SUSPENSE: Will Flipkart sell OnePlus 3 or not?

With minutes remaining for the planned 4 PM flash sale of heavily discounted OnePlus 3 phones, the suspense over whether Flipkart will actually go ahead with the sale or not has hit a peak.

On social media, there are reports that Flipkart will actually go ahead and conduct a sale anyway.

However, there are no signs of the impending flash-sale on the retailer’s website.

The OnePlus3 listing that was there has still not made it back to the website even after nearly 24 hours of it being taken down.

Flipkart, the home grown online retailer, withdrewn its listing of OnePlus 3 smartphone yesterday after facing negative feedback from the company and at least some users.

The online retailer had come under negative commentary from OnePlus, which even put out a statement warning people against buying from non-Amazon sources.

“We advice customers to purchase OnePlus products only through official channels as we cannot guarantee the authenticity of the products sold elsewhere,” the company said.

As of now, the OnePlus 3 listing page draws a blank with the message ‘currently unavailable’, indicating that the company has pulled the listing.

A search for OnePlus in Flipkart’s search bar also throws up only cases and other accessories, while it was pulling up OnePlus3 model earlier.

Similarly, the ‘Sneak Peek’ page that advertised the sale of the OnePlus3 at Rs 18,999 tomorrow at 4 PM also no longer shows the same.

The deal was the highlight of the mobile deals section. At present, OnePlus is not present among the deals shown in the mobile section.

It is likely that OnePlus brought to bear a lot of pressure on the online retailer not to go ahead with the sale.

The smartphone brand’s founder had sent out a couple of irritated tweets about the Indian company’s planned sale tomorrow, where the smartphone was supposed to be sold for Rs 18,999 versus its price of Rs 27,999.

“For premium brands, trust is everything. We would never betray trust by dropping prices like this,” Pei had tweeted yesterday.

He also complained to Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal, with the now-famous phrase: “Brother, What’s this?”

Flipkart was likely trying to use the buzz around the discounted sale to create some momentum for its ‘Big Shopping Days’ sale tomorrow.

Many companies hold such so-called ‘flash sales’ with very little stock but offering huge discounts without revealing how many handsets are actually being sold. This results in a huge amount of social media buzz, which creates publicity for the platform and the smartphone brand.

However, it looked like OnePlus was in no mood to play along. It is also likely that Amazon was also less than happy at Flipkart using a brand which is ‘exclusive’ to it for marketing.

It is not illegal for any store to sell any product in India. However, given that Flipkart and OnePlus have done business together earlier, they may have decided to pay heed to the sentiments of the brand in this case. Besides, selling it without the authorisation of the brand may have created warranty issues.

Either way, for now, it looks like those who were planning to buy the phone tomorrow at 4 PM may have to look at shelling out an extra Rs 9,000 for the same.