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Britain’s referendum on EU membership almost two weeks ago — resulting in a slender 51.9 percent majority in favor of leaving the EU — has raised many questions about what will happen to key tech industries across the U.K. and Europe.
As the dust began to settle, U.K. entrepreneurs responded, London startups expressed concerns, people questioned the effect on the broader EU startup scene, and speculation mounted as to what the Brexit vote could mean for the country’s $3.83 billion gaming industry. But the concerns and speculation amount to little, as the bottom line is nobody really knows yet what the long-term impact will be on a U.K. that lives outside the European Union.
Shorter term, however, we’re starting to see some effects of the instability caused by the referendum vote.
China-based smartphone maker OnePlus has announced a small but notable price hike for its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 3. The device has cost £309 ($406) since its launch last month, but from July 11 that price will increase to £329 ($432). Why? The U.K. pound has hit new lows at a time when sterling was already weak against the dollar.
“While we’ve held off action for as long as we can, the sharp drop witnessed in the currency markets following the Brexit decision has forced us to re-evaluate the OnePlus 3’s pricing in the UK at a time of significant demand,” the company said in its announcement. “Given the effects of the unstable markets on our extremely thin margins, we’re reluctantly going to have to make some small changes to our pricing structure for the device.”
This isn’t the first time OnePlus has hiked prices due to currency fluctuations. Last year, the company announced a 20 percent price increase for the OnePlus One across the eurozone, with the company citing the falling value of the euro as the root cause.
While the U.K. price increase for the OnePlus 3 is only around seven percent, it signals what could be coming for consumers across the country. We’re already seeing reports that life-saving drugs on the NHS could become too expensive, while food prices could be set to surge too.
It would be interesting to see some solid numbers showing how many people are genuinely beginning to regret their decision to vote “Leave” on June 23.
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