OnePlus has come under fire recently, with the OnePlus 2 and its missing features failing to ignite consumers’ desire and the OnePlus X garnering tepid adoption despite fairly good reviews. Things like the OnePlus 2’s lack of NFC and the continued misexecution of OnePlus’ controversial invite system have managed to spur consumers’ ire and push OnePlus further towards obscurity. OnePlus founder Carl Pei, however, may have a different take on recent events.
Pei pointed out that, as far as meeting demand, launching the OnePlus X and OnePlus 2 so close together was not intentional. The OnePlus 2 took longer than planed, a full 15 months, to develop and bring to market. Pei summed it up quite nicely. “The entire team is tired, having launched two product in only three months… If we had released the OnePlus 2 a quarter earlier, that would’ve made things much easier for us.” The supply issues will likely get better over time, but for now, things are in a bit of a crunch. Future plans to bring two new phones to market per year indicate that there is some kind of plan to improve the supply chain.
As for the invite system. Pei claims that it helps to manage inventory simply because the company can’t build to order. “We can’t really build to match demand, because for us the lead time is two to three months,” said Pei. “So right now, we have to foresee what’s going to happen three months from now. And a user is never going to wait three months for a phone. The invite system helps us deal with it in a way that’s more user-friendly. And it helps us manage our inventory a little bit better.” Pei said that the invite system wasn’t a total success, leaving them with some components to sell on the third party market, but not as big a bust as some companies. Despite criticism, Pei is sticking to the invite system for the foreseeable future.
On NFC, Pei made it clear he and his team didn’t think it was mainstream enough to warrant the cost of inclusion, saying, “NFC became a big thing for the OnePlus 2, but in reality after people calmed down and thought about it, they really don’t use a lot of NFC. When it becomes the mainstream, we’ll bring it back.”
On the company’s “Never Settle” motto, Pei said that it meant making the best choices for the most users. He made an analogy about it, saying it was like “a chef who has access to a lot of ingredients, but a good dish is not a sum of all the ingredients. There has to be a curation.” Although the motto may, at face value, seem to indicate that one would have to make every possible inclusion for the maximum possible usability, Pei clearly sees it differently.