OnePlus is a Chinese startup company spearheaded by co-founder Carl Pei that has conducted business a little differently from day one. Rather than just running on Android 4.4.4 KitKat, they decided to use the popular CyanogenMod 11- it is essentially a Cyanogen smartphone that happens to run on OnePlus’ hardware. Then to accommodate their potential customers, they initiated an invitation system as a means to purchasing the OnePlus One, their first device. When it came to advertising, OnePlus allocated an entire $300, yes, that is correct, a whopping $300 to advertise…depending on word-of-mouth. Lastly was their pricing scheme – the base model was $300 and the 64GB model would cost you $350, but giving you features and quality normally found on a $650 device.
When Carl Pei was questioned by PC Magazine about their methods he said, “We set some goals for this year. Thirty thousand was a realistic goal, 50,000 was a pretty good goal and 100,000 was a stretch goal. We now aim to ship a million devices this year, and we’ve already surpassed half a million.” That is what is causing so many of OnePlus’ problems – if you can call a huge demand for your product a problem – OnePlus had no idea how popular their OnePlus One would be, and with such a small profit margin they could not afford to have a lot of unsold devices sitting around. In order to circumvent that problem, they took the invitation approach and built them as the orders came in. This was great for their inventory control, but very frustrating for the buyers.
The next logical step will be a follow-up device, and when asked about that, Pei said, “We are planning to announce the OnePlus Two Q2 or Q3 next year. So it is one year after this phone [OnePlus One].” He had indicated in previous conversations that the OnePlus Two would be made of even higher materials, but would also cost a bit more, although no exact specs were given…probably because even Pei does not know them at this time. They are taking the Xiaomi approach by trying to listen in their forums as to what customers want to see in the next OnePlus Two and will try to incorporate those suggestions into their next design. He also indicated that India would be the main country that they would be launching the OnePlus Two.
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