After months of crazy marketing gimmicks, invite purchase systems and secret handshakes, the OnePlus One will be up for pre-order starting in October. Today, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer announced plans to make ordering its “flagship killer” a lot easier and also gave an explanation of why it used an unconventional invitation-based purchase system in the first place.
Launching something is difficult. To control risk, many software companies usually do gradual rollouts. While we think like a software company, scaling a hardware business is very different. The biggest difference is inventory risk.
Our current goals are finding the right product-market fit and user acquisition. To do so, we made the risky move to forego hardware margins. In this scenario, we do not have the ability to absorb miscalculations in inventory. Any excess inventory will lead to a direct loss, and a larger miscalculation means we need to close our doors. We believe that we’re forcing positive change within our industry by increasing consumer choice and building better quality products, and we’re not looking to stop anytime soon. This is why we have to be conservative and only produce the amount of devices we’re 100% sure will be sold.
Recognizing that some people don’t want to jump through hoops to buy its phone, the company will open a pre-order program with a “limited time window” where people can order the OnePlus One without the need of an invitation. If the phone is in stock at the time of an order, the company will ship it immediately. If it’s not, the purchase will default to a pre-order status and will ship when available.
OnePlus says it will reserve customers payments and charge them once their order has shipped. The OnePlus pre-order program is set to start in late October and while it will run for a limited time, there will be no limit on how many devices can be ordered by a single customer, so feel free to go nuts.
We’re happy to see OnePlus slowly getting things in order, but keeping in mind that the smartphone industry moves quickly, the company’s handset is starting to lose relevance, especially with devices like the new Moto x and Galaxy Note 4 being a few weeks away.