Despite some unfortunate PR here and there, the OnePlus One has been a hot device this summer due to the inexpensive price of the relatively high-end hardware. Perhaps contributing to some of the OnePlus One mania (within a certain subset of Android users anyway) was the scarcity of the device: the only way to purchase it was by receiving an invite.
Despite the recent news that their StyleSwap cover plans have been scrapped, things are apparently looking up for OnePlus, as they are finally prepared to open the floodgates (a bit) in late October by moving to a pre-order system. Interestingly, the invite system will remain in place and allow you to line jump those that have placed a pre-order, so the bitter complaining about invites will persist a bit.
As with all things OnePlus, this isn’t exactly a normal pre-order system in that they won’t just continuously accept pre-orders. Instead, there will be windows of opportunity for you to make a pre-order and if you get in early on that window, you will likely have a device shipping almost immediately. Those that hit later in the pre-order window will receive an estimated ship date before they actually submit their payment.
I don’t think there’s any question that OnePlus are producing this hardware on slim margins, which necessitates having guaranteed sales before producing more phones, but at the same time these convoluted ordering systems do feel like a sales tactic. But hey ,it does seem to be working for them, so I can’t really fault them for continuing with it.
At this point the real problem for them is likely to be the new options available by the end of October/November, and in particular a new Nexus phone that would be targeting a similar demographic.
Are any of you still looking to get your hands on a OnePlus One? If so, what do you think of the pre-order system?