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The OnePlus Story

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Most stories start with a group of ambitious people eager to leave their mark on the world. Most of these stories don’t survive the next 24 hours. Bringing an idea to life is far from easy, and most don’t realize that wanting to make a difference isn’t enough. Piles of demanding tasks, endless workdays, and plenty of frustration can shatter even the most ambitious teams. Those who do turn their wild dreams into a reality all owe their success to the passion and commitment of a group of people determined to bring that great idea to life.

Our story starts with a group of friends at a café. What started as a casual conversation over coffee would go on to disrupt the entire smartphone industry. This idea was born after noticing that virtually every patron in that cafe was chatting and typing away on an iPhone. It was as if at some point in the distant past, no one knows when, the whole world had come together and unanimously agreed to use the same smartphone. Who could blame them? After all, at that point, no other phone was built with the same attention detail that Apple applied to its products.

This realization inspired their dream and the words that fueled it – Never Settle. This dream would push that small group of friends to challenge the realities of the tech industry. There and then, the friends decided to create a smartphone they would be proud to own themselves.

Naming a company is never easy. How do you go about creating a name capable of communicating your entire vision and all of your values? Drawing from their drive to always do better, they conceived a name that signified their ambition and purpose – OnePlus. We view “One” as the way things are, while “Plus” represents our desire to go beyond the status quo. Through the name ‘OnePlus’ we seek to remind not just ourselves, but everyone around us, that we should always push the limits of what we are capable of and never stop improving. Great products, featuring great technology, shared by great people. Many months after that defining meet-up at the café, OnePlus launched its first device across 17 markets. The OnePlus One was out and ready to change the world of tech.

OUR VISION

If you’re entering the tech space, you’ve got to be ready for a challenge. Some of our competitors are among the world’s most profitable corporations, while innovative new players can come from anywhere. This is why our long-term vision has always been to establish a healthy and enduring company with a sustainable business. With our eyes set firmly on the future, our primary aim is to create value for our users and to pursue a higher standard in product quality. But we’re not just doing it for ourselves. Our mission is to share the best technology, built hand-in-hand with our community.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BURDENLESS

When we started OnePlus, none of the Android smartphones available were satisfying to use. Unnecessary features, unwanted notifications, and slow or cumbersome software turned your phone into a burden rather than a natural extension of your life. When we set out to create better technology, our intrinsic purpose was to create a Burdenless smartphone experience.

A Burdenless experience is only noticeable when it is needed. It adjusts perfectly to your pace and your needs, never rushing you on or slowing you down. Imagine sitting down at a restaurant and receiving your favorite dish the moment you’re ready to eat, where your glass is filled the moment it’s empty, but never sooner, and where you never have to wait for the next course. This the kind of experience we aspire to provide through our phones. Through helpful suggestions and intelligent software, smartphones should enable the user without being intrusive. This is our pledge: to offer a Burdenless experience to all of our users. It is only by paying attention to even the smallest details that we can achieve this goal.

BURDENLESS DESIGN

The evolution of our Burdenless design. (Captured by @wittosuaff)

A Burdenless experience starts the moment you pick up your phone, and has to pervade every second you’re with your device. Your phone spends a lot of time in the palm of your hand, so we precisely engineer the curves, weight, and size to ensure an effortless grip. Even when your phone is off, we want the experience of holding your phone to feel smooth. Once you turn on your phone, a seamless combination of hardware and software have to put you in control of the experience, while smoothing out possible obstacles and challenges. One feature that ties perfectly into our Burdenless design philosophy is the alert slider, which is easily accessible and allows you to personally determine when and how you’re alerted by a notification. Through OxygenOS, you can also limit individual apps access to data. By controlling how your apps behave, you can tailor your phone to perfectly fit your needs

To achieve a truly Burdenless device requires a deliberate and extensive process, and the pursuit of excellence can be painful and expensive. But, our CEO, Pete, strongly believes we need to commit ourselves to the relentless refinement of our designs. A great product is the result of months of work, countless discarded prototypes, and an agonizing attention to detail.

USER FEEDBACK

Finding balance in consumer feedback and sticking to product principles is a challenge. When users offer feedback, it’s important to sift through the message and understand what they really need. For example, most consumers want a large battery. However, a large battery affects the build, thickness, and weight of a phone. It’s imperative to understand that the real need is a long-lasting battery, not just a large one. It falls on us to provide our users with what they need, while balancing their concerns with the overall design of the device.

Every two years or so, we will discover a new trend in the smartphone industry. Whether it’s an intriguing new piece of tech, a design style, or major software advancement.

The industry is competitive and filled with players which are either new or have been around for an extensive amount of time. There’s always competition to develop innovations.

Our philosophy has always been simple: to demonstrate our value by listening to our users and continuing to seek perfection by being open to their direction and feedback. We prefer to retain our independent thinking, while keeping an eye on current trends. We show restraint in the features we add, by always asking why, and pushing ourselves to find out how we could do it better.

The OnePlus Community exchange ideas at an Open Ears Forum event.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Our pursuit of a burdenless experience doesn’t stop with our products – it also extends to our service. We understand that any issue, and the way it’s dealt with, can have a lasting impact on our users, so our objective is to give solutions to problems as fast as possible.

User experience is what drives us, and we strive to extend the quality of our products through all of your interactions with OnePlus. We always place our users at the center of our work, and we don’t compromise on any aspect of their experience, including after-sales service.

With more than 67 customer service centers worldwide, and approximately 500 employees working in call centers, we are ready and committed to delivering the best possible service.

BUILT ONLINE, STRENGTHENED OFFLINE

Our community is at the heart of everything we do. Our global forums opened in late 2013, welcoming hundreds of new members. Since then, the community’s feedback and criticism have played a key role in how we do things. When the first OnePlus phone hit the market, the box read ‘Created Together with Our Fans’. Today, these forums have nearly five million registered users from 196 countries and regions around the world.

Unlike traditional smartphone manufacturers, OnePlus has focused on an online model since its inception – and that’s what set us apart. We were predominantly a digital-only company. However, over the years, more and more people expressed a desire to physically experience our products before they purchased them. In recent years, we’ve continued to find new ways to engage with our community, both online and offline.

To go beyond the online experience, OnePlus organized its first pop-up event in Times Square, New York, after the launch of the OnePlus 2 in 2015. The intention was not to sell, but merely to give users the chance to physically interact with the device.

Today, OnePlus enjoys a higher level of engagement with its users than any other smartphone company. Our users don’t mind queuing up to get some hands-on time when a OnePlus pop-up comes to their city.

These global events mark a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the latest OnePlus products, as well as to engage with other fans and OnePlus staff. Our journey so far has taken us to places we’d never dreamt we’d go, and we never would have gotten where we are today if it wasn’t for our Community. You’ve seen OnePlus grow and evolve, you’ve made us better, and you’ve stood alongside us throughout every step of this adventure. Just imagine what we will achieve together in the next five years.

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