But is the never-settling low-cost Android flagship still in such great demand invitations are needed for non-promotional periods?
Chinese startup OnePlus rocked the mobile world when it came out with the uninspiredly named, bang-for-buck-busting One, at the end of a thrilling pre-release advertising campaign. Priced at a measly $299, the powerhouse offered hardware that the industry’s big kahunas were asking twice as much for.
Nine months, several marketing controversies and build quality scandals later, the handheld reportedly sold in close to a million units despite never being open for sale for longer than a few hours at a time. Ah, yes, the invite system likely withheld the OnePlus One from becoming an even bigger blockbuster.
But it was the only way to make sure the manufacturer’s workers wouldn’t produce more copies than people wanted, and it allowed OnePlus to earn a small profit all in all. For prospective buyers, it’s a pain and a hassle, though the special occasions on which the embargo is lifted seem to be multiplying.
Recently, you could order the 5.5 incher with no restrictions or catches and fill a nerdy Christmas stocking with. And now, if you visit the OEM’s website at the right time on January 20, the same no-hassle purchase process will open like magic.
To be clear, OnePlus One invites won’t go away for the entirety of tomorrow. Just a couple of hours. From 7 to 9 PM EST (that’s for you, North America), 7 to 9 PM GMT (any Europeans listening?), and 7 to 9 PM HKT (Hong Kong and Taiwan are never forgotten).
Of course, the phone’s price tag has still not budged, chiefly because OnePlus can’t afford to go any lower. It’s $299 with 16 GB storage space, and $349 in a 32 GB configuration.
Billed as a New Year offer, this may well be OnePlus One’s swan song, with rumors of a sequel and Mini-spin-off heating up. So yeah, if Snapdragon 801, 3 GB RAM, Full HD screen resolution and 13 MP/5 MP cameras sounds like your tune, you’d better think fast and not wait another minute before splashing the cash.