Phone launches can be awesome, but cruel at the same time. From low stock and delayed shipping times to carriers sending out notifications that the device is available sometimes a full week after it actually launched, they don’t often get everything 100% right.
OnePlus is hoping to change that with the system they’ll be using for the OnePlus One, but we’re not so sure it’s any better. The company has announced that the initial ordering process for the device will be an invitation-only affair. That’s right — you can only buy the device if you’re lucky enough to be invited to buy the device.
So why are they doing this?
Carl Pei says it’s because OnePlus is frustrated with the usual rusty merry-go-round that’s often associate with phone launches:
- Pre-orders mean you have to pay now (in most cases) and wait to get the device later
- Even if the device is billed as available, backorder due to shortages often means you won’t see your device for weeks at a time.
- Being told that a batch of devices will be coming in on a certain date at an ungodly time, forcing you to stay up for a chance to get your order in.
And that’s just scratching the surface. OnePlus thinks their invite system works because when you’re told you can buy a OnePlus One, you know you’ll be able to buy it and have it shipped within a few short days. All of that is noble, but there’s something a tad unsettling about being told when I can buy a device as opposed to deciding for myself.
So how do you get invited?
OnePlus says they’ll be issuing invites through a variety of means. Contests are near the top of that list, natch, as well as giving them away to loyal users of their customer forums. OnePlus also says everyone who is invited will be entitled to invite someone of their own.
There are no invites being issued as of right now, though — we imagine they’ll cross that bridge when we come closer to it at the OnePlus One launch later this month. For now, be sure to sign up for an account at their forums (being genuinely active might help) and stay tuned.