OnePlus has become something of a public admirer of Samsung these days: the company has great respect for Samsung’s accomplishments and achievements, with co-founder Carl Pei requesting that Samsung make him an intern. Carl Pei may be sincere indeed, but the “flagship killer” company whose hype has gotten it into trouble is back to start more trouble in the smartphone space. The latest involves a new #TakeTheEdgeOff” campaign, with the Chinese manufacturer requesting that current Samsung customers trade in their S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5 for “a brand new OnePlus 2,” the company’s own promo says.
It’s true that the OnePlus 2 costs about $350-$400, half of what a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 costs (and three times less than what a Galaxy S6 edge+ may cost you if you get a 64GB model, for example), but we’re really confused as to what OnePlus expects from this deal. Samsung is the top dog in the Android space, and Samsung’s devices not only have brand support behind them but also stellar performance. Samsung has the best-in-class front and back cameras, beating Sony in customer sales even though DxOMark has given Sony’s Xperia Z5 “the edge” (pun intended) when it comes to overall camera performance. With that said, OnePlus even relies on Samsung for smartphone components, a sign that OnePlus needs Samsung desperately.
Carl Pei said that OnePlus has hyped the OnePlus 2 way too much, and wants to intern for the Korean manufacturer – but OnePlus killed Pei’s chances when it claimed that the OnePlus 2 was a “2016 flagship killer” (referring to the fact that the OnePlus 2 would still best even Samsung’s devices next year, though it’s not 2016 yet). It’s a clever campaign on the surface (“Take The Edge Off,” meaning “throw off the Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge+”), but is it enough to win consumers? It’s highly unlikely.
The best way to beat your opponent or rival is to join it when the rival has resources you don’t. If Carl Pei really wants to intern at Samsung, we’re not sure OnePlus’s new campaign is doing him (or OnePlus) any favors. You can’t openly target a giant like Samsung in the industry and then look surprised when Samsung faithful don’t back your play.