Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus just became the fifth most popular high-end smartphone brand in the U.S., based on data from fourth-quarter sales, according to research analyst firm IDC. High-end phones being those costing $500 or more.
CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.
OnePlus phones are entering the U.S. market at a time of increased scrutiny of Chinese tech firms. U.S. citizens have been warned by intelligence agencies not to use Huawei and ZTE phones – and U.S. military bases have stopped selling both brands – over concerns about surveillance.
However, OnePlus has faced no such resistance in the U.S. Industry analyst Max Wolff says that’s because it is focused mainly on consumer phones. Huawei and ZTE are much bigger companies that sell networking equipment.
“They have a growing user base and they’re definitely moving off the shelves. The bigger question is whether they can become a brand or just a really good deal on a solid phone. And that’s a TBD. We’ll sort of wait to see what happens there,” Wolff said.
The company has had some problems. Its website got hacked in November 2018; roughly 40,000 of its customers’ credit card data might have been compromised. It has also faced accusations of mining users’ data without their consent. Still, OnePlus is growing both in the U.S. and in the other more than 30 countries and regions that it sells its phones in.