Headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, OnePlus is a Chinese smartphone brand founded by former Oppo vice-president Pete Lau and Carl Pei in December 2013. The company is one of the three subsidiaries of BKK Electronics, the other two being Oppo and Vivo. In one of his statements explaining the company’s philosophy, CEO Pete Lau had said that the brand aimed to design high-end smartphones with flagship hardware that did not cost premium — hence the tagline ‘Never Settle’.
OnePlus launched its first smartphone, the OnePlus One, in 2014. In India, the phone was launched in partnership with Amazon India, which has since remained the company’s preferred sales partner for all its smartphones. The company sold its early smartphones with an invite-only system where customers had to sign up for an invite to purchase the phone. The invite system was ended and replaced by a flash-sale model with the launch of the OnePlus 3 in 2016.
The first OnePlus smartphone was launched with the Cyanogen OS, a custom-made operating system based on the Android platform. In India, OnePlus faced a temporary import and sales ban due to a lawsuit filed by home-grown mobile phone maker Micromax, which alleged exclusivity to the Cyanogen OS as the default operating system in its phones in India. The ban was, however, lifted later, and the company shipped the later iteration of its phones with custom-made OxygenOS, now an integral part of OnePlus smartphones.
In early years, the company followed a one-phone-every-year policy, which it changed in 2016 by launching the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T during the same year. The OnePlus 3T was its first T-edition smartphone with enhanced hardware and better selfie camera. With every successive launch, OnePlus has raised the price of its smartphones. In 2019, the company forayed into the premium smartphone segment with the launch of the OnePlus 7 Pro.