Growing Pains: OnePlus Turn a Corner With New-Found Maturity

Growing Pains: OnePlus Turn a Corner With New-Found Maturity

Close followers of OnePlus may have noticed a recent change in attitude from the company’s co-founder Carl Pei. Of late decisions and announcements have been made that have restored a little faith in the way the company is managed that gives us an increased hope for the future of OnePlus.

In early September, an unexpected bout of modesty arrived in the form of a forum post; in the post Carl was blunt and opened with the phrase “We messed up the launch of the OnePlus 2”. It was a surprising move for a company that previously had focussed on maintaining forward momentum and not looking back. In the following paragraphs, he appeared humbled and genuinely moved by his customers, partners and staff plights. In a bid to ameliorate the situation and assuage the growing malcontent he pledged to make a change to future launches:

In fact, there are very few excuses in this world that are valid. We simply messed up again and apologize for that. We don’t plan on making further promises for future launches, and will instead focus on showing the world how we’ve improved through our actions. – Carl Pei

An unexpected decision followed this during the launch of the OnePlus X, where he informed us that with the X the widely unpopular invite system would be phased out after just a month. Starting with weekly open sales they would then proceed to drop invites permanently once they could be sure that production could meet demand, meaning that like most phones, you would be able to buy the device at any time. This, of course, allows the company to manage their output and availability, whilst still giving the hype and feeling of exclusivity in the beginning of being one of the few people with the phone when you do get your hands on one. This move would surely not leave as many frustrated users feeling alienated when they miss out on a purchase because of the timing associated with the short invite window and difficulty for some people to attain one.
Jordan Mathew and Carl Pei 

Shortly afterwards the news that no company wants to hear came: an engineer at Google had tested OnePlus’ USB type C cable and adapter and had revealed some troubling flaws. When used with some 3 amp devices they could not guarantee that no damages. This would not happen with the OnePlus 2, but as many people have been buying the apparently high-quality cable OnePlus were selling for other type C devices, something had to be done. A spokesperson rapidly stated the cables were compliant, However, instead of giving the reply that we expected, Carl Pei later advised to not use the cable with devices other than the OnePlus 2, gave a thorough summary of the issue, exactly what caused it and then offered a refund to unhappy customers. He continued by explaining that the team had already begun work on developing improved cables and adapters.

Were they in the wrong? Yes. Did they handle the matter better than we expected? Certainly! There are still many understandably unhappy customers out there, the ones that received a cable with the OnePlus 2 are not eligible for a refund as the faulty cable is safe to use with the OP2. However, many customers are hailing this as an honest and open move in the right direction. Customers began claiming that they had received a full refund shortly after the announcement was made and were reporting that they had not been asked to return the cable before receiving their money.

I, for one, feel that Carl Pei and the company he co-founded have turned a corner — for the first time since the company’s inception there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. The issues are still there, but they are being handled as well as many of us could have hoped for and I can see them becoming less frequent as time goes on. It is well worth remembering at times like this that the company has not even celebrated their second birthday yet. As the old saying goes “Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do after the mistake that matters.”

Are OnePlus heading in the right direction? Leave a comment below!

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Mathew Bloomer
Mathew Bloomer

He fell in love with Android after buying a T-mobile G1 in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He firmly believes the future of technology lies within bio-hacking and is an NFC implantee.