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OnePlus has officially confirmed its plans to launch a mid-range smartphone this year. In a post on Chinese micro-blogging site, Weibo, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said that the company will offer a mid-range handset this year to reach a wider consumer base. He also confirmed the news in an interview to Fast Company, where he further spoke about the company’s plans to expand into new product categories going forward.

Rumors about a new mid-range OnePlus smartphone have been doing the rounds for several months. Long rumored as the OnePlus 8 Lite, the device is now expected to be marketed as the OnePlus Z. However, Lau neither confirmed nor denied any of the rumors regarding the phone’s name. Instead, he focused on the company’s larger plans of getting a foothold in the IoT market in the US and Europe.

According to him: “What we’re seeing is that with current products, there’s still a demand from a large consumer base for a more suitable price that enables more consumers to be able to access OnePlus products. That’s really important insight, and it’s something that we’re taking into very serious consideration”.

OnePlus has already started taking its first tentative steps into the world of IoT devices, having launched its first TV set in India last year. Over the years, the company also launched an assortment of accessories, including power banks, earphones and more. Now, Lau says, the company is trying to scale-up its operations and become more of an eco-system player rather than remain a pure-play hardware vendor.

“We indeed have come from background and roots as a hardware company, but from what we see looking forward, building an ecosystem is a forward trend”, he said.

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