OnePlus seems like a company with its heart in the right place. They need to iron out things on the business side, as evidenced by the Smash Your Phone campaign, and shipping phones without chargers or even without the phone itself. For all of that, they are reacting quickly. When the uproar around Smash Your Phone started, they responded by letting winners donate their old devices instead. Now they’re selling invites for the OnePlus on eBay, but all the proceeds are going to charity.
It’s a pretty obvious stalling tactic. The company isn’t ready to ship Ones yet, so they needed a way to delay things without causing another ruckus. Rather than send out devices without a charger, or send out more pre-release units, they are doing something good that will grab headlines and hopefully create some positive PR.
Here’s how it works. OnePlus is auctioning off a lock of 15 invites on eBay. The winning bidder can then purchase one device. They will have the remaining 14 invites to give away. Selling invites on eBay seems shady. It’s something that we would expect out of scalpers, not an up and coming Android OEM. One Plus is salvaging the situation by donating all of the proceeds to a charity that the community votes on. There are four charities to choose from; Water.org, Unicef, World Wildlife Fund, and 1% For The Planet. Voting is open until May 30 at 2:59pm. That gives you 24 hours to vote on where OnePlus sends the proceeds for this promotion. They haven’t posted the eBay auction yet, but we’ll update you when that goes live.
OnePlus is going to have to stop with the invite system and bring this device to market soon. There are too many great new devices, like the just-announced LG G3, and consumers aren’t going to wait for the company to figure this all out. I appreciate that they are donating money to worthy causes and trying to do something good. They are a young company, trying to figure things out. Unfortunately, these delays could end them.