back to article OnePlus ends rationing. You can now buy its phones just like that!

You can now buy a OnePlus smartphone by simply giving the company some money. This normally wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) make news, but it’s a radical departure for the Shenzhen outfit. It means you don’t have to offer a secret password, smash up your existing phone, or win a gurning competition. As of today, all three OnePlus …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    "OnePlus argued that its margins were so low, it couldn’t afford to make too many"

    Surely if your margin is tight you have to make many units to turn a decent profit??

    Stack em high sell em cheap???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What?

      I think they did it just to make their phone more desireable.

      However their logic does kind of add up (or at least it might for a smaller company): If you have an expensive (to make) product with very low margin that you don't get money for until it is sold to the end customer, then the last thing you want is for the money available to your company to be tied up in stock sitting on shelves across the world that you don't get back until the product is sold (in other words your cashflow is pants).

      Having said that, I don't think that was 1p1's problem.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: What?

      >Surely if your margin is tight you have to make many units to turn a decent profit??

      For sure, but only if you have enough money or credit.

      Otherwise you just have the volume of production that you can afford.

      If at this point you have lower margins, it will take you longer to get the money together to up production than it would a company who is making more money on each device.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: What?

        then you "sell" your invitations if necessary. The last thing you do is turn down customers, the customers go elsewhere and remember that your company is a arse and don't shop there.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: What?

          then you "sell" your invitations if necessary.

          That's called Kickstarter.

        2. julian_n

          Re: What?

          Spot on analysis. I wanted a OnePlus 2 - never got an invite in time - so bought a Samsung.

        3. iRadiate

          Re: What?

          The last thing you do is turn down customers, the customers go elsewhere and remember that your company is a arse and don't shop there.

          Correct. I went elsewhere and won't look at them again. Screw 'em; Not that they'll miss a couple of hundred quid from little old me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What?

            I got my OnePlusOne lat the beginning of last year by which time there were already no invitations needed.

            I probably wouldn't have waited if they'd asked me too, well not for longer than a few weeks anyway.

            I can understand why they did it though. As others have said they couldn't take the hit of paying for a load of phones to be made up front and then risking that they wouldn't sell or just having to wait for the cash to come in.

  2. Dan Wilkie

    Wow, those don't look like the kind of fanbois you'd see outside an apple store...

  3. Tom 7 Silver badge

    They've given up on the low cost thing then?

    NC.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Do they have local customer service now?

    Because Wileyfox and Honor do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they have local customer service now?

      Have you tried Wiley's local customer service? Calling through to the number on the web page gets you access to people with decidedly non-native UK accents and their ability to answer any questions you may have is very limited.

      If, for instance, you wanted to know about the extended warranty or the screen replacement warranty or the availability of a bumper case for your Storm (all heavily trailed on the site and all the reviews...), you may be forgiven for thinking they are but marketing promises written in unicorn tears. Having had mine since November, I now have a cracked screen and no sign of any of the above to sort or avoid future repeats.

      Not overly impressed...

  5. Ru'

    I nearly bought a 2 when my name came up, just because it had come up. Luckily I thought about it, and saw no compelling reason (other than I was finally at the front of a queue I could no longer remember why I'd joined).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My 2 is running a custom ROM and I haven't looked back.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ahem.

    ...it’s a radical departure for the Shenzhen outfit.

    Er, no it isn't. Some time before the Two came out, the One got a honking price cut and went over to "no invite needed". Last time I looked (last week) the only product that was still on invite only ordering was the OnePlus X.

    This seems to be standard policy. Once production and supply can hold their own against demand, they drop the ordering restrictions.

    No. 1 Son has a OnePlus Two. As far as I can make out, the only thing missing that stops it being the undisputed king is about 250 quid on the price tag.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Ahem.

      In an early interview they stated they would spend 2 years building a reputation and fan base, then switch to a more commercial mode. So about right on the 2 years, not so right on the fan base and their reputation is going to take a lot of repairing.

