What happened: Chinese smartphone startup OnePlus has secured an exclusive partnership with McLaren, a global luxury car manufacturer, for a new premium handset priced at $668. Built on the existing OnePlus 6T model, the OnePlus McLaren 6T will provide users with improved functionality, including higher specs. OnePlus hopes to boost its brand reputation and increase sales revenue, as well as profits.
Why it’s important: The partnership comes at a time of increased consolidation in the smartphone market. It allows OnePlus to produce smartphones with exclusive designs in order to get a leg up in the crowded market. Chinese brands have been trying to figure out strategies to drive growth, including partnerships with celebrities and luxury brands. OnePlus follows Huawei in its partnership with luxury car manufacturer Porsche to produce a smartphone that cost in excess of RMB 10,000 (around $1,500). OnePlus is one of the top five manufacturers of high-end Android smartphones in the world.