The OnePlus One is a smartphone with top-tier hardware and a mid-range price. But demand for the first phone from Chinese startup OnePlus has outstripped supply and it’s been hard to actually buy the phone.

OnePlus has relied on an invitation system and a limited-time pre-order system to sell its phones so far.

But the company has sold a lot of phones. In an interview with Forbes, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei says OnePlus has sold more than half a million phones, and hopes to sell hit twice that number by the end of 2014.

oneplus one_01

The OnePlus One has a 5.5 inch full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB to 64GB of storage, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE as well as a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera.

The phone’s most noteworthy feature is the price: A 16GB model sells for $299, while a 64GB version costs $349.

Half a million phone sales might be considered a flop for some bigger companies. But it’s pretty impressive for a startup that’s spent just about no money on advertising, instead relying on (sometimes questionable) publicity stunts, attractive pricing, and word-of-mouth.

As things stand, the only reason the company hasn’t sold more phones is probably because it doesn’t have more. The devices are sold for just about what it costs to make them, and OnePlus only manufactures the phone in limited quantities so it doesn’t end up with a large number of unsold phones sitting in a warehouse.

Clearly the company isn’t making a lot of money by selling phones with slim profit margins. Pei tells Forbes OnePlus hopes to not only use the One to raise awareness of the brand, but also to make money in the future by selling accessories or possibly software or services to people who are already using the company’s phones.

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11 replies on “OnePlus: Half a million phones sold”

  1. I cannot get excited for a product I simply cannot buy. I understand that you’re selling the phone at razor thin margins. Still, the phone has proven itself popular enough that they can manufacture enough to meet the growing demand. I simply don’t see myself having to jump through hoops, invitation and contests, just to buy something in this day and age.

    1. You can buy the phone right now from many Chinese stores. It will cost about 50$ more. Still it is a decent price.

      1. The Chinese versions of the OPO doesn’t have LTE band 4 which means you can’t use LTE in the USA.

    2. It was worth the wait, trolled the OnePlus Facebook page long enough to win a invite!

    3. I waited a month and then OnePlus issued me an invite. I bought the phone and I’m so impressed! I showed my coworker and he loved it. He then went on and bought 2 for the same price I paid. You can get one if you really want it.

    1. Yes, if they want to bankrupt like Nokia did, that’s all they have to do.

  2. I love my oneplus one! I might get the Oneplus two if project ara doesn’t take off. I am waiting for earphones to become in stock so I can buy some.

  3. You ignore a key fact, likely 80% of those phones were sold in China and they had no shortages there.
    And likely the bulk of the international sales was during the recent preorder.
    So they might have shipped 10k units in june and july, 15 in august,30 in sept and then 50 in october internationally. Ofc those are guesses, could be off by 100k but that’s still just 200k outside China.

    EDIT: OPO claims half of them were in China

  4. This is call the Xiaomi business model. They started out exactly this way and most critics thought they were never going to make a cent.

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