Less than a week after announcing their first phone to the world OnePlus have had to come out on the defensive over the controversy surrounding their owners/investors. Ever since OnePlus was first founded, CEO Pete Lau, a former VP at Oppo, has had to defend his company continually stating that OnePlus was a totally separate company to Oppo.
A couple of days ago documents surfaced that showed that Oppo is the sole institutional shareholder of OnePlus. If you read Chinese you may be able to translate this document but apparently it says that Oppo is the primary stockholder of OnePlus.
A lot of people have speculated on the OnePlus forums that OnePlus is just an offshoot of Oppo saying that OnePlus lied to their followers when stating their origins. How that matters I am not sure but it would certainly garner good publicity a new company if they were the underdog, looking out for the little guys (us) building a flagship phone for us at a ridiculous price. Then there was the fact that Oppo was the company making the OnePlus One, and the OnePlus One looks extremely similar to the Oppo Find 7, both in design and specs.
OnePlus have addressed this in an email to Gizchina:
“We understand the confusion as many people are just finding out about OnePlus. But as we’ve said from the beginning, OnePlus is a separately run company that does share common investors with OPPO.
One of those investors is OPPO Electronic. OPPO Electronic is an investment company and is not the same as OPPO Mobile. OnePlus is also in talks with other investors.”
Sounds awfully suspicious to me but it doesn’t hide the fact the OnePlus have managed to produce a phone that promises to be a flagship killer at less than half the price.
In other controversy, OnePlus have been accused of deceptive marketing for the photo which had a OnePlus One apparently hiding behind a Sony Zperia Z1 but the OnePlus One is a fair bit bigger than the Xperia Z1. If you can see the OnePlus One under the Z1 (which some followers on their forums have stated they can do) you have much better eyes than me. OnePlus have said on their forums that:
The OnePlus One was under the Z1, yes and we will show it to you later this week
Apparently they are unable to get their hands on the Z1 until now to prove the photo was real.
Early on a mystery battery tech was also promised“And just to be sure, we’ve developed what we’re calling “Mystery Tech” for right now, to enhance and boost the user experience”. This was not mentioned at all during the announcement last week and with respect to this they replied:
Regarding the mystery tech, it’s still under development (software).
Whether this will ever materialise is an unknown variable in the whole situation. Everyone thought the mystery tech was going to be the fast charge that is present in the Oppo Find 7. It appears not. A disappointment in my eyes.
In yet another controversy they have announced that people can apply to smash their old phone (only for select phones) in return for a 16gb OnePlus One for only $1, weeks before anyone else. Unfortunately many followers went ahead and smashed phones before reading the terms and conditions. Only those selected will get this $1 OnePlus One. OnePlus forgot the general stupidity of the general population when announcing this competition but I think it is hardly their fault. You can’t regulate or predict some people’s stupidity.
One thing for sure is that they have produced what promises to be an amazing phone at a ridiculous price, no matter what marketing they did before and no matter who financed its production. Does this really matter to anyone?