OnePlus is a Chinese startup founded in 2013 by Pete Lau and Carl Pei, the former Oppo vice president. Today OnePlus is held by Oppo's subsidiary. Additionally, Oppo's parent company is the owner of the Vivo brand.
In the middle of a smartphone war, it was not easy for startups to thrive as huge brands like Samsung and Apple are continuously competing that some of the older brands disappeared. During this smartphone war, OnePlus created its own name with the "difference" in terms of price, distribution channel, and campaigns. The name OnePlus has two levels of meaning. The first level is the brand's objective, which is not only being the first in the customer's mind and the market, but being more than the first. Another meaning of the band comes from the combination of the two words "one" and "plus". It refers to a single customer representative (One) who has tried its smartphone and is very impressive that he/she would like to tell his/her peers (Plus). As for the slogan "Never Settle", it is easily understandable among those who take care of their customers well by keeping the promise they make with them. The OnePlus team understands well that both himself and the brand's fans have never-ending preferences, hopes, and needs. As a result, they will never stop to improve the product to suit their customers’ needs.
The company unveiled its first device, the OnePlus One, in 2014 with excellent customer feedback. It became very popular by its powerful specification, but roughly half the price of the then recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S5. OnePlus entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Cyanogen Inc. to base its products' Android distribution upon a variant of the popular custom ROM CyanogenMod and use its trademarks outside of China. It made Android fans interested in the brand even though the agreement ended shortly after that.
Moreover, in the midst of competition in the smartphone markets, One Plus has started to launch various campaigns to familiarize the customers with the brand. For example, Ladies First campaigns let women take a selfie of themselves with OnePlus logo. After that, it launched Smash the Past campaign, in which 100 users would be selected to win an opportunity to purchase a 16GB OnePlus One for only $1 if they record a video of themselves breaking their previous phone. However, it received negative feedback and was criticized for not taking into account the safety of electronic device disposal. Thus, the company modified the campaign's name from "smash" to "donate" instead. Even with this negative feedback, OnePlus One smartphones sale continued to rise to 1.5 million units.
Later in 2015, it launched the second smartphone version, One Plus 2, which maintains the concept of powerful spec at a low price. Some websites even refer to it as "so cheap that you have to beg for life". It also added a variety of material and color for the back cover. The launch event was also talk-of-the-town as it uses Virtual Reality where you have to watch the launch through OnePlus Google Cardboard VR glasses using an application only. Thus, the launch of the two models was very impressive. Although the customer base in Thailand is quite small, it is considered a successful brand during this smartphone war. Older brands that didn't make it through include Nokia, BlackBerry, and Motorola.
Today OnePlus is an exciting smartphone brand with its powerful specification that contrasts its low price. With continuous improvement regardless of its struggle in their first years, it has proven its quality by stealing market shares from the top brands.