Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Apr 2014 11:08 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

The folks at OnePlus have been building up hype around their first smartphone launch, and today the OnePlus One finally became official. Announced at an event in China, the Magnesium constructed One weighs just 162g, has a recessed bezel round the edges, what it says are "beautiful contours" and a ton of beefy hardware inside.

The price was also built up ahead of launch and OnePlus hasn't disappointed on this front. The 16GB version will be available unlocked and SIM-free for just $299 while the 64GB is an extremely impressive $349. In Europe those prices translate to £229/£269 and €269/€299 which on the face of it alone is extremely good value for the hardware alone. It's set to become available sometime in Q2.

OnePlus is founded by the founder of Oppo. Unsurprisingly, the OnePlus One looks like a Find 5 successor, which can only be seen as a good thing in my view - especially because it ships with CyanogenMod by default. The end result is that I'm pretty sure that the best Android phones are currently not made by Samsung or HTC - but by tiny Chinese manufacturers.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if I were Samsung, HTC, or Sony - I'd be afraid of these companies. Great build quality, unique design, top-notch specifications, and usually great community support - at half the price of Samsung/HTC/etc. flagships, fully unlocked.

Two things will happen. Expect increased lobbying spending on discrediting Chinese manufacturers, and I expect more and and more public talk about how Chinese electronics cannot be trusted.

Permalink for comment 587400
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Qualcomm and China
by jphamlore on Wed 23rd Apr 2014 17:14 UTC
Member since:

I think the more interesting points are being missed.

Phones such as this one reflect Qualcomm's acceptance of the reality that they absolutely cannot afford to be confined to the over $500 USD smartphone market. Nor can they afford to be shut out of China.

So Qualcomm and China cut a deal. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next decade. Qualcomm cross-licensed their LTE patents to Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE and supported the Chinese combination of TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA and in return it appears Qualcomm got access to the entire Chinese market.

Thom, what you fail to note is that the hold-up on these phones making it to North America is likely Qualcomm's refusal to cross-license its legacy crown jewels, its CDMA patents that enable backwards compatibility with Verizon. This North American patent wall of Qualcomm's is what I have extensively documented in the past as the force that brought down Nokia. This patent wall I have speculated is basically a United States version of industrial policy, just as China has its own mobile industrial policy to benefit its own companies. That is partly why AT&T doesn't jump in either to embrace these phones.

It's astonishing to me in light of other revelations of how the United States works with big telecom companies how Internet journalists are basically passing up free scoops.

Reply Score: 3