Flipkart Teases OnePlus 3 Price Drop; OnePlus Denies Collaboration and Maintains Amazon India Exclusivity
The OnePlus 3 has been a very good value purchase for users looking for an affordable but powerful smartphone. But the OnePlus 3T replaces the OnePlus 3 at a slightly increased price. One could argue that the value proposition remains same as the OnePlus 3T offers more, but at the end of the day, the consumers who have to shell out the extra moolah will have to decide this for themselves.
In India, the OnePlus 3T exists alongside the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 2, for now at least. This wide product lineup allows OnePlus to cover a few different price points, though we are unaware of when OnePlus plans to discontinue the OnePlus 3 in India specifically. The OnePlus 3T (64GB) retails for ₹29,999 (~$443), the OnePlus 3 retails for ₹27,999 (~$413), while the OnePlus 2 retails for ₹19,999 (~$295). All of these prices quoted are from official sellers on Amazon India, which is the exclusive online partner for OnePlus in India.
However, in a very interesting turn of events, Flipkart started teasing the OnePlus 3 at a very heavy discount price. Flipkart is Amazon India’s competition in the online marketplace in India, and both often compete neck-and-neck. The discount offered was being teased as part of Flipkart’s upcoming “Big Shopping Days” sale. The price was kept mysterious by not disclosing the thousands-place digit, but even in the worst case scenario, the discount would have priced the OnePlus 3 at an astonishing ₹19,999 ($295) — the same price as the OnePlus 2!
Naturally, customers were miffed with this very heavy price drop of $100+. The move was perceived as an attempt to clear out OnePlus 3 stocks as OnePlus did mention their intentions to not continue production of the OnePlus 3 (though not specifically confirmed for India). Angry customers took to Twitter to mention their displeasure at the same. But as it turns out, even OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei had no information of such a sale!
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) December 16, 2016
The news was a surprise to a lot of us as OnePlus does have an exclusivity agreement in place with Amazon India. This means that OnePlus does not officially sell products on other online retailing marketplaces in India. Such a sharp price drop for the OnePlus 3 would also tick existing OnePlus 3 owners as the resale value of the phone will drop. After all, the phone would be an absolute steal for a flagship at under $300, especially when OnePlus remains committed to providing update and support for the OnePlus 3 as they had promised.
OnePlus India has denied the existence of any collaboration with Flipkart for the sale. The company reached out with a statement on the matter:
OnePlus is focused on creating premium flagship smartphones. We have an exclusive partnership with Amazon in India. We advice customers to purchase OnePlus products only through official channels as we cannot guarantee the authenticity of the products sold elsewhere.
Flipkart, on the other hand, responded to NDTV Gadgets with an ambiguous reply on the matter:
Flipkart is a marketplace which helps sellers connect with customers across the country. All our sellers are mandated to adhere to stringent guidelines. The prices and discounts for all our sales are decided by the participating sellers and brands.
We advise readers to exercise caution and discretion with the upcoming sale. Customers need to be wary of product and warranty arrangements as the only official channel for purchase is currently Amazon India. With OnePlus themselves refuting any collaboration, the means of procurement and the heavy discount seem very fishy.