Saturday , July 30 2016

Interview with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, talks OnePlus 2, invites, June 1st tease and Australia

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A trip to Google I/O often brings the opportunity to interact with people you wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet and speak with. One such opportunity presented itself, with Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus attending the event in San Francisco. I asked Carl for a few minutes of his time to discuss a few topics such as their upcoming phone, the June 1st ‘Time to Change’ tease and the invite system and he kindly agreed.

To start with, Carl clarified that their upcoming phone will be known as the ‘OnePlus 2’ with a number not the written word ‘two’. The phone, he said, would launch in the third quarter of 2015, though he wouldn’t be drawn on whether it would be closer to July or to September, clarifying only ‘sometime in Q3’.

Invites

The invite system – which has been somewhat unloved by the legions of fans who profess love for the OnePlus One – was also a topic he touched on.

On the first year of sales and scarcity of the OnePlus One, he said they were overwhelmed with the popularity of the phone at launch, something that they are a more confident about this year. He said:

“In our first year, we were very risk averse, we didn’t how many people would buy the phones. We only manufactured a very small amount of phones, but this year we are a lot more confident.”

oneplus-one-invite

The maligned invite system, which OnePlus used to help them maintain control of sales and inventory for the OnePlus One will be returning, but it could see a better response if their plan works this time around.

“So even though we’re going out and rolling out with invites in the beginning, there’s going to be a lot more invites to go around. Which I think the user experience will be a lot better.”

Can they repeat the OnePlus One’s success?

The OnePlus One was quite a winner in terms of popularity, though the team is worried about their so-called ‘second album’ and whether they will be able to repeat the success of the original, or become a simple one-hit wonder. Carl said

“Internally we’re super anxious actually about how we’ll do with the OnePlus 2, because when we started this company, we thought this phone would only do 50,000 – 100,000 phones, we ended up doing almost a million phones.”

Carl did say that they will have a similar low-budget strategy to marketing the OnePlus 2, as they prefer to pass savings on to the users than throw money after advertising.

Software wise, OnePlus are aware of users preference for a ‘Stock’ Android experience, something they’re keen to deliver with OxygenOS for the Western markets, while they have HydrogenOS for their Eastern markets. There will be lots to announce with regards to features in OxygenOS, when the phone launches in Q3.

Carl did advise that the phone would definitely support the custom ROM scene that has seen the OnePlus One scale heights as a much preferred device for Android lovers who enjoy modding their phone.

OnePlus - Time To Change

The upcoming ‘Time to Change’ tease from OnePlus the other day certainly attracted many rumours of a OnePlus 2 launch, not so according to Mr Pei, ‘it’s not a new device’ he said. On the subject of what exactly their ‘Time to Change’ announcement means to OnePlus, he wouldn’t be drawn.

Will we see the OnePlus 2 in Australia?

Finally, we spoke about availability. The OnePlus One is now available in almost 30 markets, with direct shipping, however Australia isn’t one of them. Carl was interested in how many OnePlus handsets I’ve seen around – it’s a lot – and I advised him of this.

Carl asked about which Australian company they could partner with, advising that due to their nature, whoever it was would need to deal with a very low margin on handsets – somewhere in the realm of going as low as 3% could be needed.

While Carl has no immediate plans to enter the Australian market that he was willing to share, he seemed genuinely interested in Australia as a potential future market – if the right partner could be found.

The OnePlus 2 will launch in Q3 this year, with improved access to invites and what we’re sure will be top of the line hardware. In the meantime, we’ll find out what ‘Time to Change’ actually means on Monday when the time to change comes around.

 
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About Daniel Tyson

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-t0-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress and IFA.

  • Duncan_J

    I don’t mean to presume but could Ausdroid (or your affiliate online retail partner) be the partner One plus is looking for???

    • Lol I almost put a bet on you asking that.

      • Duncan_J

        Funnier thing is I doubt I’d be interested in it, fairly sure they have already confirmed no Qi in the One plus 2.

        I get the feeling I’m crossing a line into either predictable or annoying.

  • Shwetha kodumuru

    All i can is one 1+1 is a cheap phone. And what u pay is What you get

    • Darin Hunt

      You get what you pay for my OPO lasted three months the software crashed I’ve been dealing with the worst customer service I’ve ever seen for the last month I’ve had to go buy a new phone because they are taking so long to fix or replace this one

      • Shwetha kodumuru

        That’s what i meant when i said cheap. I better buy a moto g instead of this crap

      • RedSamurai

        If you can’t fix it a software problem yourself, you should stick to Samsung phones or iPhones. That’s one of the reasons the latter is so popular, Apple has amazing care service (if you’re willing to pay for it, that is)
        OnePlus One is an unbelievable steal if you have a little know-how. In fact, it shows how big of a chunk in a Samsung/iPhone device’s price comes from other things than the device itself (ie. marketing, customer care, etc.)

