Consumers have panned OnePlus with a laundry list of grievances, spanning the lack of NFC in the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X, that notorious invite system, and its seemingly dubious “Never Settle” motto. In a wide-ranging interview with VentureBeat, co-founder Carl Pei offers his response to these and other issues clouding the company’s reputation.
“’Never Settle’ never meant ‘include everything,’” Pei said in his interview with VentureBeat at Dublin Web Summit last week. “You could do everything, and nothing will be done well. An analogy I like to use is a chef who has access to a lot of ingredients, but a good dish is not a sum of all the ingredients. There has to be a curation. Always make the best choices for the user — not necessarily every user — but try to make the best choices for the majority of users.”
Of course, after the OnePlus 2 was announced, “Never Settle” and the phone’s “2016 Flagship Killer” tagline were widely slammed because of the lack of NFC, which is a common feature in smartphones. So why didn’t OnePlus include NFC in the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus X at a time when Android Pay is introducing itself to the world?
Pei concedes that NFC was a big issue when the OnePlus 2 was announced, but says “in reality after people calmed down and thought about it, they really don’t use a lot of NFC When it becomes the mainstream, we’ll bring it back.” He added that “people get affected by the vocal minority.”
NFC costs a few extra dollars and doesn’t take up much space, but Pei said the same thing can be said of many other components “and they all add up.”
For those wondering about removable batteries, Pei said he doesn’t think the company will ever look at them. “It requires a lot more space in the phone because you have to protect the battery — you need to house the battery in something that doesn’t let it get punctured. Then, you have to build the connector that connects the battery to the phone, which means more circuitry.”
Regarding the company’s invite system, which has become something of a punch line whenever a new OnePlus device is announced, Pei said it helps OnePlus manage its inventory better, in a user-friendly way.
“Maybe in a few years,” Pei said in response to a question about whether the company would ever do away with the invite system altogether.