OnePlus was right to ditch “Pro” phones – Apple should do the same
OPINION: OnePlus confirmed this week that there will be no OnePlus 11 Pro or OnePlus 11T this year to make it easier to offer their flagship smartphones, and I think other companies should follow suit.
The smartphone market is significantly more complex than it once was, whether you’re looking at budget, mid-range or flagship phones.
While companies once released a single all-encompassing flagship smartphone like Apple and the iPhone 5, modern flagship offerings are not as straightforward. Apple’s latest lineup includes the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, each offering slightly different specs at different price points.
To be clear, this isn’t just an issue exclusive to Apple, it’s something that virtually every smartphone manufacturer is doing in 2023.
There is also a newer trend of semi-annual updates from the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, Samsung and others in an attempt to keep smartphones competitive throughout the year as new competitors enter the market, but this is rarely anything more than a minor specification. bump up.
Some may argue that more choice is good for the consumer, and I disagree, but there is a difference between choice and simply flooding the market with different smartphone options in an attempt to make as many sales as possible.
In fact, I think the current haphazard approach to flagship smartphone launches can confuse consumers and force them to choose what they need most instead of getting a great all-rounder.
Let’s take the current iPhone line as an example. The iPhone 14 is the basic flagship iPhone, the iPhone 14 Plus is similar to the base model but with a larger screen and longer battery life. The iPhone 14 Pro offers better display and camera performance with a small form factor, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers the same premium experience with a larger display.
For the average consumer who doesn’t keep up with the latest smartphone developments, this can be a stunning choice. They know they want the latest iPhone, but that’s about it.
Wouldn’t it be easier if there was only one flagship iPhone that combined all the best technologies from Apple? This eliminates process confusion and gives the consumer the best overall experience, rather than prioritizing specific features like the camera or battery life at the expense of others.
It could also have the indirect effect of stopping runaway spending on top smartphones like the £1,199 / $1,099 iPhone 14 Pro Max and the £1,249 / $1,199 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Companies can keep raising the top price because they have other flagship options at lower prices, but if there was only one smartphone, it would need to be competitively priced to keep potential customers from going elsewhere.
This is exactly what OnePlus has achieved with the OnePlus 11, which I highly rated and gave it 4.5 stars with a Trusted Reviews Recommended award in my review. It’s a pro in every way but the name, with top-level features, premium design, and most importantly, a very competitive price. This is one of the best Android recommendations for 2023.
The simplification also allows OnePlus to free up the resources normally allocated to Pro models and semi-annual phone updates and focus on other exciting projects like the OnePlus Pad and OnePlus mechanical keyboard.
Imagine the possibilities for companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google if they had to focus on developing just one smartphone a year (the Apple Car might not be a pipe dream).