In its marketing materials, the OnePlus One is referred to as 2014’s “flagship killer,” but it's hard to be an anything killer when customers aren't getting your phone.
OnePlus published a forum post today detailing its new product rollout plans for the rest of the year. “We have been actively collecting and discussing the feedback that you’ve had to the invite system,” admits Carl, an administrator in the OnePlus One forums.
“One of the major pain points of the system lies in the anxiety of not knowing what needs to be done to obtain an invite, and the idea of spending a lot of time and effort to get one. This was not a planned side effect of the invite system, and we recognize that it is counterproductive to the great user experience of buying a OnePlus smartphone that we’re aiming for.”
To help deal with the onslaught of eager buyers, OnePlus said that it will launch its devices in multiple stages: first with invites—a method that's been utilized since the Android-powered device launched—and then with both invites and pre-orders.
“We are currently developing the pre-order functionality. Our best estimation for the launch of this functionality is Q3, but are not able to make any guarantees at this moment,” continues Carl. He adds that this doesn’t mean there are additional delays.
Regardless, it’s been a frustrating process for some buyers who have been anxiously awaiting their OnePlus One. Last month a poll conducted in the Chinese forums showed that only a small percentage of buyers had received their 16GB or 64GB models, while posts in other forums have cropped up with rants on the waiting process. The recent post from OnePlus is likely a response to the separate thread from buyers demanding more transparency.
It’s not a good start for a company that's made such lofty promises in the beginning, even if its product is a real contender. Then again, how are we supposed to know if it’s not really getting into the hands of users?