Word-of-mouth sensation the OnePlus One smartphone finally goes on general sale to the public next week – six months after the phone was launched, and after a number of not-always successful promotional gimmicks. But only in 16 territories. And you only have an hour on Monday to check out.
Like what you see? Better be quick...
The proposition of the One is packaging top quality components with a nice design based on the flexible and attractive Cyanogen Mod Android base – all being sold at cost. So £269 buys you a top-range 64GB Android with no bloatware, and outstanding battery life – making it a steal. Selling phones at cost might not be a recipe for the manufacturer's long-term success, but unsurprisingly it's created immense interest since it was revealed in April – interest which OnePlus has been unable to fulfil.
From next Monday the One finally becomes available for £269 - but OnePlus is still playing games. Although you can prepare your order already, you can only check out during a one-hour window. But anyone who has been seriously interested in the year's most compelling phone bargain will not be surprised. For six months, OnePlus limited access through invitation and lottery schemes – one of which may rank as one of the most ill-advised promotions ever. OnePlus invited users to destroy their existing devices (from a short list of modern expensive flagship smartphones) in a bid to "win" one of 100 new gadgets for $1. Some gleefully destroyed their current, only to find they hadn't won the replacement. [Are we at Peak Stupid yet? - Ed]
Shenzhen-based OnePlus is wholly owned by the huge electronics giant that owns Oppo, and was started by former Oppo VP Peter Lau. Capital shouldn't be a problem, nor should supply chain and sales know-how. ®