This is a conversation of wanting to have with you guys about flagship killers in 2020. So the company was most familiar with in terms of flagship killers is probably one plus. They were a company that came with one plus one fantastic phone and when they came with the one plus 2 they marketed that phone specifically as the 2016 flagship killer.
And the whole idea is that you take a phone and you fill it up with great hardware and you price it at this inexpensive price point that competes with premium smartphone brands. And that’s what they did, they did a really good job at disrupting the smartphone market with their inexpensive phones and I wasn’t just one plus right you have companies like Xiaomi and Oppo and Vivo and even companies that didn’t classify themselves as flagship killers.
They did the same kind of thing disrupting. The market with inexpensively priced phones and I’m not talking about cheap budget phones, right? I’m specifically talking about phones that were designed to compete with flagship products from premium brands. If you look at these flagship killer companies a lot of them have changed how they’re even pushing out phones if they’re no longer making $400 flagship killers.
They’re pushing out six-seven $800 phones that are flagships themselves. Like if you look at one plus their rumored one plus eight is a full-blown flagship phone it’s supposed to have wireless charging IP rated water resistance and it’s rumored to have an eight hundred dollar price tag. Which has a far cry from the 350 $400 flagship killers that they used to put out and even companies like Xiaomi like their Redmi note 10 note ten Pro those are so much more expensive?
Then they have been in the past it really feels like the whole notion of flagship killer phones is no longer part of the equation. And I think the reason is well there are two things. Number one and this applies to basically any kind of flagship killing company like one plus their end goal was always to be in that premium segment right the strategy was like you you make these cheap phones that don’t make a lot of money but you build a brand you build a fan base and when you have a large enough audience then you make the premium stuff because that’s where the money is.
And that’s what one plus is doing and it’s great it’s working out for them but the other reason and this is the big reason I think the entire smartphone market has matured to the point, where companies struggle to deliver features that customers actually want. Like scene features like 12 gigs of RAM on phones we’re seeing 108-megapixel cameras we’re seeing 30 axioms 50x zooms 100x zooms.
And it’s not that this stuff is not cool right? It’s neat but when you pump out phones this frequently with this little innovation in between them you inevitably get phones that become obsolete really quickly. And what happens is that phones drop in price super fast.
Like this is a barely 1-year-old phone the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and this is now half price. It’s barely 12 months old and you get the SN phone starting at $450 on Amazon right now. The price is incredible and this is a great phone. It’s got Snapdragon 855 and OLED screen with a hole-punch camera, it’s got 8 gigs of RAM a headphone jack. Like there’s so much good stuff going on in this thing and it’s $450.
The pixel 3 that thing is 250 and I think these phones years of phones are the new flagship killers. Like these are the phones that are almost cannibalizing the sales of the current stuff. Because these are so good and so cheap and most importantly they’re so close in feature set to the newest stuff like let’s say you’re in the market right now for a new phone.
And you’re looking at the galaxy s20 from Samsung and I’m not trying to single out Samsung here, this applies to basically every Android premium flagship phone in the market right now. But you have to really value the few features that distinguish this phone from the s20. Like you really have to love the whole idea of a 120 Hertz screen you have to really dig that 30x camera zoom to spend the extra 4 or $500 on the s20 over the s10. And this whole thing also applies to companies right now that are trying to be flagship killers like if you look at realme.
If they have a phone the x2 Pro, it’s a great phone but that thing is also $450 and if your prospective buyer, would you rather spend your money on that or some like the s10? That has a proven camera system proven software and I’m assuming a way better international warranty. It’s difficult for the traditional flagship killing model to succeed right now. Like there’s no, I actually feel like if one plus came out today and they were trying to do what they did five-six years ago I don’t think it would work.
Because these phones these one-year-old phones have shaped the market in a way that makes it really difficult for the flagship killer to be exactly that these are the new flagship killers. I really feel like the one-year-old phones they’ve gotten so cheap and so fast. Like they’ve gotten so cheap so quickly that they’ve now become the things that actually hurt the company when they’re trying to sell their new stuff.