The smartphone start-up OnePlus just announced a new method to get their yet to be released or shown smartphone into the hands of consumers. OnePlus is opting for an invite system that they hope will get their product into the hands of hungry fans without making them struggle against each other in an online ordering battle. OnePlus took to social media to announce the invite system which ignited a mix of reactions among fans and users. Read the entire press release after the break.
Buying a popular smartphone can be a frustrating experience, both for consumers and manufacturers alike. This is something we’re trying to solve.
For consumers, a product they have anticipated for a long time might be sold out immediately before they even have a chance to place an order. Some offer pre-orders, which often means a long time between paying for your order and actually having it shipped. The worst experience for consumers is probably when a company decides to sell in batches where you have to set a reminder to patiently wait for a batch, log onto the website to disappointedly find out that it got sold out. When you eventually get a chance to buy one, it’s actually a pre-order that you’ll need to wait a long time to receive again.
Why do manufacturers do this? It’s very hard to predict the future, and hardware is expensive. Producing larger batches means tying in more capital and increasing risk. Making too many devices that end up not being sold can bankrupt a business easily. In addition, there’s always a production ramp up period where production yield increases by time. This is another reason to why it’s hard to have a lot of stock from the very beginning. When the choice is between selling to a few users first, or stocking up and delaying launch, it’s not a difficult decision to choose the former.
Good Products Shared Among Friends
To solve these problems, we have created a much more user friendly way of buying the device through the OnePlus Invite System. With an invite, you can be 100% sure that you’ll actually be able to buy it, and it ships within a few days. In contrast to staying up in the middle of the night trying to buy one along with 20,000 other people. So in the true spirit of the OnePlus name, a good product gets spread by word of mouth, shared among friends for that extra personalized touch.
So how do you get an invite? Invites will also be made available through friends, contests, and on this forum (you have not been forgotten). We value thoughtful contributions from active fans. Once you’ve bought a OnePlus One, you’ll also become eligible to invite your friends in the future.
In the beginning, they’ll be available in limited quantities, but as time progresses they’ll become easier and easier to come by.
Please Note: There are no invites to give away as of today. More information will be available on the day of launch.
There has been a lot of “questionable” marketing surrounding the OnePlus and many have criticized them for being too cavalier with nothing to back up their marketing mouth. This invite system fired up users on Google+ and they took to the comments to make known their disapproval of such an invite system. Read just a few comments after the break.
“So basically if I have no friends I will note get the phone?
I don’t want be rude, but to me seems like a way to see how many requests there are for the device (let’s see how many registration and request we get on the forum).
If I’m wrong excuse me in advance.”
“I don’t want invite. I want to see the hardware, compare it, see if it’s worth the hype then buy it. Easy and customer friendly. This doesn’t make me want to get an invite, it makes me want to stick with my nexus 4. Especially if the invites are sent out BEFORE the hardware is revealed.”
“+OnePlus this is fist time when I think you have done something that just is not cool. I have been following you guys for months and I understand that being a start up you have to aware of the finicial (sic) side. But this a disappointment”
While there have been many other companies who have gone with an invite system and it’s certainly not an odd thing to do, much of the backlash is because OnePlus has yet to show anyone a product that they might even want to be invited to. It’s certainly an interesting move by the young start-up and we’ll see where it leads for them. What do you think about OnePlus’s invite system? Good? Bad? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.