Carl, Apr 16, 2014 : Buying a popular smartphone can be a frustrating experience, both for consumers and manufacturers alike. This is something we’re trying to solve. For consumers, a product they have anticipated for a long time might be sold out immediately before they even have a chance to place an order. Some offer pre-orders, which often means a long time between paying for your order and actually having it shipped. The worst experience for consumers is probably when a company decides to sell in batches where you have to set a reminder to patiently wait for a batch, log onto the website to disappointedly find out that it got sold out. When you eventually get a chance to buy one, it’s actually a pre-order that you’ll need to wait a long time to receive again. Why do manufacturers do this? It’s very hard to predict the future, and hardware is expensive. Producing larger batches means tying in more capital and increasing risk. Making too many devices that end up not being sold can bankrupt a business easily. In addition, there’s always a production ramp up period where production yield increases by time. This is another reason to why it’s hard to have a lot of stock from the very beginning. When the choice is between selling to a few users first, or stocking up and delaying launch, it’s not a difficult decision to choose the former. [Updated May 9] Another reason to the invite system is because we're still learning. Launching a product worldwide is ambitious for a 5 month old startup. We are sure that there will be hiccups along the way and that the purchasing experience will not be perfect from the very start. With invites, we can control and ramp up availability, giving a chance for our logistics and customer service teams to catch up if anything unexpected happens. Good Products Shared Among Friends To solve these problems, we have created a much more user friendly way of buying the device through the OnePlus Invite System. With an invite, you can be 100% sure that you’ll actually be able to buy it, and it ships within a few days. In contrast to staying up in the middle of the night trying to buy one along with 20,000 other people. So in the true spirit of the OnePlus name, a good product gets spread by word of mouth, shared among friends for that extra personalized touch. So how do you get an invite? Invites will also be made available through friends, contests, and on this forum (you have not been forgotten). We value thoughtful contributions from active fans. Once you’ve bought a OnePlus One, you’ll also become eligible to invite your friends in the future. In the beginning, they’ll be available in limited quantities, but as time progresses they’ll become easier and easier to come by. Please Note: There are no invites to give away as of today. More information will be available on the day of launch. Update 1: Some have voiced concerns about there being a second market for invites. The Invite System was designed to counter this from the start, with us having full control over distribution and expiry times. The re-sale of invites will not be a major issue. Update 2: We have received some great feedback over the past few hours, and understand that not everyone likes to hang out on online forums. I want to clarify that both those who have supported us from the beginning on the forums, and those who have been interested but not registered on the forums will have ways to get invites. Update 3 (May 9, 2014): There are a few commonly asked questions regarding the invite system that I can help clear up: How do I get an invite? The main method of getting invites will be through others. In the beginning, when not a lot of other people have the device, you'll be able to get invites through contest and raffles. We have planned ways so our early fans, as well as people who weren't here from the beginning will be able to obtain invites. When do the next batch of invites roll out? The first real batch of invites roll out late May, and will be of the 64GB Sandstone Black version. Any invites that you might have been promised before this, will be sent during this time. How long are invites valid for? For invites that you receive, they are typically valid for 24 hours. If they expire, they get returned to sender so someone else can get a chance to buy it. Alternatively, you can ask for the sender to resend it to you. For invites that you can give away, they are usually valid for longer, usually 1-2 weeks. How many invites can I give away? This varies. In the beginning, the quantities will be smaller, but increased as time goes by. You will frequently receive new invites to give away as production ramps up. When do I receive invites to give away? You do not automatically receive invites when you purchase a phone. We will need to manually roll them out according to our operations situation.