|Founded||December 16, 2013 (2013-12-16)|
|Founder||Pete Lau, Carl Pei|
|Headquarters||Shenzhen, Guangdong, China|
|Pete Lau (CEO)|
|Products||OnePlus One (2014)
OnePlus 2 (2015)
OnePlus X (2015)
OnePlus 3 (2016)
OnePlus 3T (2016)
OnePlus Bullets (& v2)
Shirts and bags
|Revenue||US$300 million (2014)|
|Parent||Oppo Electronics (smartphone subsidiary of BBK Electronics)|
|Literal meaning||Shenzhen OnePlus Science & Technology Co., Ltd.|
OnePlus (Chinese: 一加科技; pinyin: Yījiā Kējì) is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer founded in December 2013. It is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. Apart from mainland China, the company serves 42 countries and regions around the world as of March 2016.
OnePlus was founded on 16 December 2013 by former Oppo vice president Pete Lau (刘作虎) and Carl Pei (裴宇). According to the Chinese government's documentation, the only institutional stockholder in OnePlus is Oppo. Although Lau initially denied that OnePlus was a wholly owned subsidiary of Oppo, upon release of the regulatory filings they admitted that they are owned by Oppo and are "in talks with other investors" (although nothing has been announced to date). The company's main goal was to design a smartphone that would balance high-end quality with a lower price than other phones in its class, believing that users would "Never Settle" (Chinese: 不将就) for the lower-quality devices produced by other companies. Lau explained that "we will never be different just for the sake of being different. Everything done has to improve the actual user experience in day-to-day use." He also showed aspirations of being the "Muji of the tech industry", emphasizing its focus on high-quality products with simplistic, user-friendly designs. Continuing Lau's association with the platform from the Oppo N1, OnePlus entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Cyanogen Inc. to base its products' Android distribution upon a variant of the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod and use its trademarks outside of China.
The company unveiled its first device, the OnePlus One, on 23 April 2014. In December 2014, alongside the release of the OnePlus One in India exclusively through Amazon, OnePlus also announced plans to establish a presence in the country, with plans to open 25 official walk-in service centres across India.
OnePlus made its products available in Southeast Asia for the first time, partnering with Lazada Indonesia on 23 January 2015 and is expected to expand during this year throughout the region.
In April 2014, OnePlus hired Han Han as the product ambassador in mainland China.
On 9 March 2014 the company decided to expand its operations to all European countries except Switzerland (although OnePlus devices can be purchased in Switzerland via local online retailers), serving now 43 countries and regions all over the world. As of March 2016, OnePlus serves for the following countries and regions: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Mainland China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
OnePlus ended the invite system with the launch of OnePlus 3 on June 14, 2016. Announced via an interactive VR launch event, the OnePlus 3 initially went on sale within the VR app itself. OnePlus touted the event as the world's first VR shopping experience. The phone was made available for sale later that day in China, North America and Europe on the OnePlus website, and in India on Amazon India.
OnePlus has manufactured five devices:
The company's first product was the highly anticipated OnePlus One. It was unveiled on April 22, 2014, and was touted as the "2014 Flagship Killer." The One had comparable, and in some ways better, specifications to other flagship phones of the year, while being sold at a significantly lower price at $299 for the 16 GB version or $349 for the 64 GB version. The One also debuted the infamous invite system, which ensure that the company didn't take more orders than it was capable of shipping.
The OnePlus One had several minor hardware issues at launch, which reportedly was corrected in later batches of the phone.
The OnePlus 2 was the successor to the company's highly successful first phone. It was unveiled a little over a year after the One, on July 27, 2015. It was highly promoted as "2015 Flagship killer". There were very high expectations for the second generation OnePlus phones, partly because of the company managed to create a big amount of hype for the upcoming phone. One of the marketing channels used, was YouTube tech reviewer MKBHD, who was sent a unit, which he covered in detail leading up to the launch.
The OnePlus 2 had specifications comparable to other flagship phones of the time, including the highly criticized Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, though OnePlus had decided to leave out an NFC chip, as it didn't see mobile payment being an essential feature at the time. The phone was also one of the first Android devices to sport a USB type C port over the older micro USB port
The OnePlus X was OnePlus entrance to the budget phone market, at 5 inches instead of the One and 2's 5.5 inches. The phone was unveiled on October 29, 2015. The phone was sold at $249, and consisted mostly of the same internal components as the year and half old OnePlus One, but had an AMOLED display.
The OnePlus 3 was unveiled on June 14, 2016. The 3 was the company's first "metal unibody" phone. The phone launched with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of UFS 2.0 storage. The phone was well regarded amongst critics, mostly for its low price and high specifications.
The OnePlus 3T was unveiled on November 15, 2016 as a minor upgrade to the still relatively new OnePlus 3. The upgrade consisted the use of a newer SoC; the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 was replaced with the Snapdragon 821. Also introduced were a higher-capacity battery, 128 GB of storage and 16 MP front facing camera.The phone launched in the US on November 22, 2016 and in Europe on November 28, 2016.
On 25 April 2014, OnePlus began its "Smash the Past" campaign. The promotion asked selected participants to destroy their phones on video in an effort to purchase the OnePlus One for $1 (US). Due to confusion, several videos were published by unselected users misinterpreting the promotion and destroying their phones before the promotion start date.
The campaign was heavily criticized for environmental waste and safety concerns, due to batteries and phone components posing potential hazards to participants destroying their phones. OnePlus allowed the winners to donate the old phone. There were 140,000 entrants in the contest with 100 winners.
On 13 August 2014, OnePlus hosted a contest to give invites, which were hard to come by at the time, to their women forum members. Users were asked to post a photo of themselves with the OnePlus logo, images would be shared in the forum and could be ´liked´ by other forum members. Hours after being announced, the campaign was stopped because of the sexist implications in the election process. OnePlus stated that a few 'rogue' employees created the campaign.
On 16 December 2014, The Delhi High Court banned the import and sales of OnePlus One phones in India following a lawsuit by Micromax alleging it has exclusivity for shipping phones with Cyanogen OS software in India.
As of 21 December 2014, the banning of import and selling of the device in India has been lifted. The device continues to be shipped with Cyanogen OS; however, a customized version of Android specially designed by OnePlus and named OxygenOS has been released, allowing later OnePlus devices to be sold in India.
In advance of the OnePlus 2 launch, OnePlus assured customers that obtaining invites would be easier, and handsets would ship a lot quicker than with the OnePlus One. However, in a public apology, Carl Pei admitted the company had "messed up" the launch, and that OnePlus "only began shipping meaningful quantities [the week of 10 September 2015], nearly a month after [the] initial targeted shipping date."
In 2014 and 2015, OnePlus customer support was criticized on various tech communities in the internet, including Reddit, XDA Developers and OnePlus' own forum. Many customers claim to have had to wait days or even weeks for replies from the support staff once they opened a ticket. Other customers were denied their warranty covered repairs due to water or other usage related damage, when in fact they could prove that there was no such damage before they shipped off their phone for repair.
After several weeks of customer complaints on OnePlus forums and on Reddit, Google engineer Benson Leung showed that the USB Type-C cable and USB Type-C-to-Micro-USB adapter offered by OnePlus do not conform to the USB specification. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei on November 26, 2015 admitted that the cable and adapter indeed don't conform to the USB specification, and offered refunds (although not for cables bundled with the OnePlus 2 phone.)
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