      A thinly disguised brand of Oppo that had little problem with making no money for a couple of years but that investment is looking pretty wasted to me.

  7. Steven Roper

    The concept of you giving someone money and them giving you a product, and both of you going your own ways better off, is newsworthy because it rapidly seems to be becoming a thing of the past.

    These days the Everything-as-a-Service paradigm seems to be "you give me money and we give you a product, but we get to spy on everything you do with it and dictate how you can and can't use it. Oh, and in addition to your fair payment you have to keep on paying us to use it as well, even though you paid for it already, and even though we have no further obligations to you."

    Fuck that.

  8. Martin Summers Silver badge

    It's no wonder they've made this decision when you imagine that people have got sick of the BS and waiting around for an invitation. Normally when people are looking for a phone they want it now, not when they decide you've been lucky enough to give them money. I put my name down on the invite list for the most recent, then I realised it was sadly lacking in some flagship features and came to my senses.

    1. Paul Shirley

      It's worse than that, when they finally offered me the chance to buy one last year, there was an 8 week delivery time! Had a shiny new LG G2 delivered 3 days later.

      1. esque

        You did it wrong.

        I bought a Oneplus One in November 2014 without an invite, and I had it in my hands less then a week later (shipped from the UK to Germany).

        I bought my Oneplus X last December without an invite, and it took just over a week until it arrived (from Shenzen to Germany).

        A colleague who bought a OPO shortly after I did had similar experiences.

  9. Seajay#

    The rationing was always a gimick but they've done a great thing for the phone market. People now realise that you can get a phone running the same apps as a Samsung or Apple phone, the same specs, in some cases the exact same components but for literally half the price.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they are now uncool, officially.

  11. spudmasterflex

    Too late

    Could have had my money a long time ago, the stupid idea of invited and the long wait finally put me off.

    I get the reasons above about production runs and limited credit, but the marketing they put in suggest otherwise.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh boy, too late! :)

    cause I needed a phone, like, NOW, and instead of waiting for months to be one of the chosen ones, I went on ebay, got a 2nd hand galaxy s2 for about 50 quid, and that was it. All that was needed was a root, re-stock, and a case. Fortunately (for the manufacturers) the world is full of sad youngsters on the photo...

  13. Jeff Wojciechowski

    Doubleplusgood!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No longer has Cyanogenmod

    The whole point of One Plus One was Cyanogen mod's privacy feature, that lets you deny access to camera, GPS, etc. to EVER app on the phone individually, including Google's spyware.

    (Google's spyware turns on Wifi and sniffs the location just so Google can geo-target adds, switching off their surveillance crap improves battery life enormously. Android 6, has a privacy mode that tells an app it's denied a feature, Cyanogenmod simply reports a feature as busy or not working or a fake result, so you can protect your privacy, even from Google).

    The current OnePlusX does not run Cyanogen, and has lost its major feature.

    In the meantime Cyanogenmod has signed deals with the likes of MS, and so is now doubtful itself. Who knows what data MS gets as a result of the deal.... = tainted.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No longer has Cyanogenmod

      The deal with MS is apparently adding a special version of Cortana, which will do more things than on the usual Android (e.g. constantly listening for "Hey Cortana" or whatever it is.)

  15. Law

    Too late!!

    I broke my oneplus one after a year, the one plus two was a contender as I found the one perfect for my needs. Invite system being what it was, I couldn't get a two - so bought a Moto X Style instead.

    My moto x is alright.... screens better, and it's near enough vanilla android - but despite it being higher spec and allegedly bloat free, my wife's oneplus one is thinner, lighter, and the UI is less laggy so seems quicker.

    Sad really, oneplus really shot themselves in the foot sticking with the invite system the second time around.

  16. Lee D Silver badge

    If I can't buy it, now, today, with delivery within a reasonable timeframe, then I can't see how or why I'd ever bother to even look at the specs or try to buy one.

