OnePlus, a Chinese smartphone maker, has announced that it’s developing smart TV which will be its new entry point into the smart home market.
Founded in 2013, the brand managed to release eight smartphones within five years. Its products are known for good quality and low prices. The company stands at a similar position as Xiaomi in the smartphone market, but sells products in the U.S., where other Chinese smartphone companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi cannot reach.
OnePlus’ announcement may come as a surprise to some. The company’s CEO Pete Lau explained his vision of turning the smart TV into a central hub of a modern smart home. “The TV doesn’t have to be a TV that plays films or TV shows or series. It can be a home automation hub to control your home’s climate and entertainment system, or the window for you to communicate with the world,” Lau told PCmag.
Lau has a home electronics and video background, with his work experience at the DVD player division of Oppo, a Chinese consumer electronics and smartphone brand.
OnePlus’ smart TV, according to Lau’s description, can be a smart TV with voice assistant and smart home hub built-in. It is also like a bigger Android Smart Display device, which lets users ask the voice assistant questions and shows visual information on the screen.
“I’ve been thinking for more than a year about entering the smart home industry. It’s not only to make a TV; we want to explore what OnePlus can do in the smart home industry,” said Lau.
Lau didn’t reveal further on the smart TV’s launch date, price and product details, nor the operating system or voice assistant OnePlus will work with.
OnePlus has a close relationship with Oppo, the fifth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. They share part of the supply chain, common investors and OnePlus leases Oppo’s manufacturing line.
In India, OnePlus is currently the most beloved premium smartphone brand, overtaking Apple and Samsung.