OnePlus Concludes Sales of the 5T to North America

Posted on March 24, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 9 Comments

OnePlus Concludes Sales of the 5T to North America

OnePlus is a quirky company. And the way it sells its devices is one great example: It allots a certain number of each handset it sells for different markets. And when that allotment sells out, the device is no longer available. They literally don’t make more, or shift handset from other markets over to the sold-out market.

On that note, if you live in North America and were saving up for a OnePlus 5T, I’ve got bad news for you: That handset is no longer available. It’s sold out.

And OnePlus has confirmed to Engadget that this is a permanent condition, too: It will not provide any more 5T handsets to North American markets.

In the good news department, OnePlus sold out of 5Ts much more quickly than it had anticipated. So it will no doubt allot more of its next flagship, the OnePlus 6, when that device debuts later in the coming quarter.

While I feel that this strategy is wrong-headed at best, OnePlus defends it, noting that “in a category where no one is growing, we’re growing.” But because of a decision to rapidly rev the original OnePlus 5, from early 2017, with an updated 5T model late in the year, this most recent flagship has only been available for a few months. And now it’s already gone. No other smartphone maker is this short-sighted. Why would any company not sell any much product as it could?

Anyway, the OnePlus 5T is an excellent handset, and it is a great, low-cost alternative to today’s too-expensive flagships. It’s weird that we can’t buy it here anymore.


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Comments (9)

9 responses to “OnePlus Concludes Sales of the 5T to North America”

  1. jimchamplin

    It sounds like a policy made up by a 60-year-old school principal in regards to yearbooks. "We're selling these that nobody wanted for $10 more because 'supply and demand.'"

    "This is how many we decided to sell so we won't sell any more because reasons."

  2. nerdile

    Unit cost is tied to the size of the production run. A small incremental run of the 5T would be super expensive per unit, and they may already have started production of the 6.

    Underestimating or overestimating demand both lead to loss of sales; but at least when you underestimate, you're only losing money you never expected to earn. So clearly they exceeded their sales targets here. Entering into the 6, they should have strong finances, plus the demand signals will increase their ability to raise capital, and I would hope to see that funneled into more innovation and larger production runs.

  3. James Wilson

    In a weird one - it sort of makes sense. It has to guess what the market is going to be like - and makes enough devices so it will sell them (at it's best guess). It also knows that next year, it has to bring out a new model so can't have any stock to hand being sold at a loss. Must be frustrating for the end user - but with a saturated markets, there are Pixel's, Samsungs, Nokia, Essentials, LG, Blackberry etc etc that the buyer could but - or just wait for the next year.

    At least a buyer won't buy one the day before a new model is released!

  4. rbwatson0

    Hey, I got mine. What do I care? ;-)

  5. tboggs13

    This sort of frustrates me. I purchase one and really like it. I was about to purchase two more for other family members, but unfortunately none are available, except at higher prices from other sources.

    I guess we will wait for the 6, hopefully they don't produce a flop or jack the price up.

  6. Winner

    Perhaps they keep costs down by making less than a market will need. Then there are no price reductions needed before the next model comes out. I could see that strategy as being good for business. After all, many believe Apple has artificial scarcity upon new product announcements. This is that same sort of scarcity on the back end (timing-wise).

  7. Roger Ramjet

    I think they are doing it to gain more visibility. In a crowded market, you differentiate. Although they "lose" money now, they are betting this makes the value their product more visible, when consumers miss all that consumer surplus they would have had had they bought it for $500 or whatever the price was; if so, and they stick to the plan, (on both creating the shortage, and ensuring every new iteration is a worthy device), they will be able to grow their share over time.

  8. katedaisy

    I could see that strategy as being good for business. After all, many believe Apple has artificial scarcity upon new product announcements cool math games