Premium phonemaker OnePlus will invest ₹1,000 crore over the next three years for a research and development facility in Hyderabad to drive development of artificial intelligence and machine learning across its products, the company said in a statement on Monday.
The new investment will strengthen the brand’s position in India where it already leads the premium smartphone market.
The company plans to leverage talent from Hyderabad for this facility, OnePlus said.
“In three years, we plan to grow the new R&D centre in Hyderabad into our biggest globally. We plan to re-focus our R&D efforts on a large scale and drive innovations in India for the global product, especially on the software side with special emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, 5G and IoT," Pete Lau, founder and CEO, OnePlus, said.
The R&D centre will house three labs — camera lab, communications and networking labs and automation labs that will focus heavily on camera development, 5G testing, software with focus on AI and performance testing.
The centre will specifically work on the development of India-specific OxygenOS features, including OnePlus applications design and development and drive the 5G enablement for regions like India, EU and UK, the company said.
OnePlus, which had entered India five years ago through an invite-only strategy for selling mobile devices, captured its highest ever shipment share of 43% in the premium segment in April-June, Counterpoint Research said in a note dated 30 July. Samsung had a 22% share, while Apple was at 20%.
OnePlus also looks to increase focus on offline store expansion to boost sales of its premium phones in a market where 95% of all handset sales are budget-level smartphones.
The brand has 12 stores of its own and wants to take this to 25 by end-2020.