News by Luke Jones on Thursday November 06, 2014.
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The OnePlus One has had a mixed bag of publicity, ranging from enthusiastic because of the undoubted quality of the handset to disappointing because of terrible marketing decisions and numerous delays in releasing the product. However, the budget flagship smartphone is now readying itself for wider availability and the company's Co-Founder Carl Pei spoke with Forbes at the Dublin based Web Summit about OnePlus, the One, and the Chinese company?s goals.He discussed sales of the device and said the OnePlus One has so far been sold 500,000 units and the company thinks it can achieve one million units by the close of 2014. Pei admitted that target was lofty, but said "I think it's possible". He also claimed that the advertising budget for the company was just $300, which may explain some of the marketing misses of recent months.
All that money was spent experimenting on different types of Facebook ads. We found that we?ve now reached a critical mass of users, and they are helping us spread the word organically. ?Normally when you launch a [smartphone] product it gets really hot in the first month, and in the second or third month, sales start to drop really fast. For OnePlus, when you look at our internal metrics, our sales just keep growing.At just $349, the OnePlus One is the true bargain of the smartphone world, a flagship worthy device in terms of material design and specs, but with a budget price tag. It comes with a 5-inch 1080p Full HD screen, a 2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel rear camera, and a 5 megapixel front facer. It also has 64GB of on board storage, a 3100 mAh battery, and features the kind of customization options not normally found in the smartphone world. Running the CyanogenMod software OnePlus has said that the OnePlus will be receiving the Android 5.0 Lollipop update within 90 days, so start counting that now. All in all a bargain device then, and the question remains, how can OnePlus build and sell its smartphone and make any money? Well, the answer is the company barely does. "We're making a single-figure dollar amount on each phone," Pei said. "That's not the way we're going to make money in the future, it's just to keep the operation going." So, the One may be keeping the company running and turning the tiniest of profits, but no one within the company is lining their pockets with the success of the handset. "Accessories will be a big part of it. We've made a really social brand that people are fans of. If we make lifestyle products or specialized accessories, I think those will do really well." It is hard to imagine that accessories alone will drive huge revenue for OnePlus, although the company has previously said that the One is a taster to get the company on the map, future devices may seek to make more money.
The main shift will come when we have a few million users and start leveraging the user base by building our own software and services layer for monetization.source: Forbes
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.