In less than two years of fairly controversial but also prosperous activity, OnePlus launched three affordable smartphones, a limited edition drone, custom Android fork, a slew of mobile accessories, including super-cheap USB Type-C cables, and most recently, a photo app.
However, the Chinese startup refused to capitalize on the wearable boom, and it didn’t try to revive the slowly dying tablet segment or pave the way for mainstream popular virtual reality devices either. What gives?
Well, apparently, OnePlus tested the fitness tracker waters, secretly developing a Fitbit or Jawbone rival, but ultimately shifting its focus back on the One, 2, and X handhelds. According to company co-founder Carl Pei, both this mysterious smart band and an equally enigmatic Bluetooth speaker were cancelled just “one month before launch”, as the execs asked themselves “what is the goal?”
In other words, much like HTC, they couldn’t make the OnePlus One Band stand out from the pack, though unlike the Taiwanese OEM, that didn’t send the Chinese outfit’s engineers back to the drawing board. Instead, the plan is to “leave the wearables and speakers to the people who know what they’re doing”, and make sure next year’s OnePlus 2 and X sequels are “quality products”, backed by constantly improving customer services, beginning with an already simplified invite system.
And yes, Pei did say his company isn’t interested in building “wearables”, as opposed to activity trackers, thus incorporating smartwatches also, and essentially confirmed only two OnePlus phones are in the pipeline for 2016.