OnePlus One

OnePlus CEO Peter Lau had confessed how they've been able to bring high-end features with Nexus-like pricing in the OnePlus One smartphone. According to Lau, the company is able to offer its flagship OnePlus One at an affordable price because they are doing so "at cost."

"We are selling the phone at cost," Lau told tech publication Tech Radar. "We are able to do that by redistributing our costs to better benefit the user."

It's unclear how OnePlus will be able to be sustainable selling the device at cost, foregoing profit margins. Though Google utilizes the same strategy with its Nexus phones that ship with flagship specs, Google is able to generate money after device sales have been made through revenue sharing agreements of apps and digital content through the Play Store.

"Rather than put money towards a large marketing budget, we are focusing on online marketing and community interaction," he said. "Rather than working with retail partners, we rely on selling the device online."

The OnePlus strategy is radically different than that pursued by many of its rivals. Samsung, for one, has a huge marketing budget for its Galaxy line that's rivaled mainly by Apple, and Lau was quick to point out that his company is focused more on a grassroots campaign to save costs and pass those savings on to consumers.

Source: Tech Radar


Reader comments

The OnePlus One is so cheap because they're being sold at cost


It's no surprise that it's being sold at a cost. I am more curious as to how long it can be maintained...

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I don't think you understand what Selling At Cost, (or even at a loss) means in the business sense.

After they pay everybody in the company, some of which will have inflated salaries, no doubt, and after they pay the rent, the suppliers of parts, and the shipping, and the electric bill, and the taxes and bribes, and fund the company's expense account and capital improvement fund, and the working capital fund to buy more parts, and the cost escalation fund for when the price of parts goes up next year, and perhaps supply limos or cars to senior people, then, FINALLY they look at the bottom line and see nothing left.

No profit for investors.

And, if there is an (embarrassing) surplus, bonuses are declared to their most valued employees.

At Cost does not mean what you think it means.

This is the best way to describe "at cost". It doesn't mean what the normal way of thinking " at cost" is. I also believe this to be true for the nexus devices, but I'm sure glad they are selling them "at cost", because I love the low balling the big manufactures.

Plus the fact that with certain write-offs, prepayments and amortizations doesn't mean there isn't substantial cash flow.

This is why I'm excited for the device. I want to support them. Especially since all the flagships this year seem huge. If I can get a OnePlus One for $350 instead of a G3 for 600+ I'd go for the One. That's just my 2 cents though.

If there is no worthy update to the Moto X this year I am leaning heavily towards getting a One+ One. I obviously like the idea of supporting the underdog and the hardware of this phone is top notch. Win win?

I know about that update, I just don't know about the hardware updates it will get. Hence the "worthy". I'm hoping for a new Moto phone later this year but am making contingency plans. :)

Yeah getting fast updates is all good and dandy. But I want killer hardware too. The G3, M8, and from the looks of it OnePlus One, have killer hardware.

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Well, this gives me a little confidence as a potential buyer... because they will do everything they can to make sure this device is successful otherwise they are going to have a very difficult time selling the next model. Right?

is it possible Cyanogen with their albeit small and recent funding is paying a small amount towards this phone? i like the connection to oppo who has the experience to put out a quality product and not just some fly-by-night company producing new phones at supposed cost.

have you seen the forum? There is no quality about it. They HAD to join up with CM because they couldnt program their way out of a 386. that and manufacturing defects, they are a joke at this point. It is a good starting point, and I hope they improve, but we shall see.

Are you serious? Every person who has recieved the phone has said the hardware is top quality, as is the software (with some pre-release bugs, but those are allegedly getting better). Where are people saying there is no quality?

I don't know what this NoXex dude's problem is..
I think he is pissed because he is $700.00 in the hole with a cookie cutter Note 2 or 3.. he has been trying to discredit OPPO and 1+ at every turn...
Once production ramps up... BOTH the 1+ and the Find 7 are going to set these other devices on their asses for those in the know.. Just like Apple... Samsung is counting on their "Sheep" to stay locked in the $700.00 a year Flock..

