Why you should invest in a Smartphone Enthusiast Brand!

A trustworthy friend to put you out of awkward situations, A great apparatus to capture those small moments of life, A powerful tool to exercise your right to freedom of speech, A machine which opens up your life to the world, A gizmo that magically makes everything in your life seamless and A credible storage space to save those nudes if you’re crazy enough to do that.

The Smartphone. Your inarticulate sidekick for all your adventures in life.

Buying a smartphone is and shall always remain a toughest choice in your life. Bringing together a perfect phone is an ever challenging vertical manufacturers face each year. Striking the balance in-between building the perfect smartphone and making it affordable is a burden most companies choose to carry on their shoulders because that’s exactly where the money lies.

Make no mistake in your judgement as this industry is pushing to become a $500 Billion entity in the commodity space across the globe.

While the manufacturing costs of the most cutting edge smartphone available in the market is around $250, you usually end up paying roughly $700 for the same. The profit markets are sky high with at least 50% margin on every product that a company ever sells.

Since it’s a large market with very little yet major players, some companies thought they would fix that by launching products with breakneck pricing strategies. They achieved this by selling products at near production costs and its thanks to them that you have a powerful device in your hour hands that you effortlessly carry around into your bathroom every time you take a dump.

Thanks to companies like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, etc that today major companies like Samsung, Apple, HTC even consider producing affordable devices.

So how do they do it, You ask?

It’s no secret actually, they target the enthusiast market. People who are smart enough to figure out why your phone works the way it does. It’s a fairly large community which is actually willing to spend on new and revolutionary tech. They promise “too good to be true tech” at affordable prices. Their policies are simple, they retain complete control of the hardware they want to procure, they use textbook evangelism to market their product rather than going for ads and they make a cool product all in all. So from an enthusiast stand point, you trust a company, you fund them from your own pocket and even market it by yourself in exchange for a cool — unique and powerful gadget.

Sounds great right? What could go wrong in a perfect world?

While it’s a dreamy idea, it isn’t sustainable, wont make money at all and we don’t live in a perfect world!

Business Class 101

Industries make money by scaling UP, have great Margins and Low manufacturing and investment costs. Enthusiast brands on the other hand operate on the exact opposite terms. They produce extremely high quality products with next to nothing margins, they’re challenged with bringing in the best features or they’ll be sidelined and if someone is offering a better product then theirs, users will definitely go buy that. Everything should be tailor made and come at the cost of a peanut or it will mean Sparta!

Enthusiast brands build smartphones which are totally targeted at their own crowd. This makes it difficult for them to go into mainstream markets.

A regular phone user doesn’t orgasm when he/she hears the name of the new processor Qualcomm launched. In their world, more RAM = Better Performance.
Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus are one and the same. Yes! Really.

While OnePlus is their enthusiast brand, OPPO and VIVO are feature centric. The technological diverse can be clearly observed between the brands, as OPPO and VIVO advertise features like camera, music and software optimizations while OnePlus advertises hardware components like the processor, RAM, camera sensor, charging technology etc. While O & V used prominent actors and actresses to advertise their products from the beginning, OP has just recently uped its advertising game by delivering a “Dash Charging” class by freaking Emily Ratajkowski!

OnePlus has been going back and forth to establish their battlefront. First, they cashed in on their enthusiast market by selling over 1 million OnePlus One devices. They then cheaped out on features like an NFC chip and fast charging port which resulted in the OnePlus 2’s failure. They pivoted the OnePlus X to a more fashion conscious audience but that too bombed as fashion models preferred iPhone’s over androids anyday.

One sunny day, the OnePlus 3/3T came in and stood tall in the enthusiast backyard again. It packed in all the goodies that appealed to their mother community and they started showering the company with positive reviews. But their focus on entering the mainstream consumer market didn’t end yet. They made professional ads to make the brand more consumer(read non-techie) friendly.

OPPO and VIVO on the other hand were also enthusiast brands to begin with, but they made a 180 degree turn and started making mid range feature packed smartphones. While the enthusiasts did leave the brand, the companies built their new user base so aggressively that they now became the 4th largest smartphone vendors in the world.

What am I getting at? Ultimately!

Point is, don’t buy a high tech smartphone if you don’t know how to use it! Procuring hardware is extremely expensive for a company, and if you want the company to cram in more features or the best hardware into your phone then pay for it! Don’t cheap out. It’s ultimately your investment and trust that goes into building a good brand out of a company.

NO, a mid range smartphone will NEVER offer you flagship performance. NEVER!

Simply put, the next time you go shopping for a smartphone, list out the features you want to use it for. You want a phone that takes great pictures — and offers simple yet great user experience, put your hard earned money into an iPhone. You want something robust, built to geek the F out and practically deliver more than a feature phone then get a OnePlus.

It’s as simple as that!

Every penny you put into an enthusiast brand grows into a new feature. Like this one.

Every penny you put into Apple grows into sophisticated hipster ads. Like this one.

Every penny you put into Samsung, Well that grows into something like this. Not to forget that they are at the forefront of the Android ecosystem @ $700.

Hope my insights have helped you make that decision.
Until next time. Peace!