Startup Stories brings you the Success Story of OnePlus. With its latest flagship killer, OnePlus 5 unveiled yesterday, we bring you how its founders overtook flagships from Apple and Samsung in the Android vs iOS race. Watch this video to see how its founders Pete Lau and Carl Pei decided to take up the 1+ vs Apple fight which ended up revolutionizing the mobile phone industry!
OnePlus, hasn’t been around for long, this young startup was founded on 16th December 2013 by an ex-employee of OPPO Electronics, Pete Lau. The company is based out of Shenzhen, Guangdong and has presence in 43 countries around the world as of March 2016. The co-founder includes Carl Pei. Initially denying the claims that OnePlus is a subsidiary of the OPPO, it was later revealed as per the Chinese government documentation that it is truly the wholly owned subsidiary of OPPO. Thus, technically making it a company owned by BBK Electronics, as OPPO is the sub brand of the Chinese multinational group. In result, OnePlus can be said as the sub-brand of the sub-brand. That’s quite an inception.
While OPPO and Vivo are focused in creating and maintain themselves as premium offline smartphone brands, OnePlus aims to deliver their products via online services. Over the past couple of years of its operations, company has tied up with several online retailers, while the key player for selling their handset being Amazon, when it comes to the sales outside China. In their home country, they sell their products via their website store. Continuing the association of Cyanogen formed when OPPO N1 was loaded with CyanogenMod, OnePlus entered into an exclusive licensing deal with the American software company. This deal later fall apart after the controversy as Cyanogen inked another exclusive deal with Yu Televentures, an Indian smartphone brand, which is the branchild of the Micromax fame Rahul Sharma. It later resulted in creation of Oxygen OS, which is an in house operating system developed by the company. CM was removed from all the old models as an update for Oxygen OS was provided while the new OnePlus handsets saw their custom Android OS out of the box.
Products & Growth
Talking about the products, the first handset, OnePlus One, was launched by the company on April 23rd, 2014; just a couple of months after the company was formed. It aggressive pricing and ground breaking specifications, the company also introduced first its kind invite system to purchase their first handset, it received a lot of heat from the smartphone consumers who wanted to buy their handsets but couldn’t because of the invite system. With the further launch of products the invite system was improved, and in some countries the devices has been made invite-free. Later, the company announced the successor, which was dubbed as “Flagship Killer of 2016”, the OnePlus 2, unveiled in July 2015 in their home country while the international release was in August 2015. The company claimed that their handset is so good that it can compete with the devices that are stated for launch in 2016. Carl Pei, the co-founder seemed more amused by the first 5-inch device which they unveiled on October 29th 2015. The international release of OnePlus X happened on 5th November 2015.
As per the annual report card of 2014 posted by company, they have earned over $300 Million revenue in that year. The company didn’t specify how many handsets they have actually sold, but it has been speculated by reports popping up on internet that number comes up to 1 Million. The top regions accounting their sales include East Asia and Europe as they amounted for 39% and 32% sales of their device in 2014. The brand hasn’t posted anything recently about the sales figures of OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. Which is why, there are rumors that company has fallen short of their targets for 2015, despite selling out all units in the first batch.
OnePlus stepped into India officially in December 2014, which is when the company started selling the OnePlus One in the country via Amazon. Now the 2014 smartphone is also available on Flipkart, another online retailing website in India. Indian audience were among few to enjoy the early availability of new OnePlus products, and that’s what we hope Vikas Agarwal, General Manager of OnePlus India would want to keep active for the upcoming smartphones, as OnePlus 3 is in the making for this year. In terms of the sales India has contributed a lot, while for the first year, the brand has missed their target of selling 1 Million smartphones. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the company is still young and has a long way to go to capture more Indian audience.
Unlike its parent company, OPPO and sibling company (Since it’s a part of BBK Electronics), Vivo, they don’t have any plans to setup manufacturing plans to make phones in India as of now. But when in future the sales figures grow double digits Millions, it can be expected that the young Chinese mobile company would express their interest in “Make in India” campaign.
OnePlus Success Story In English
OnePlus Success Story In Hindi
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