OnePlus has garnered a lot of headlines over the past year, primarily because it offers a premium-spec phone with an affordable $299/$349 (16GB/64GB) price tag. It launched originally in 17 countries in Western Europe, Asia, and North America, before rolling out in India and Indonesia too. However, the China-based smartphone maker has been criticized for making it too difficult to procure one of the phones, as it has largely operated an invite-only system — but last month it removed this system for a 24-hour period each Tuesday, meaning anyone can place an order on that day.
Today’s news almost doubles the number of markets it’s available in, with those in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia now able to purchase a 16GB (white) or 64GB (black) version of the phone, costing €269 or €299. But as with other markets, it’s only fully open for business on Tuesdays — if you’re looking to buy on another day of the week, you’ll need an invite. Invites can be procured from others who have already bought a OnePlus One phone.
A company statement, which strives to explain the tardiness to market, reads:
We know it has taken some time to get here. But it is important for us to do things right rather than do them fast. We took time to build a network that could support the extra logistics and needs of users before making this next step.
It’s been a rapid year of growth for OnePlus, expanding from 30 to 700 employees, and it’s already teasing a follow-up device — the OnePlus Two — which has been touted for third-quarter launch this year. Interestingly, the company is also promising a “new product category” this coming April, though there are no details of what this could be — a new phone or tablet has been ruled out, though.
OnePlus is also working to produce its own OxygenOS, a variant of Google’s Android Lollipop OS, which will eventually replace its existing CyanogenMod 11S Android fork.