After a storm, what do you get? Well, apparently for OnePlus, a blizzard. Since it just announced the availability of Bamboo StyleSwap covers for their first and only smartphone, it is only reasonable that they are now trying to reel in more buyers. This time around, they have doubled the stakes, offering invites to buy the OnePlus One to 5,000 lucky people.
The OnePlus One owners group is pretty much an exclusive club of lucky raffle winners and people with the right connections. As a small startup, OnePlus tried to go the indie route and cut out the middlemen of retailers and distributors. Sounds good until you realize that OnePlus itself becomes the bottleneck of the distribution process, without the manpower to sell the phone in markets themselves. As of the moment, the only way you can get into this club is either by winning a contest or by being invited by someone who already owns one.
There have been a few waves of invitations sent out, but perhaps even fewer waves of actual shipments. The last one was in June, when they held the "Storm of Invites" contest, putting up 2,500 invites up for grabs. This time, the number is 5,000 but the mechanics are still the same. You sign up via Rafflecopter and pretty much peform menial social networking tasks until the day of the draw. At the moment, there are already around 165,000, which means more than 41,000 participants, each allowed 4 entries, all vying for only 5,000 tickets.
It should once again be noted that this is a raffle to get invites, not to actually get the phone itself, which would have been too good to be true. Lucky winners will, of course, still have to pay for the 64 GB Sandstone Black model. That costs $349, which isn't that bad given the features of this still elusive creature. Better hurry if you have any plans on joining. The raffle ends on July 23 at 9:15 a.m. EDT.