OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei confirmed to Forbes that OnePlus One smartphone sales have eclipsed the 500,000 mark to date, adding that the Chinese company has a lofty goal of selling 1 million units by the end of the year. “It’s going to be hard,” said Pei, speaking at the Dublin Web Summit taking place this week. “But I think it’s possible.”
Forbes claims that OnePlus has achieved half a million sales of its flagship One device, which has been available on an invite-only basis since April, with an advertising budget of just $300. That small figure was allocated towards OnePlus experimenting with Facebook advertising, but the company has grown organically through word of mouth.
“Normally when you launch a [smartphone] product it gets really hot in the first month, and in the second or third month, sales start to drop really fast,” claimed Pei. “For OnePlus, when you look at our internal metrics, our sales just keep growing.”
The OnePlus One has been an attractive smartphone choice for consumers because of its impressive hardware specifications and cheap price tag. OnePlus One features a 5.5-inch IPS 1080p display, 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 3 GB of RAM, and a non-removable 3,100mAh battery for as little as $299 (16GB).
While a more expensive $349 model is available (64GB), the OnePlus One is still around half the price of several flagship Android smartphones with less impressive tech specs. OnePlus One also comes with CyanogenMod, a custom version of the Android operating system, and will receive Android Lollipop within 90 days of its release.
OnePlus has been able to sell its flagship One smartphone for so cheap because it is only barely profiting off each handset sold. “We’re making a single-figure dollar amount on each phone,” Pei told Forbes. “That’s not the way we’re going to make money in the future, it’s just to keep the operation going.”
Pei claimed that OnePlus will look into accessories and its own software and services layer as areas for monetization in the future. For now, the goal is turning OnePlus into a much bigger brand in 2015, something another Chinese company in Xiaomi has been able to accomplish by becoming the world’s third-largest smartphone maker.