Google and OnePlus Embrace the Junior Flagship Trend

Earlier in May of 2019, Google released the Pixel 3A. At the same time, OnePlus made a significant change to its business model by expanding its single flagship device into a basic and Pro model. For the phone industry, this was a major moment. Want to know what makes these two phones so significant in the world of mobile tech? Read on.

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How Flagship Phones Have Worked

Do you remember when there was just one iPhone and it was the one you just had to get? Similarly, Samsung used to only offer one phone, however that eventually changed. Instead of having one mid-tier phone that could appeal to the median of the population, Samsung gives its customers options.

This is the idea behind the junior flagship trend: let’s come up with a device that appeals to those who have smaller budgets while also offering bigger, more luxurious products for customers with more to spend. For a while now, it’s seemed like the entire mobile industry has been moving to a multi-tier flagship strategy, and now that Google and OnePlus are on board, this strategy has become the new norm.

Why Does This Matter?

Within the Android phone market, the launch of Google’s Pixel 3A and 3A XL and OnePlus’ basic and pro model is a big deal. For one, it sends a clear message that the mobile industry can’t survive on selling only premium-priced devices. Most people do not need to buy a new flagship phone every year, and recent statistics show that smartphone upgrades are on the decline.

In response, Google is incentivizing customers by reducing the cost of membership to the Phone Club, so to speak. You can still get all the benefits of Google Tech and all of the perks that come with Android but you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a fancy device.

Junior Flagships Defined

To put it simply, the idea behind the junior flagship is that it maintains the name and basic advantages of the top-tier model, but it gets rid of some of the extra bells and whistles to cut costs. In doing so, phone companies give their shoppers more options to get the brand they want without settling for less. It’s a smart system that tries to do what most brands do, and that is let their customers Have It All.

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