Meet the $329 smartphone: But you’ll need an invite

OnePlus may be under the radar of most smartphone fans, but the Chinese company aims to take on the likes of Samsung and Apple. Just one thing: you need an invite to get your hands on one.

The OnePlus 2, the firm’s second smartphone, went on sale on Tuesday amid much hype online. Over 3 million people are on a waiting list for the device and the and in the first wave of orders, the company expects to ship around 30,000 to 50,000 devices.

The Chinese brand has built up much of its following through social marketing – devices can be purchased on an invite-only basis and it engages fans via social media and forums.

Commentators have said that OnePlus’s invite system is an attempt to build hype around the product, but the co-founder, told CNBC that it’s about practicality.

“The best scenario would be to sell as many phone as possible. There is no sense of limiting availability, it is more of a risk control thing,” Carl Pei, told CNBC in a phone interview.

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