There is much to admire about Chinese smartphone manufacturer, OnePlus. The company was born out of the desire to bring the perfect smartphone to customers at an affordable price, showing the rest of the industry that a flagship device does not have to cost $700 or more. The company spent its money on designing and building their first handset, the OnePlus One, rather than marketing and selling to carriers – the device was sold via word of mouth under the “Never Settle” slogan. As it stands, OnePlus generated massive interest in the One even though it proved difficult to get hold of the device thanks to their initial invite-only way of purchasing the device. Over the months, it has become easier to buy the OnePlus range of smartphones – now broadened to include high and low end choices. For 2015, OnePlus introduced the OnePlus Two and later the OnePlus X (which has a similar specification to the original OnePlus One). These devices are much cheaper than the equivalent Samsung or HTC models.
During the same time, OnePlus have endured many challenges. They had to recruit and build their own variant of Android after a messy breakup with their original software developer partner, Cyanogen. There were several reported marketing foul ups, although each one did not especially deter customers but instead put the business name into the press – and this is most of the point of marketing of course! The OnePlus Two was released without NFC, which generated much discussion in the technology world about the relevance of the device in today’s Android Pay world, but again this highlighted the OnePlus brand: there are many markets still yet to receive Android Pay and where it has been “coming soon” for many months. OnePlus remains committed to the promise of delivering great quality smartphones to customers.
To this end, the company has just announced two important new hires. The first is Juha Rytkönen, who joins the OnePlus European team as the head of business development. Juha has twenty years of experience, including working at Nokia and subsequently moving to Microsoft. Juha’s remit will be to lead European partnership development based from OnePlus’ new London office. The second hire is Kyle Kiang, who has more than ten years of product marketing and brand management experience at LG, PepsiCo and Doppler Labs, a wearable technology startup business.
Carl Pei, OnePlus’ co-founder, said this on the news: “The past two and a half years at OnePlus have been both exciting and challenging. We have continued to grow our business, improve availability, and expand to new regions by focusing on creating great products. I’m really proud of how far the team has come in such a short time, but we still have a lot of room to grow and improve… To keep moving forward, we need to balance the young and dynamic OnePlus team with more seasoned leaders. Juha and Kyle have already made a positive impact at OnePlus, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can continue better serving our fans around the world.”