I am extremely happy with my device, and I hope you are too. My point is that they are too new to be counted on for anything. They need time to mature, and now that they are not using that crappy ColorOS, they have a chance.

Everything's fine on this end.. Can you see into the future? You have NO IDEA what OPPO or One Plus can or cannot be counted on to do. if you find comfort in your device fine.. but here you are yet again Putting Down something.. now it's Color OS version #2 on the OPPO FInd 7 for what reason? Because you think Touchwiz is better?
You think because Samsung devices are sold on every street corner in the U.S. that they can be counted on?
You're a "Conservative" like so many on here that more than likely Don't Root.. Don't ROM... Don't know how to use a Command Line.. Can't Sideload.. or for that matter don't even fully understand ADB.. There are no KNOX Counters on OPPO's and One Plus devices... They are Android AT IT'S BEST.. You don't like Color OS v2 ? then *Root and Change it* WITHOUT recourse from OPPO or One Plus...
What does Samsung do should you rookies screw up your device trying to root it then walk it in to your corner carrier store? They would PUNISH YOU for tampering with your Sammy..
So stop putting down companies that are trying to offer Android Devices that are extremely nice for their price point ( Like the Nexus 5 ) and let OPPO and One Plus do their thing without conservatives like you not even giving them a fair shake.

I think there's a miscommunication. NoNexus is talking about the Oppo and not the 1+One right? So the 1+One is okay quality wise, just not the Oppo. At least that's what I got out of it

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He is talking about the Oppo phones, not the 1+1. Some people just have their heads so far up their ass they freak out of they even mistakenly believe someone is bashing something they like.

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All I can say is DAMN! for a company to come and do this especially with there first device on the market is pretty impressive. Makes you wonder about the actual cost to make the S5 and the M8 :)

To be fair, it *is* the first device for "One Plus" as a company. Granted, these guys all came from Oppo, but that's hardly a *huge* name in the mobile space. I think this phone is a pretty impressive attempt for OnePlus' first device.

From your own link: "As it stands, OPPO Electronic is an investor of OnePlus, and is also the overseer company to OPPO Mobile."

So yes, for any purpose beyond pedantic BS, they are part of OPPO.

Google owned Motorola, are you going to say that they had no influence over what Moto did? Same concept. OPPO had everything to do with OnePlus and then some

Wrong analogy, as Google is not an investment company.

"We understand the confusion as many people are just finding out about OnePlus. But as we’ve said from the beginning, OnePlus is a separately run company that does share common investors with OPPO. One of those investors is OPPO Electronic. OPPO Electronic is an investment company and is not the same as OPPO Mobile. OnePlus is also in talks with other investors."

So OPPO Electronic is the financial backing for: OPPO Mobile, OPPO Digital, OnePlus. Those three companies operate as independent companies, and since the founders came from OPPO Mobile, of course they brought influence over.

Oppo electronics is a compagny, daughter compangy oppo, daughter compagny 1+. They are both different compagnys but get funded by oppo electronics (known for their blueray players).

So its still 1+'s first device. Even tho they are owned by oppo electronics.

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Good Read Arthur...
I don't know what this NoXex dude's problem is..
I think he is pissed because he is $700.00 in the hole with a cookie cutter Note 2 or 3.. he has been trying to discredit OPPO and 1+ at every turn...
Once production ramps up... BOTH the 1+ and the Find 7 are going to set these other devices on their asses for those in the know.. Just like Apple... Samsung is counting on their "Sheep" to stay locked in the $700.00 a year Flock..

Good Read Arthur...
I don't know what this NoXex dude's problem is..
I think he is pissed because he is $700.00 in the hole with a cookie cutter Note 2 or 3.. he has been trying to discredit OPPO and 1+ at every turn...
Once production ramps up... BOTH the 1+ and the Find 7 are going to set these other devices on their asses for those in the know.. Just like Apple... Samsung is counting on their "Sheep" to stay locked in the $700.00 a year Flock..

