Tomorrow we’re finally unveiling the OnePlus 2. It’s been 460 days for us without a new product, and we’re equally excited and anxious over the OnePlus 2 launch. During this time, OnePlus has scaled up as a company, but maybe more importantly, the team has also seen tremendous personal growth. Today, we want to tell the world that we are ready.
Normally, companies don’t go beyond a year without releasing a new flagship smartphone. But as you already know, we’re rarely affected by what’s considered the norm. Instead, we’ve taken our time to perfect the OnePlus 2, making over 100 product design and feature revisions until we finally found something we were satisfied with.
I see a lot of people excited about the specs of the OnePlus 2. That’s great, but a focus on specs will make you lose sense of what’s really important: the holistic product experience. A great product should make its users forget about specs. This is what we meant by Never Settle when we started OnePlus in the winter of 2013, and this is why we’ve had no problems talking about specs prior to the launch. The product experience can only be felt when people are actually using the device, and that’s where the OnePlus 2 will really shine. So we’re looking forward to hearing the reviews of real users, when we can see how well we were able to understand user needs.
A few friends have also been asking, why launch a product in virtual reality? There are two reasons – community and future.
Let’s talk about community first.
A virtual reality launch wasn’t always the plan. Originally, we almost booked the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, and were planning to invite a few hundred people to a traditional launch event. Although we couldn’t pinpoint it back then, somewhere in our guts it just didn’t feel right. Our users are everywhere, and having an event where only a tiny sliver could participate felt counterintuitive. Our users are not only in the 36 countries that we officially launched in. According to our data, there’s more than 100,000 devices in markets we don’t even ship to. The OnePlus family is truly global.
Later on, when having dinner with colleagues, a lightbulb switched on. We were watching the new 360-degree videos on YouTube, and started discussing the various apps that were compatible with Google Cardboard VR. Back then, no one had combined these two technologies, but we immediately understood how powerful the experience would be if it was done. Instead of standing on a stage and talking down to people, we could stand side by side with our community and launch the product together with them.
Because no one had done this before, it was admittedly high risk. But moments later, we made the decision to go for it. We definitely felt the adrenaline rush.
Now, a few words on the future.
The reason why the entire OnePlus team is so invested in this isn’t because we want to ship huge volumes and make a ton of cash. These things are good to have, of course, but I think the main driving force behind a lot of us is that we see the opportunity of making significant positive impact on the world, as well as on how the future unfolds.
A month ago, I was reading a Reddit AMA from the Soylent co-founder and CEO Rob. A user was asking him what he felt about all the copycat products out there. This was his response:
“Soylent is more than a product. It is a movement. People want to compete with us to feed the world? Awesome. I think we’re on the same side. I’m not greedy. I just want the future to happen.”
This resonated extremely well. The possibilities with virtual reality are endless. We see the enormous potential, and don’t know what can be done with it in the future. We believe that putting this technology in front of as many people as possible will inspire people to experiment and accelerate innovation. We’re excited about the future, and want it to happen faster. And that’s why we were OK with giving our own cardboard away for free. Sure, we made a loss when we gave away 30k units, but this investment is much more meaningful than simply buying ads.
Expect more initiatives like this from OnePlus going forward.
OK, that’s it for now. OnePlus 2. 460 days in the making, and tomorrow’s the big day.
Deep breath. See you tomorrow.
And as always, get #HYPE or GTFO.