Smartphone maker OnePlus is mulling an entry into the smart TV market, with the intention of delivering products offering seamless integration with a smartphone.
“We want to bring the home environment to the next level of intelligent connectivity. To do this, we are building a new product of OnePlus’ premium flagship design, image quality and audio experience to more seamlessly connect the home,” the company wrote.
Business Insider reported OnePlus founder Pete Lau said the company is looking to deliver a product with a smart artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, but with “more of a visual element”. A launch during 2019 was mooted, although a subsequent software update may be needed to deliver full functionality. A process of smartphone-like upgrades over time could well be part of the proposition.
In a blog post, the company said: “Since 2013, we have focused on building the best smartphone possible. In the process, our team and community have learned a tremendous amount about software, hardware, design, product development, and delivering on the best possible user experience.”
OnePlus has built up a following through its high-spec, but mid-priced smartphones. And it is perhaps no surprise it is eyeing other product categories, although the television market is already fiercely competitive with tight margins.
In an interview, Lau said the current television market is “quite traditional in functionality and experience”, with the internet not well integrated into the user experience. He did not state who the company was working with on the AI part, but did say it was in talks to support current connected home ecosystems.
While Samsung is the biggest consumer electronics company to offer both smartphones and TVs, a more fitting comparison for OnePlus may be Xiaomi, which followed a similar strategy (although Xiaomi now has a much wider connected device ecosystem).
The Business Insider report included the caveat that OnePlus has “just got started” with the project.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back