    I mean, seriously... queuing for a phone? I don't queue for a damn burger, I just go elsewhere (usually somewhere that knows how to put enough people on the staff to deal with the number of customers you have at that time).

    It's like all the Oculus Rift junk, and the Steambox faffing, and the Raspberry Pi when it first came out (I have one from the first production run, yes, but that put me off so much I never touched it again as I was promised it would be available and delivered quite quickly). It's all hype and not good business until you can put one into my (a customer's) hands.

    And why people will buy something that they haven't or cannot demo and physically hold before they have parted with their cash (even if their personal unit might not arrive immediately), I honestly don't get.

    1. DropBear

      "usually somewhere that knows how to put enough people on the staff to deal with the number of customers you have at that time"

      You must live in a truly magical place indeed. Not to put too fine a point on burger joints (although I've never seen an idle clerk in any of those either) but as a more real-life example, I don't think I've ever been in any supermarket that was staffing more than _at most half_ the actual number of checkout tills that were needed at that specific moment for a vaguely civilized experience (out of the myriad more tills they had sitting empty and sad)...

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Raspberry Pi wasn't hype, it was a guy who mortgaged his house to make 10,000 SBCs and they felt it was going to be a gamble whether they could sell them all. Being new to manufacturing they tripped over some regulatory stuff when they got RS and Farnell involved and that caused the delay. They didn't dream that they would sell over 8 million and still no signs of slowing down.

      The new $5 Zero Pi is a bit scarce at the moment, not as bad as the original but still causing the needy to do quite a lot of whinging.

  17. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Another too late

    The list of LTE bands is quite short for a new phone. I looked at buying an OPPO or OPO but it's missing bands that are useful in the US and bands needed while traveling. 2G and 3G are being taken out of service in many areas so there may not be anything to fall back to.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have to say...

    I got an invite for an OPO when it first came out, bought one, and have never, ever looked back. It's a great phone and in comparison to the big names, cost me buttons.

    Alright, I did have issues with getting it fixed after I left it on the roof of my car and drove home. I had to check the Android tracker and found it was on a road next to a roundabout. Managed to get to it - it had been run over numerous times, and the touchscreen was dead (I had a shatter proof cover on it) but if it hadn't been for the pebbles and grit on the road, I do seriously believe it would've survived in its entirety. Some of the pebbles had been forced through into the glass.

    I could hook a mouse up though and it still worked.

    Anyway, couldn't get it repaired in the UK, no-one did it, so I just bought another one, and it STILL worked out cheaper than buying a fancy big-name flagship.

    I still have this one, and have no desire nor intent to change it, ever.

  19. Barry Rueger

    Questionable Pricing

    I was looking over one of those Chinese Web stores this week, and being sorely tempted by some of the sub-$100 phones on offer.

    Even if I allow for the questionable build quality of some of these no-name products I really can't understand why brand name phones are priced five or even ten times as much. It's inconceivable that the manufacturing costs are that much more than a Zing Dong brand phone.

    Now that I'm off the "free" phone with contract cycle, I tend to shop for a less than current brand name phone and usually spend about $250 or less.

    Given that the average phone is replaced every 18 to 24 months I can't fathom spending $750 to a thousand bucks.

    That's a LOT of beer!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Questionable Pricing

      Given that the average phone is replaced every 18 to 24 months I can't fathom spending $750 to a thousand bucks.

      The cost is the difference between the price you paid for it and whatever you can get for it when you sell it on after you finish with it.

      Not as much beer.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking at OnePlus's website a couple of things strike me:

    1) The site is barely browsable. In fact some pages just reloaded every time I tried to scroll down.

    2) The hype factor is off the scale. Apparently OnePlus has managed to develop bespoke technology of revolutionary quality, just on their own. Yeah, right...

    1. Seajay#

      If you really want to get an idea of the customer service, look at the forums rather than the website. It's full of people complaining about absurdly long delivery times or the complete inability to contact the company other than by driving to China being bashed by OnePlus fanbois.

  21. WesleyEley

    Cell Phone and Rationing

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