You Stupid Piece Of Shit...
It double posted you dumb ass..
Don't EVER reply to anything I comment on ever again A Hole.

This is old..
I don't give a Sh*t what Nerds think of my opinion.. Mean's JACKSH*T to me dude..
This is not about ME.. Me.. IS a Badass.. But I don't come here to fight.. I can do that locally if need be.. I read and give my opinions.. Just like everyone else.. For some little DIPSH*T to comment on a obvious double post is stupid.. So he gets treated accordingly.. Simple as that..
Back on topic..
They're new players in town.. Chinese devices are going to be here to stay.. and COMPETE with the establish products... so everyone may as well get use to it.. And so far I like what I see.

Labor costs are so cheap in China, maybe that helps a lot. I'm sure they'll gain a large following and sell the next line for some profit

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Great way to get noticed and appealing to contract free pay-in-full customers like myself. Specs are great, camera is good even though I couldn't care less and the battery looks like it's better than the Nexus I'd previously sworn to only purchase. I would seriously consider once real world users confirm build quality and usability of CM11s

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I assume the plan is make money through accessories and apps. One of such accessories they're focusing on is swappable back cover to opt for a more personalized demin, kevlar, wood etc. My guess is these will have healthy margins and many will do it (including me).

But the goal won't be become rich off this phone. It's to make waves and establish a brand. After which they can increase prices.

Your link essentially says that OnePlus and OPPO are owned by a company which...gee also called OPPO. Yeah, you sure debunked the hell out of this one. : /

OPPO also owns their web domain...

the question is can you read sir? its right in your own article are you trolling because it sure seems like it.

No, you just can't read.

Oppo Mobile, and OnePlus are owned by an INVESTMENT company called Oppo Electronic. Oppo Electronic doesn't make or manufacture anything, they're an investment firm.

OnePlus is owned by a company called OPPO, are producing a phone that looks just like an OPPO phone, and are having it manufactured by...guess who...OPPO. Yet that freaking tool still can't put one and one together.

Arthur, you should just let it go. Perception is everything on the internet and people are going to come to the conclusions they want and change all the info to fit that view. Just let it go, you are not going to change anyone's mind. This argument is beginning to get old.

They are backed by oppo electronics. Not by the phone compagny called oppo.

Even tho they are both owned by by oppo electrnics, they are both different phone compagnys

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I watched a documentary about something like this once. It was said that many companies does it like this. The documentary specified on Apple and Sony. According to the documentary, Apple sells their iPhone's at cost, and Sony sells their Playstation at cost. "How do they make money then?" You might ask. Well, they are making money off the App Store/Playstation Store.

There is no way the iPhone is sold at cost. It costs $200 (approximately) to manufacture, and is sold in the $600-$700 range.

Remember , Cost also includes income for salary for the president of the company and officers , Unlike a big corporation that has access earings that are retained or paid off Dividends to shareholders. Still a good deal it is also a good way to get people to try there goods and grow that way, less risky then throwing money into production and marketing / advertising. ( Cost is not just parts)

I suppose the real question is what is their future strategy. Selling phones at cost may increase the number of people using them but what is the next step? If Google ends the Nexus line in favor of ridiculously overpriced GPe models with their Silver program I hope OnePlus can get onboard some of the CDMA carriers...

Currently, they just want to build their brand. They are planning to make a profit on future devices once they are more established.

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Yeah, they'll either get bought go under real soon.
There has to be money to develop future products. That doesn't just come from nowhere.
Unless they are factoring that into "cost".
Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

Well as anyone in purchasing can tell you, there's cost and "true cost". I'm always reminded of that old saying "TNSTAAFL"! If a company sold something at true cost, how long would they be in business? This device looks like it's going to be a good one and priced great. I wish them success if for no other reason than the smartphone world needs more high spec devices with pricing that is affordable. I'm interested to see if CM can deliver a fast, stable OS that fully supports the hardware end of things. I've tried CM on almost all of the Samsung devices I've owned but always ended up going back to stock due to the hardware issues with CM.

