year and is currently working on the latest phone OnePlus 3S. (See other companies who plan to manufacture electronics in India here.)

Xiaomi’s approach to sales in India

Xiaomi set up its website in India in June 2014 but started selling its phones exclusively through Flipkart in the same month. Its devices were available in India unofficially on e-commerce websites like eBay as well at the time. In April 2015, Xiaomi ended its exclusive arrangement with Flipkart and started selling on Snapdeal and Amazon in India. The company’s ecommerce store and went live as a website and app in July 2015. In the same month, the company invested in its logistics unit in India and started pushing for offline sales in July this year.

Chinese smartphone shipments on the rise in India

In August, we reported that even though both Indian and global vendor shipments declined year-over-year during Q2 2016, smartphone shipments from China based brands including Lenovo, Vivo, Xiaomi, OPPO and Gionee grew 28% q-o-q. Shipments from these brands also grew 75% in CY Q2 2016. The entire Indian smartphone market shipped 27.5 million units in this quarter, registering a 17.1% growth when compared to previous quarter and a marginal 3.7% y-o-y growth.