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OnePlus was founded on 16 December 2013 by former Oppo vice-president Pete Lau and Carl Pei.[6] According to Chinese public records, OnePlus’ only institutional shareholder is Oppo Electronics.[7] Lau denied that OnePlus was a wholly owned subsidiary of Oppo and stated that Oppo Electronics and not Oppo Mobile (the phone manufacturer) is a major investor of OnePlus and that they are “in talks with other investors.”[8] The company’s main goal was to design a smartphone that would balance high-end quality with a lower price than other phones in its class, believing that users would “Never Settle” for the lower-quality devices produced by other companies. Lau explained that “we will never be different just for the sake of being different. Everything done has to improve the actual user experience in day-to-day use.”[9][10] He also showed aspirations of being the “Muji of the tech industry”, emphasizing its focus on high-quality products with simplistic, user-friendly designs.[9] Continuing Lau’s association with the platform from the Oppo N1,[10] OnePlus entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Cyanogen Inc. to base its products’ Android distribution upon a variant of the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod and use its trademarks outside of China.[11][12]

The company unveiled its first device, the OnePlus One, on 23 April 2014 which was intended to capture market from the Google Nexus series.[9] In December 2014, alongside the release of the OnePlus One in India exclusively through Amazon, OnePlus also announced plans to establish a presence in the country, with plans to open 25 official walk-in service centres across India.[13]

In April 2014, OnePlus hired Han Han to help market its products in mainland China.[14]

On 9 March 2014, the company expanded its operations to the European Union.[15]

On 16 December 2014, The Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court banned the import and sale of OnePlus One phones following a lawsuit by Micromax alleging it has exclusivity for shipping phones with Cyanogen OS software in India.[16] On 21 December 2014, the ban was lifted. The device continues to be shipped with Cyanogen OS; however, a customized version of Android specially designed by OnePlus and named OxygenOS has been released, allowing later OnePlus devices to be sold in India.[17][18]

OnePlus made its products available in Southeast Asia for the first time, partnering with Lazada Indonesia[19] on 23 January 2015 and was expected to expand during that year throughout the region. In June 2016, OnePlus decided to pull out of the Indonesian market due to local regulations for imported 4G smartphones restricting sales of the OnePlus 2.[20]

Advertising and marketing[edit]

Invitation system[edit]

Early phones were only available through a system whereby customers had to sign up for an invite to purchase the phone at irregular intervals. The system was claimed to be necessary for the young company to manage huge demand.[21] OnePlus ended the invite system with the launch of OnePlus 3 on 14 June 2016.[22] Announced via an interactive VR launch event, the OnePlus 3 initially went on sale within the VR app itself. OnePlus touted the event as the world’s first VR shopping experience.[23] The phone was made available for sale later that day in China, North America and the European Union on the OnePlus website, and in India on Amazon India.[15]

“Smash the Past”[edit]

On 23 April 2014, OnePlus began its “Smash the Past” campaign.[24] The promotion asked selected participants to destroy their phones on video in an effort to purchase the OnePlus One for $1 (US). Due to confusion, several videos were published by unselected users misinterpreting the promotion and destroying their phones before the promotion start date.[25][26] OnePlus later revised the rules of their promotion by allowing consumers to donate their old phones.[27] There were 140,000 entrants in the contest with 100 winners.[28]

Ladies First[edit]

On 13 August 2014, OnePlus hosted a contest to give invites, which were hard to come by at the time, to their female forum members. Users were asked to post a photo of themselves with the OnePlus logo, images would be shared in the forum and could be “liked” by other forum members.[29]

Customer support[edit]

The customer support at OnePlus was once the subject of strong criticism. In 2017, the company increased the number of customer service staff and set-up customer service and repair centers in Asia, Europe and the United States, greatly improving turnaround times for repairs and other issues.[30]

OnePlus USB-C cable[edit]

After several weeks of customer complaints on OnePlus forums and on Reddit, Google engineer Benson Leung showed that the USB-C cable and USB-C-to-Micro-USB adapter offered by OnePlus at that time did not conform to the USB specification. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei on 26 November 2015 admitted that the cable and adapter did not conform to the USB specification, and offered refunds (although not for cables bundled with the OnePlus 2 phone).[31][32][33]



NameCodenameUnveiledInternational Release
OnePlus Onebacon23 April 20146 June 2014
OnePlus 2oneplus227 July 201511 August 2015
OnePlus Xonyx29 October 20155 November 2015
OnePlus 3oneplus314 June 201614 June 2016
OnePlus 3Toneplus3t15 November 201628 November 2016
OnePlus 5cheeseburger20 June 201727 June 2017
OnePlus 5Tdumpling16 November 201721 November 2017
OnePlus 6enchilada16 May 201822 May 2018
OnePlus 6Tfajita29 October 20186 November 2018
OnePlus 7guacamoleb14 May 201925 May 2019
OnePlus 7 Proguacamole
OnePlus 7Thotdogb26 September 201928 September 2019
OnePlus 7T Prohotdog10 October 201912 October 2019
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