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I don't buy that BS for a minute. Somehow they built a phone that cost them exactly $299 to make? Not $301 or $298?

Where is the official audited proof of their real cost?

So OPPO comes up with the great idea of creating a dummy company to market itself as a hip, rebellious startup, and sells a phone at cost in order to generate publicity. If you aren't annoyed by duplicity and you want a phablet, sure, get a good deal. But don't act as if these are good guys.

So a few people at OPPO Mobile thought that they saw a market for a phone marketed at a different user base, left OPPO Mobile and started OnePlus. OPPO Electronic, knowing the work they did at OPPO Mobile saw this as a wise investment, and became the primary bankroller for their operation.


We can count on you, to look out for the little guy, lol. With you here, the Internet is a much safer place.

There's more than manufacturing and material costs. But yeah, I get what you mean.
My device went through hell to send this message.

Except it isn't fact. It's subjective. I've used phones from HTC and Samsung and I've never felt ripped off. You should just accept the fact that not everyone buys into hype as quickly and blindly as you do.

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This will be a great way for them to get their name out there, and potentially build some great brand loyalty, as long as the product has good quality.

Im sure it has, since its being made in the oppo factory. My oppo find 5 has an awsome build quality.

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They keep using the present tense. Is it actually being sold right now? Can I click "buy now" somewhere and have an eta?? If not, its not 'being sold' but 'to be sold'. Either English is hard or they are intentionally trying to tick people off.

To bad you can't buy one. I needed a new phone now. Went with a Moto X. Really wanted this phone!

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Cost my a$$, phones can be very cheap to make in China. I've seen as low as $40 USD retail for a basic functional android smart phone. For $350Usd this phone will have at least 100% margin.

Phones are not as expensive as most people think.

it's nice and all the phone is selling at cost... but... i think the more important thing is... who cares if we can't buy it? i'm sitting here waiting to sell my Note 3... so i can get this and the nexus 5 ; >

They are making a small profit on this phone. That being said - I would gladly pay a bit more for a great product. However since I have gone the no contract route - I am not going to pay $700 for an unlocked phone - that is straight gouging when you can get a OnePlusOne for $300 (next month), a HTC One M7 for $400, a SGS4 for $430, a Nexus 5 for $349, a Moto X for $349, a Moto G for $200 (LTE version next month for $220), etc. I can even buy a high end Nokia for less than $500 and can get the Z10 for $200 (the Z30 is better but it is $500 which is too expensive).

I won't pay $500+ for a phone ever again. I feel like Apple is justified for charging $400 for an iPad 4/Retina iPad mini but I think the iPhone 5s just isn't worth what they charge for it. I also feel that Samsung and HTC are charging way too much for SGS5 and One M8 respectively. All 3 devices are great - but $650 unlocked for a phone is a bit much. It is not worth it - especially when you can get great performance from a device half the cost.

Obviously if you buy your phone on contract - none of this matters - go get a SGS 5, One M8, iPhone 5s (or wait for the iPhone 6) - all of these devices are excellent.

Ummmm.. Of course it's being sold at cost. This company is backed by the chinese government. It would be more valuable for them to have info on citizens abroad than to try and make a profit. More profitable to get /have information. It's pretty obvious- why else would you sell a phone at cost? It sure as heck isn't to buy into their services. I've already found computers that we have manufactured over there to contain chips that collect information. Who do you think that information is going to?

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Interesting theory here. Now you got me wondering lol. Any evidence on this? Please share!

I don't buy this. Most of the price in a device is royalties. Hence the 600 price tag of some devices. The company needs to make money on what they sell obviously but how can this beast of a phone (1+1) be at cost. I feel like the royalties on this are not all accounted for while paying employees and other overhead costs. hmm