OnePlus was founded back in December 2013, and the company has released 1 handset thus far, the OnePlus One. This smartphones was announced back in April 2014, and has been one of the best devices of last year. OnePlus One had lots to offer both in terms of specifications, design and general usability. OnePlus' flagship shipped with Cyanogen's software installed on top of Android, which was also a huge plus for some people. OnePlus and Cyanogen parted way in the meantime, and the company developed their very own Android-based OS, Oxygen OS. That being said, OnePlus 2 is right around the corner, and until it arrives, let's talk a bit about the company itself.
This company is very popular outside of China, which is not something a lot of China-based smartphone OEMs can say for themselves. OnePlus has sold 60% of their devices outside of China in 2014, which is quite a feat for the company. Well, it seems like OnePlus want to change that to some extent. The company has invested more money into marketing in China, and has opened first brick-and-mortar store in Beijing, while they've also hired a well-known Chinese blogger and internet personality, Han Han, as the company's spokesperson. OnePlus doesn't want you to think they'll focus only on China, because the international expansion is still their main focus it seems.
Carl Pei, the co-founder of OnePlus, said that 92% of OnePlus One shipments were sent outside of China in the first quarter of this year. Carl Pei was actually interviewed by CKGSB recently, and had some interesting things to say in that interview. OnePlus' co-founder said that OnePlus wasn't meant to become a global company at the very beginning, they actually planned to focus on the Chinese smartphone market, but somehow they managed to succeed internationally. OnePlus thought that only 10% of their shipments were going to be sent outside of China, but in 2014, approximately 65% fo smartphones were sent out of this Asian country, and as already mentioned, that number grew even more in Q1 2015.
Mr. Pei has also mentioned that OnePlus didn't really have a lot of capital to begin with, and that's still the case. He has also added the following: "When you don't have money, you are forced to become a lot more creative in how you reach out to people. Most of our marketing has been very focused on word-of-mouth online, like campaigns on social media and forums. We also earned a lot of attention through PR". He has also said that the image of Chinese companies s improving, even though they're still not considered 'high-end' in a way.
Carl Pei has also added that they're always looking for feedback from their users in order to make the best device possible. Indian smartphone market has also been mentioned, as OnePlus is immensely successful over there. This is what he had to say regarding that: "We entered India because in our backend, we saw many of our users are actually in India, despite the fact that we didn't sell any phones in India. We had 5,000 to 7,000 activations in India when we decided, "Hey, let's go check it out." After we launched, it quickly grew to become one of our biggest markets. I just spent a month in India and came back a few weeks ago, and it's super dynamic over there–a lot of Western venture capitalists flowing into India, a lot of American Indians are moving back to India to help local tech companies grow and scale."
OnePlus' co-founder has also said that OnePlus doesn't really have a patent portfolio at the moment, but that they've been granted their first patent quite recently. Patents are not something OnePlus is concerned with, Carl Pei think that the problem will decrease with time because the governments are more supportive of those who make good products, than those who just sit on patent portfolios and what not. There you have it, a piece of Carl Pei's recent interview. OnePlus 2 is due to be released in Q3 this year, in other words, it will be announced really soon. If you'd like to check out the full interview, visit the source link down below.