2022 has been a very busy year for OnePlus. The brand has been on a launch spree, coming out with a new phone (or more) almost every month. A particularly noticeable feature of this launch series has been the fact that OnePlus is expanding its Nord line.
The brand has already launched the Nord CE 2, and the Nord CE 2 Lite and now has added the Nord 2T to the list. In fact, this year, OnePlus has launched as many ‘number’ devices in India – three (OnePlus 9RT, OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10R) – as it has Nord devices.
There are some who believe that this is part of OnePlus’ strategy to expand its presence in the mid-segment of the market. However, there could be more to this. As per our sources in the industry, OnePlus might be looking to spin Nord off as an independent brand or perhaps a sub-brand, just like what Oppo has done with Realme, Vivo with iQoo and Xiaomi with Poco.
As per our sources, Nord will be treated as a separate brand with its own branding, stores and team. The OnePlus branding would be removed from Nord devices, although the words “from OnePlus” or “a OnePlus brand” could be retained in some places. We have been told that the brand name would use light blue as its theme colour (shades of Huawei’s Honor, pun intended). Interestingly, as per what we have been told, the Nord range will have a very strong offline presence, with dedicated showrooms and tie-ups with third-party stores. What’s more, the Nord range will expand from phones and TWS to encompass televisions, fitness bands, smartwatches, Bluetooth neckbands, power banks and other accessories. Very significantly, the Nord series will have its own interface, which would be basically a skin over OxygenOS (a bit like the Poco launcher over MIUI in Poco phones).
From what we have been told, the Nord brand will also expand to slightly higher as well as slightly lower price segments. As per our source, there would be a “budget flagship” Nord at around Rs 35,000 and a super affordable one below Rs 15,000. The brand will, however, totally steer clear of competing with OnePlus phones and televisions, although it is expected to compete with them in TWS, fitness bands and accessories. There is even some talk that the Nord team would be mainly based in India, and would also use the country as a manufacturing hub.
In some ways, the division is a bit like Xiaomi and Redmi and Poco, with Xiaomi sticking to high-technology and innovative products with slightly higher prices while Redmi and Poco come out with more affordable products.
Of course, as there is no official statement from the brand about this, we have to treat it as speculation. However, the way in which the Nord brand is expanding would seem that OnePlus has big plans for it. This is the company that Never Settles after all! Why should it settle for just one brand?