Every year companies sporting the newest Android devices have huge marketing campaigns to promote their new smartphones. The OnePlus One is a Cyanogen smartphone with OnePlus hardware and design. The device encompasses an exclusive version of the current CyanogenMod 11 software, which is based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. A new update to software has also seen a lot of fixes to certain issues and can't have driven the market away. OnePlus has taken a slightly different approach to most companies, however, with a marketing budget of just $300 for the OnePlus One. OnePlus is a Chinese start-up company based in Shenzhen, that recently revealed the sale of over 500,000 devices so far with a marketing budget of only $300. How? I hear you say.
Despite its unique invitation process that sees users essentially promoting the phone themselves, the company only allows the sale of the smartphone by word of mouth. The interesting selling technique has had many a wishful thinker looking for an invitation, which aren't too hard to find if you join the right forums and social media websites. In fact OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei says the selling success of the OnePlus One is largely due to early adopters and long-term fans, stating "We found that we've not reached a crucial mass of users…They are helping us spread the word organically," in an interview with Forbes. However, rumour has it that the small amount of $300 went to Facebook ads, which also helped promote the new device.
Pei noted that the invitation selling process may seem complex and lead to fewer sales in the short term. However, he sees the process as an advantage to the company, nothing that open orders in other manufacturers lead to peak in sales in the short term after the initial release of a device. However, he believes that selling the OnePlus One via invitation has lead to a sustained interest in the smartphone that just keeps growing. OnePlus is hoping to sell one million handsets by the end of the year. However, if they want to do so they may need to open up a few more pre-order windows as soon as possible.
There's only seven and a half weeks until the end of the year, let's see how OnePlus goes!