OnePlus set a goal of selling one million of its first handset, the OnePlus One, during 2014. OnePlus’ Chief Executive, Carl Pei, has announced that the business has “sold close to 1 million units of its first flagship phone,” although we don’t know the details. He goes on to explain that the company believed all of their demand would come from China during their first year and did not anticipate worldwide demand concerning the invite system. On the face of it, this does seem somewhat shortsighted of OnePlus given the device received worldwide marketing and how the business failed to sell the million devices into the home Chinese market.
Let me recap the OnePlus One under the “Never Settle” banner. This flagship device is based around the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at up to 2.5 GHz, 3 GB of RAM, either 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage and a 5.5-inch, 1080p resolution display. There’s a 13 MP rear camera, a 5 MP front camera and a 3,100 mAh battery. Finally, the device runs CyanogenMod Android-based software, which gives it many features over and above stock Android whilst maintaining solid performance. What’s more interesting is the price, which is inexpensive. How inexpensive? $299 for the 16 GB model and $349 for the 64 GB model. Unfortunately, that inexpensive price tag comes with low availability: in short, it’s been hard to get hold of the OnePlus One. In order to manage their production lines, the business used a system of invites and customers had to acquire one of these before buying the device. The business tried several innovative and not especially well thought out competitions to help customers get their invites. One involved smashing your current flagship (for the chance of a OnePlus One) and another involved the best selfie, a competition that seemed destined to be dropped into the gutter in short order. Still, letting these marketing balloons, the OnePlus One remains a great piece of hardware already running a custom ROM.
What next for OnePlus? The successor device is reckoned to be called the OnePlus Two and is expected to launch in the next six months. OnePlus say that this is “going to be a phone catering to a different type of audience. Perhaps for those who appreciate design over specs.” Perhaps they’re going to try to launch a device that is as elegant as the better-designed smartphones out there? One thing is clear: OnePlus are not going to be resting on the One. In an end of year statement on their website, the company said that they are “thinking about roadblocks and how to overcome them. We ask you to Never Settle, and that applies to us as well. We wouldn’t have it any other way.” We may have several months to wait, but it’s good that OnePlus are still working on a next generation product.