OnePlus has announced plans to launch the OnePlus 3, its next flagship smartphone, on June 14th. And this time around, OnePlus is changing up one big feature of its other phone launches: anyone who visits OnePlus' website will be able to buy one, no invitation required.
Invitations helped OnePlus manage inventory and build hype
With its first series of phones, OnePlus required potential buyers to get a special code before they were able to make a purchase. This accomplished a few different goals: one, it let OnePlus, a new company, better manage its inventory by controlling how many codes were doled out; there was a smaller chance of it wasting money on unsold phones this way. And two, it went a long way toward building excitement among Android fans, who were at times forced to compete for a chance to buy a phone.
While OnePlus misses out on that marketing bump, it now thinks the annoyance to customers isn't worth it. "In year three it’s really hard to keep asking people to understand that you’re a young company and still trying to understand how to handle a supply chain," OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei tells Wired. "It’s about time that we stopped giving ourselves excuses." Pei now says that invitations won't be used during any OnePlus phone launch going forward.
Of course, it wouldn't be a OnePlus phone launch without some quirks. The OnePlus 3 will first be available through a VR app; all actual-reality buyers will have to wait an additional two and a half hours for the phone to launch in OnePlus' web store.
Correction June 2nd, 8:13AM ET: VR purchases will be exclusive for 2.5 hours, not 45 minutes, as this article originally stated.