        • Darin Hunt

          I’ll gladly pay more for a phone from a company that backs up their product.OPO could atleast tell people they are buying a phone as is no warranty no customer service.
          Never Settle for a OPO should be their motto

    • Mayank Kaushik

      You r totally wrong here. Companies like Samsung are robbing customers pocket for such features that a customer rarely uses and for the same hardware. I have note3 one plus one and galaxy s5 and I can proudly say that opo is winner of the 3 . Also I purchased s5 for around 39k in India and with in 8 months of purchase it was being sold around 28k. Why should not I feel being cheated

      • Shwetha kodumuru

        Do you think you can get a better resale value for a Android phone better that samsung? No one forced you to buy it in the first place. Try selling htc or lg and u will understand. Anyways it’s your view.

        • Mayank Kaushik

          I get barely 12k if I sell it that is about one third what I have paid for. Yup nobody forced me but companies like Samsung should go apple way If you sell your products high than keep than high at least for a year otherwise your brand value reduces like Samsung is facing these times. And at last only personal choice matters

  • kungfutigerr

    I’d be interested in a OnePlus 2 if it had an Australian warranty. And Carl looks young – great to see young entrepreneurs having a go.

  • nirmitlamed

    since android m announce i am more curious about fingerprint on onplus 2. i am pretty sure the next nexus will have one.

  • Witte

    If they use the SD810 as rumor suggests, they will be a whole lot less confident very soon. I sure hope, i really do, that its not the SD810 powering the next oneplus device. I for one, will #neversettle for a SD810, underclocked to 1.5ghz to fix the overheating/throttling issues, on any next purchase.

  • warmkiosk

    2 cents worth- sell thru the kogan hk network- just one more phone to advertise and ship for them, already established, already known in oz…… 3% margin on a commodity item won’t attract much interest, 12bucks on 400 sale- one customer after-sales/warranty inquiry to be dealt with and 12 bucks is all gone- that deal kinda has the ring of a high volume item to me. Better still, why don’t the demi gods at oneplus central just mail direct to oz pocket the 3% for themselves? Maybe oneplus is all too aware of just how far 3% really goes 🙂

    • toast

      Yeah 3% is rather ruthless.

    • AdamM

      Yep, I wondered about the direct sales issue as well. I assume they want someone to handle warranty issues, repairs, etc, without requiring people to send their devices back to China. But I agree, I’d have thought someone like Kogan would be a logical choice.

  • toast

    HydrogenOS vs OxygenOS.

    I like that open admission that East and West have different tastes.
    I guess the East likes more bling and features.

    • Zincoshine

      You misunderstood him. Eastern markets refers to China, western markets refers to the rest of the world. The reason for this difference is because of Google being completely blocked in china as well as most popular apps except whatsapp. You don’t even have the Google play store. As such, a stock android experience in China is the same as the experience of owning a fragile nokia from 2002. It can sms and make phone calls and pretty much nothing else. Keep this in mind if you ever decide to visit China. You won’t have a smartphone and you will likely suffer from withdrawal symptoms as a result. You’ll also need a Chinese friend as a guide 24hrs a day (read: you need to start a long distance relationship with a Chinese woman before going to China).

      • tfhavingfun

        This! I’m from China, and I used to be (actually still is) an Android fan. But the lack of Google services has drived me to iOS, cuz there is no such thing as pure Android experience here. Apple on the other hand has managed to provide most of its services without any problem.

        • Zincoshine

          phones made IN china have working replacement services though. It was only recently that iPhone allowed TD-SCDMA and TD_LTE anyway.

          • tfhavingfun

            I agree. There are google services replacement in China. And most of the time people should make do with those replacements. But the biggest complain that I have with Google services not available in China is that when I want to buy an App, there simply isn’t an easy way for me to do that, thus I’m forced to download a pirated version. But recently it’s rumoured that Google is preparing to launch a different Play store just for Chinese users. And I hope it’s true and am really looking forward to that, cuz I’m really not comfortable with downloading those pirated apps from any of those so called Android app stores in China. Btw, I just got an Oneplus One with the price drop. Liking it so far. Couldn’t wait to see what they will bring on the 2. And I really dig the design of their HygdrogenOS.

          • Zincoshine

            I think the 360 store is OK. No matter what, a antivirus is obligatory in china.

  • Pumpino

    For some reason, this article is the most recent that appears on my G3, regardless of which browser I use. However, on my PC, there have been articles posted in June. Anyone else having this issue?

  • Diogo

    So I live in Australia. If I get the invite, am I going to be able to purchase the phone and have it delivered in my house?

    • Sam Ferguson

      Highly unlikely, assuming its the same as the oneplus one, you’ll have to use a package forwarding company to do so. I did that for the Oneplus One, and it set me back an extra $100. So its still pretty reasonable over all.

  • Jonathon Sciola

    If I buy a oneplus two (or a nexus 6) online will it work on Australian networks?