Location:Home > News Center > News

OnePlus 10 Pro China-first launch is perplexing but calculated, here's why

OnePlus 10 Pro China-first launch is perplexing but calculated, here's why

nePlus' decision to launch the OnePlus 10 Pro in China first might seem perplexing, but experts say it makes sense from a competitive standpoint. They add that since its integration with OPPO, the company has a big year ahead to differentiate itself. Otherwise, the brand may drift into irrelevance.

The OnePlus 10 Pro was announced in China on Monday, Jan. 3, and is a huge departure from the OnePlus 9 Pro by looking at the rear panel, which features a wrap-around camera bump that's very Samsung Galaxy S21-inspired. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau (who's also OPPO's chief product officer) confirmed that the series would be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, making it a worthy challenger to the best Android phones that will release this year.

The device will be available on Jan. 11 and will likely launch in North America and other markets later (probably sometime in March); however, the announcement did not include the OnePlus 10.

This will also be the first device that OnePlus launched since it became OPPO's new sub-brand.

Why did OnePlus decide to launch only in China first?

Neil Shah, vice president of research at Counterpoint Research, told Android Central that one of the likely reasons for a China-first launch is the "race to have Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip-based phone on the shelves first."

The recently released Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro also use the same processing power.

Shah says OnePlus also wants to capitalize on the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, which will "generate more sales for OnePlus phones in its home market."

"China was not an important focus market for OnePlus earlier, but after folding into OPPO, China becomes a key focus market for scaling the OnePlus brand. It will be positioned to fill the big gap between the Reno series and Find series for OPPO. Especially in the China market where Vivo has done well with the V and X series," he says.

Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's worldwide device tracker, agrees, adding that with the ongoing supply chain issues, having a small number of phones reserved for the Chinese market before the holiday "doesn't hurt."

He adds that China is the largest smartphone market. Even though OnePlus has had success outside of the country (especially in India and North America), China remains one of the largest markets for OnePlus' premium phones, making it a "logical" first choice for the company.

OnePlus started after its CEO Lau left OPPO in 2013 and partnered with Carl Pei (who left the company in 2020 to start Nothing, a hardware startup). Throughout its independence, OnePlus, like OPPO and Vivo, was ostensibly owned by a parent company, BBK Electronics. Still, it touted itself to be an exclusive brand that went up against more prominent smartphone brands. While the two entities were independent, OPPO and OnePlus shared research and manufacturing resources, resulting in phones that looked very similar but were released in different regions.

Mishaal Rahman, senior technical editor at Esper and former editor-in-chief of XDA Developers, says several factors favor a China-first launch. China is not only where OnePlus is headquartered, but it is also where its research and development occurs, where manufacturing takes place, and where engineers who develop the operating system are located.