A million people bought this $530 Android-powered iPhone competitor in less than a month

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Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

  • OnePlus sold 1 million units of its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 6, in less than a month.
  • It’s a small number compared to Apple and Samsung phone sales, but OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau says he’s happy with the OnePlus 6’s sales performance.
  • The company previously sold 1 million of its two previous smartphones – the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T – in three months.
  • The company has a loyal fan base similar to Apple’s iPhone.

Over 1 million people purchased the OnePlus 6 – the newest smartphone from the small Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus – in under a month, a OnePlus representative told Business Insider.

22 days, to be precise, according to OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau, who spoke with Business Insider over email.

The OnePlus 6 is a direct competitor of other top, flagship smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S9 and LG G7. One of the biggest differences between the OnePlus 6 and other flagship smartphones from 2018 is that it costs $530 compared to the $700-plus asking price from other companies.

oneplus 6 white vs black 3

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Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

While that sales number pales in comparison to Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy phone sales, which usually reach the tens of millions shortly after a new model’s release, OnePlus founder Pete Lau says he’s perfectly satisfied. “We are definitely happy with these results and most important, that users like the new phone,” Lau said.

OnePlus phones aren’t sold the same way as those big blockbuster phones from Apple and Samsung. “We have fewer sales channels (mostly online), are available in less regions, and sell direct to consumers,” compared to most other phones, Lau said. The OnePlus 6 isn’t available on Verizon, for example, which has the biggest number of customers out of all the carriers in the US.

In the US, one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world, most people buy their devices from their network carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Few are aware of smartphones that aren’t found in their carrier stores.But you won’t find OnePlus phones at your carrier store. Despite this, OnePlus phones are the only Android devices that gets American to line up around a New York City block in 2018 – as well as in other cities in different countries – in front of a temporary popup store. The only other phone that generates mass-queueing and loyalty is Apple’s iPhone.

Indeed, OnePlus users often end up becoming loyal to the company and its smartphones. What OnePlus has is a relatively small number of people who are almost guaranteed to buy its smartphones. Or, at least, they look at the new OnePlus phone first before any other model form a different company.

And that loyal fanbase appears to be growing. Compared to the OnePlus 6’s one million unit sales in 22 days, OnePlus sold one million each of its last two smartphones in three months, the company told Business Insider.

oneplus 6 white 2

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Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

It’s easy to understand why OnePlus fans grow loyal to its smartphones. They come equipped with the same specs and performance as the flagship smartphones from other companies. They’re also beautifully designed, and they run a near-stock version of Android that Android enthusiasts covet for its simplicity over the heavily altered versions you’d find in many other Android devices.

Not to mention that OnePlus phones are significantly less expensive than the competition.

No, the OnePlus 6 doesn’t have the ultra-sharp display that the Galaxy S9 has, nor does it come with the wireless charging feature that most high-end smartphones have today, or the absolute best camera on a smartphone. But OnePlus fans aren’t interested in lofty features like wireless charging or the extra-sharp display. And judging by the company’s growing fanbase, they’re clearly happy enough with the camera.