Can the OnePlus One really make an impact?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: April 8, 2014

For the most obvious reasons, the majority of attention goes to the biggest companies. Samsung, HTC, BlackBerry (yes, still), Apple, Motorola, and a even LG are household names, and for good reason. They've released some of the most popular, and in some cases the most popular, smartphones in recent memory. (Maybe not so recent for BlackBerry, though.) A lot of people may look at these companies and say that their only real competition is one another, despite the fact that we all know there are other companies out there.

They might be right for now, but I have no doubt that all of these companies are watching everyone else in the industry, no matter how small they might be in certain markets around the globe. The mind state of the consumer is changing. Phone subsidies are starting to go by the wayside here in the States, and that's something some people predicated would never disappear. More than that, though, people are starting to see how the competition fares with their own handsets, the specs they bring to the table, and the price tags they offer in comparison to the major companies.

The internet has made it possible for more people to see what's out there, so there's always the possibility that a company can really make an impact at any given moment. It just takes the right type of device, the right type of marketing, and the right price point. It's certainly possible, and it could happen at any moment.

The chances it comes from a device that's running Google's mobile operating system, Android, are pretty high. Microsoft may shell out Windows Phone to other manufacturers, but Apple keeps their iOS in-house. So, Android's the operating system of choice, especially for the companies out there like BLU, or Oppo, that want to build their own devices, and sell them on their own terms.

They aren't the only ones, though. We're starting to see a bigger focus on smaller companies, aiming to create devices that rival that of what the bigger entities are bringing to the table. It's a huge hill to climb, but starting with a device that looks good and has decent specifications is a good place to start.

That's OnePlus's goal, anyway. At least, that's what it looks like, and has looked like over the last few months. The company, which is working with Cyanogen Inc., has been doing everything it can to make sure that all eyes stay on its upcoming device, long before they officially unveil what the handset even looks like. Over the last few months, we've been hearing rumors, seeing leaks, and even getting random bits of official confirmation regarding the device's specifications. All without ever seeing what it looks like.

It's a big gamble, but they've been working diligently in making sure that, for at least a few people out there, the OnePlus One (the device's name) stays on the radar. They want more than a few people to buy the handset, though, so it's all about word of mouth right now. If you can get a few people interested in what's coming down the pipe, then they can get even more people interested in what's coming.

Will it work out?

On April 23, OnePlus is going to officially unveil their One device, and all of the rumors and speculation will come to an end. It's at that moment that we'll get a good guess on whether or not all that hard work in early marketing will pay off, just by the way the phone looks, and how much it costs. The specs will matter to some, absolutely, but it won't count for much if the price tag and availability don't align to create the perfect package.

Is it going to matter? OnePlus may create one of the best Android-based devices in 2014, but can they really make any headway against companies like Samsung, HTC, or even Motorola and LG? So that's why I wanted to ask you: What would OnePlus have to do to get you to buy their newest handset, instead of something from one of the other major companies? Let me know!

Products mentioned