You have heard of those clubs that you can’t get into unless you happen to be a millionaire. Till now, that kind of exclusivity doesn’t apply to things like electronic gadget. You can own whichever phone you wish to buy as long as you’re willing to spend the money.
Well, not any more.
This magnificent, wonderful, gorgeous phone can’t be bought even if you can afford it. Yes, US$ 299 is almost nothing of a price to pay for this masterpiece, but if it were only costs it would be too easy. You also need an invitation from a previous buyer to buy the OnePlus One.
If that’s not all, you need to use the invitation within 48 hours else it expires. Some phone to get, eh? Indeed. And here is why the world is going crazy for this.
Before that, just have a look at this phone.
Doesn’t it look sleek and magnificent? It certainly does to me.
What it does have? Everything you can dream of in a smartphone, except for a memory card slot. But that is OK for most of us anyway, since with either a built-in 16 GB or 64 GB space, you probably won’t even need an external memory card.
I did a quick comparison of the phones which are ruling the world versus OnePlus One. Here are the results.
The OnePlus One has a better processor, better graphic processor, more RAM, better front camera, more updated operating system, and the biggest battery. It has every connectivity option, comparable camera, display and primary storage as well. OnePlus either does a better job in every department, or at least matches the very best in the market. No wonder they are calling it the flagship killer.
While the phone market is being flooded with smaller companies offering excellent phones, like Oppo, Micromax,or Xiaomi, OnePlus stands out in their marketing policy. According to the official site, they removed each and every middleman in an effort to cut down the price. Compare these prices with that of the Sony Xperia Z, Samsung S5 or HTC One, and you’ll see that they cost about 2 to 3 times of the OnePlus One. Not only did they succeed in keeping the price absurdly low, this innovative marketing also brought them the media attention all mobile phone companies crave for, simply with a detailed How To Buy guide in their website.
The 16 GB White version is available for US$299 and the 64 GB black version is currently US$349. And don’t forget the invite!
The reviews that this phone has been getting are all positive as you can see from Engadget and TechRadar. However, there are some issues and complaints that have surfaced in regards to OnePlus’s marketing tactics.
#1 You’ve made your point, now end the invite or make it open for all.
People have been asking for a chance to buy the phone. Truth is, they’ve had received enough media attention by now to drop this guerrilla marketing tactic. Overdoing something never pays off: look at Nokia’s constant denial to use Android or how Blackberry went bankrupt staying true to physical QWERTY keyboards. Companies have done better by coming up with better specs at lower price and makes the phone more easily available for the masses, like Xiaomi in India.
#2 This tactic is doesn’t seem sustainable in the long run.
It is only a matter of time before someone else comes up with better publicity stunts. With Android L coming up, this should be a great concern for OnePlus. Also, how long will they be able to hold the phones back and keep consumers interested? If you hang a bone in front of a dog too long without letting the dog have it, sooner or later the dog is going to lose interest.
#3 There could be legitimacy issues.
There are currently OnePlus invites on sale in eBay. While they might not technically be legal, but if people are desperate enough for this phone, they will find any means to get it. What is the point of removing the middlemen when it can’t be sold to people who desperately need them, and are willing to go through another illegitimate middleman to get them? It will hurt OnePlus in the long run, for sure. (UPDATE: I spotted some OnePlus phones for sale, unpacked, at inflated prices, recently which makes this point even more potent.)
#4 OnePlus’s tactics are encouraging some weird contests ideas.
One of their contests involved smashing your old phone and posting the video online. Seems a little irresponsible to just go around smashing your phones. Couldn’t there be a better way to rid of the old phone, like for example giving it away for donation?
P.S. If you happen to have a spare invite, could you please forward to me before the editors find out? Do be discreet!