OnePlus (and OnePlus Two?) [updated]
Updated on 10th May 2015: Carl Pei tweeted asking for the price that OnePlus should charge if the OnePlus Two comes with Snapdragon 810. His replied “sounds reasonable” when someone said USD400.
I had the chance to meet up with some OnePlus guys recently.
If you’ve not heard of OnePlus, they are a
smartphone gadget services company that has been getting a lot of attention when they launched their first product in 2014 — the OnePlus One smartphone. High-end specs (better than Samsung Galaxy S5) with killer price (about just half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S5).
OnePlus has just recently started selling the OnePlus One phone in Malaysia via Maxis.
Anyway, I took the opportunity to ask them a few Qs about their operations in Malaysia… And also tried to “dig” some information about the OnePlus Two.
To get to the point…
#1. The ASEAN GM will be coming on board sometime in May. There’s indication that the person will be based in Singapore.
#2. There are plans in place to provide warranty support for the international OnePlus One sets. They need to iron out some issues with the local distributor first – Brightstar.
#3. Supposedly, the OnePlus Two feels good in the hands. #4. If anyone of you is keen to join OnePlus, they are still trying to fill up some positions in Malaysia. But it seems OnePlus is more interested to take in someone not so experienced aka junior/ fresh grad. That seems to be their strategy — to have 1-2 very experienced person at the top and the rest made up of junior team members/ fresh grads.
#5. There’s admission that Exynos (Samsung’s own chipset) is really pwn-ing every other chipset currently in the market. This implies it is very unlikely that the performance (of OnePlus Two) will be better than the phones with the Exynos chipset (like the Samsung Galaxy S6).
The #5 is interesting because if OnePlus Two is going the same way as its predecessor and have the best specs in the market, then it’s very likely to be using the SnapDragon 810 chipset. That also means it’s very likely to also face the heat issue that is plaguing other phones with this chipset. Also, this Ars Technica article seems to indicate that the 810 chipset isn’t really that impressive, performance wise.
The OnePlus Two is expected to be announced/ launched sometime in Q3 of 2015. Because of this, it is unlikely to ship with the Snapdragon 820 chipset, which is supposed to address the issues that the 810 chipset is facing. But we can never be too sure. OnePlus may decide to delay the release of OnePlus Two and go with the 820 chipset instead.
Besides the chipset, another interesting point to note is OnePlus’s shifting business focus. Last year, they were all about being the smartphone company. Then it expanded to cover “gadgets”. And now, it seems they will focus on services, though it still seems rather vague as to how they will earn money this way. But yes, generally, the trend now is to sell everything-as-a-service, as I like to call it. We’ve seen software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, etc… So, not surprising if OnePlus wants to sell “something-as-a-service”. Perhaps they plan to do what LeTV wants to do – streaming contents (as a service).