OnePlus can make some great phones. There will always be a place in my heart for the OnePlus One because to me it represented one of the main reasons I fell in love with Android as a platform: It was a great smartphone experience for everyone.
But, there’s no denying that the invite system was a pain and it really sucked that OnePlus did the same thing for the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. With the Chinese company’s upcoming flagship, they say things are going to be a little different.
With the imminent launch of the OnePlus 3 on the 14th of June 2016, the Chinese smartphone maker announced that they will be doing away with their invite system and those interested can simply purchase one from their store. This time, when a device’s stock runs out, users at the purchase page will be greeted with an estimated time for the arrival of the next batch of devices. OnePlus says that it would only take two to three weeks at most between batches. Specs for the device have not been confirmed, but there have been several leaks.
OnePlus made waves with their two flagship devices, the One and the 2. But while the devices received a lot of praise, the invite system tied to the smartphones turned many off it. That, coupled with the OnePlus 2’s USB Type-C port complications, really hampered the device’s reception in Malaysia.
OnePlus’ invite system was always a difficult pill to swallow. Sure they made great phones that you’d want to buy, but you would have to go through a painful process just to get your hands on one. Then again, when OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei said they wanted to make phones that they themselves would buy, he didn’t say anything about making a phone that would be easy to purchase.
Still, the invite system is understandable because for a fledgling company like OnePlus, they had no way of knowing how many people would want to buy their smartphone, or if they were able to keep enough supply. In an interview with Wired, Carl said he didn’t want to have people go to the OnePlus store only to discover that the device was out of stock with no ETA (estimated time of arrival) for the new batch of devices.
I can totally see where he’s coming from. After all, I’m still staring madly at the “Out of Stock” sign plastered on the high-spec Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 smartphone. Will they even restock it? If they do, will my fingers be fast enough to pick it up before it gets sold out again? I have no idea.
At least with OnePlus’ invite, once you’ve secured one, you can take your time to purchase. But that opens up problems where people sell invites too. So at the end of the day, you either rush to get an invite, or rush to get a smartphone. It’s definitely a flawed system at best, but it was one Carl and OnePlus deemed was the lesser of two evils.
Approaching their third flagship smartphone, I’m really glad they’re finally abandoning the invite system, instead opting for a more traditional format. Will it be better? I don’t know but I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Keep in mind that OnePlus will be launching the OnePlus 3 in a VR (like they did with the 2) experience called The Loop. It’s supposed to simulate a spaceship environment and will be kicking off at 12.30pm on the 14th of June. Those joining the event will get first dibs on purchasing a OnePlus 3 before it’s opened up to everyone else at 3pm on OnePlus’ website.