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|Founded||16 December 2013|
|Founder||Pete Lau, Carl Pei|
|Headquarters||Shenzhen, Guangdong, China|
Pete Lau (CEO)|
Carl Pei (co-founder)
|Products||Smartphones, Earphones, Powerbanks, Phone cases, Shirts and bags, OxygenOS (Overseas), HydrogenOS (China),|
|Revenue||US$1.4 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|Literal meaning||Shenzhen OnePlus Science & Technology Co., Ltd.|
OnePlus (Chinese: 一加科技; pinyin: Yījiā Kējì) is a Shenzhen-based Chinese smartphone manufacturer founded by Pete Lau (CEO) and Carl Pei in December 2013. The company officially serves 34 countries and regions around the world as of July 2018[update]. They have released numerous phones, amongst other products.
- 1 History
- 2 Products
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
OnePlus was founded on 16 December 2013 by former Oppo vice-president Pete Lau and Carl Pei. According to the Chinese government's documentation, the only institutional stockholder in OnePlus is Oppo Electronics. Lau denied that OnePlus was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oppo and stated that Oppo Electronics and not Oppo Mobile (the phone manufacturer) is a major investor of OnePlus and that they 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" 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.
On 9 March 2014, the company expanded its operations to the European Union. As of July 2018, OnePlus serves to the following 34 countries and regions: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The invite system, and its discontinuation
Early phones were only available through a system whereby customers had to sign up for an invite to purchase the phone at irregular intervals. The system was claimed to be necessary for the young company to manage huge demand. OnePlus ended the invite system with the launch of OnePlus 3 on 14 June 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 the European Union on the OnePlus website, and in India on Amazon India.
"Smash the Past" campaign
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.
OnePlus One issue with yellow display band at the bottom of the screen which affected some units were not covered under warranty. A similar issue was reported for Oppo Find 7 and Oppo Find 7a and Oppo covered it under warranty.
On 13 August 2014, OnePlus hosted a contest to give invites, which were hard to come by at the time, to their female 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.
Ban in India
On 16 December 2014, The Supreme Court of India and 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 customised version of Android specially designed by OnePlus and named OxygenOS has been released, allowing later OnePlus devices to be sold in India.
Cease of operations in Indonesia
In June 2016, OnePlus made the decision to pull out of the Indonesian market due to local regulations for imported 4G smartphones restricting sales of the OnePlus 2. After-sales support such as warranty claims and repairs for the OnePlus One and X were taken over by PT Multi Mobile Indonesia.
OnePlus 2 launch invite issue
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."
OnePlus customer support
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In 2014 and 2015, OnePlus customer support was criticized on various tech communities on 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.
OnePlus improved customer support in 2017, by not only increasing the number of customer service staff but by adding local language support.
OnePlus 2 software updates
Despite promising 24 months of software updates, and telling consumers that the OnePlus 2 would be updated to Android 7 "Nougat", it was eventually confirmed that this was not to happen, leaving the device on the older Android 6.0.1.
OnePlus USB-C cable
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 26 November 2015 admitted that the cable and adaptor indeed don't conform to the USB specification, and offered refunds (although not for cables bundled with the OnePlus 2 phone).
OnePlus has manufactured eight phones:
- OnePlus One (codename "bacon"; unveiled on 23 April 2014; international release on 6 June 2014)
- OnePlus 2 (codename "oneplus2"; unveiled on 27 July 2015; international release on 11 August 2015)
- OnePlus X (codename "onyx"; unveiled on 29 October 2015; international release on 5 November 2015)
- OnePlus 3 (codename "oneplus3"; unveiled on 14 June 2016; international release on 14 June 2016)
- OnePlus 3T (codename "oneplus3t"; unveiled on 15 November 2016; international release on 28 November 2016)
- OnePlus 5 (codename "cheeseburger"; unveiled on 20 June 2017; international release on 27 June 2017)
- OnePlus 5T (codename "dumpling"; unveiled on 16 November 2017; international release on 21 November 2017)
- OnePlus 6 (codename "enchilada" unveiled on 16 May 2018; international release on 22 May 2018)
The company's first product was the highly anticipated OnePlus One. It was unveiled on 22 April 2014, and was claimed 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 ensured 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 27 July 2015. It was highly promoted as "2016 Flagship killer". There were very high expectations for the second generation OnePlus phones, partly because the company managed to create a high 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 29 October 2015. The phone was sold for $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 14 June 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 15 November 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, 64 or 128 GB of storage and 16 MP front-facing camera. The phone launched in the US on 22 November 2016 and in the EU on 28 November 2016.
The OnePlus 5 was unveiled on 20 June 2017. It launched with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, a dual-lens camera setup, up to 8 GB RAM, and up to 128 GB of storage. It was released in two colours: Midnight Black and Slate Gray. A third limited edition colour, Soft Gold was released on 7 August 2017. Another special edition colour was launched on 20 September 2017, in collaboration with Castelbajac.
The OnePlus 5T was unveiled on 16 November 2017, as the successor to the OnePlus 5. It features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and storage options as its predecessor. Notable features include a larger 6" 18:9 display, a new "Face Unlock" facial recognition method, and an improved dual-lens camera.
OnePlus opened forums for the OnePlus 6 in April 2018 and launched the device on 17 May 2018 with sales starting on 22 May 2018. The phone notably features a display notch, water resistance (although not IP Code rated) and an all-glass design. The smartphone was the first from the company to offer a 256 GB inbuilt storage variant. At the launch event, OnePlus announced it would be opening five new OnePlus Experience stores in India, as well as 10 new service centres.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless
At the launch event of the OnePlus 6, the company also announced the OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones. The earphones have the company's Dash Charge technology with a USB Type-C port that allows five hours of playback for 10 minutes of charging. The earbuds feature a weather-resistant design and operates on Bluetooth connectivity with aptX technology. The Bullets Wireless earphones also supports Google Assistant from a button click. They went on sale at their website for $69.
In September, the company confirmed it plans to venture into the smart TVs market with the OnePlus TV. The new division will be headed by the company CEO Pete Lau. An exact launch date isn't available yet, but reports suggest the company will launch it first in India beginning Q1 2019.
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