All of the OnePlus One owners out there will be well aware of the StyleSwap covers announced by OnePlus and in particular the rather attractive looking Bamboo cover. For those unfamiliar with the StyleSwap covers back in March OnePlus announced a series of upcoming covers which would be available for the company’s flagship device, the OnePlus One. This was rather interesting as generally speaking the device does not contain an easily removable cover. In spite of this OnePlus did announce they would release a number of swappable back covers in Silk, Sandstone, Denim, Bamboo, and Kevlar. Of particular interest was the Bamboo cover which according to OnePlus were completely unique “no two Bamboo StyleSwap Covers are the same”. Since the announcement the Bamboo cover has been listed on the OnePlus shop for $49 with a standard ‘Coming Soon’ message. Back in July there were reports the Bamboo cover would be available to purchase from the end of August. Well, August came and went with no availability to buy.
Now, mid-way through September it seems the StyleSwap program has officially ended. OnePlus announced today on their forum that unfortunately they will not be continuing with the program listing the difficulty in mass-production of the covers as the main reason. According to OnePlus they have had difficulty in producing a significant enough number of covers which passed an “acceptable level of quality”. In particular OnePlus notes the number of Bamboo covers which passed Quality Assurance (QA) was much lower than had been expected. Another reason given for the closure of the program is the current design of the battery and back covers. OnePlus admitted the current design does not make it easy to remove or replace the cover, even suggesting replacing the cover runs a risk of damaging the battery “we could have designed the removal process of the back covers better”. Further adding that this will be taken into account in the development of their next generation device, the OnePlus 2. Lastly, OnePlus did acknowledge the StyleSwap covers were an “ambitious” concept for them and they were disappointed to close the program.
So there you go. If you were waiting on a OnePlus One swappable cover it is not going to happen. In the announcement OnePlus did advise they do have a ‘limited’ number of the Bamboo covers (which presumably passed QA) and these will be available to buy although no further details on how, when or if at the original cost was provided. The company also advised that they are “looking into the possibility” of releasing a number of limited edition OnePlus One devices with the Kevlar and Denim back covers. Although after today’s announcement it might not be worth holding your breath.