Those of you who’re owners of the OnePlus One mostly fall into one camp; those who absolutely love it. Sure, there are many of you out there that have had bad experiences with the company and defective devices, but any discussion I see about the OnePlus One (and many more that suddenly derail into talking about the OnePlus One) is often filled with praise for the large handset-that-could. Despite some dark clouds surrounding the actual ownership and origins of OnePlus as a brand, they are new, and doing things differently is difficult. Perhaps more so for a company based in China, with employees used to distributing in China only. To go global has been hard for them, but it’s been a decent year for OnePlus and 2015 is set to be even better.
Forbe’s Ewan Spence had the chance to sit down with Carl Pei of OnePlus and asked him some questions on the future. Starting with the past, he said that the firm had advertized on Facebook with a budget of just $300 and that on the OnePlus One the company makes “a single-figure dollar amount on each phone” which is hardly surprising for a phone of its caliber that starts at just $299. In the future though, things are going to change with Pei taking about 2015 by saying “That’s not the way we’re going to make money in the future, it’s just to keep the operation going.” The OnePlus Two (or whatever it becomes known as) will still be made available at a very attractive price, but Pei went on to say that “accessories will be a big part of it. We’ve made a really social brand, that people are fans of. If we make lifestyle products or specialized accessories, I think those will do really well.”
Talking hard numbers, Pei told Forbes that sales of the OnePlus One had surpassed 500,000 units sold, and for 2015 he wants to reach a target of at least 1 Million units sold. That pales in comparison to the 9 – 10 million units that Samsung and co sell in under a year, but this is a small company we’re talking about. If they want to reach this target, and possibly even surpass it they’ll need to get their business practices in order first. Invites are not the way to sell a device and the tactic has led to some serious backlash from the community. A better approach would be to be honest with customers; “We can only afford to make X amount, and that’s what we have to sell today”. That’s the sort of company I would be happy to purchase from. What about you?