It is nigh impossible to get your hands on a OnePlus One smartphone, and that impossibility is going to stretch even longer. Even after issuing a new batch of exclusive invites, OnePlus still isn’t shipping the smartphone, which is apparently due to fixing bugs related to new OpenSSL vulnerabilities.
Owning a OnePlus one is pretty much going to be an exclusive privilege in the beginning. This invite-only system is a double-edged sword that could build up tension around the device but also turn off would be buyers. So far, two batches of invites have already been sent out, but none have received their device yet. In the latest invitation, OnePlus states that a major software update is causing shipment to be delayed, with no target date dropped. This is definitely news that no one would like to hear, and the Internet immediately picked it up, going as far as comparing the OnePlus One to notoriously delayed products bordering on vaporware.
Cyanogen Inc.‘s ciwrl also took to the Internet to explain to real scoop. This supposed major update is revealed to be related to a number of new OpenSSL bugs disclosed just last week. OpenSSL has become a source of worry for many in the IT industry after the revelation of the “Heartbleed” bug. Cyanogen therefore wanted to immediately patch these new ones up before they shipped the customized CyanogenMod 11S version to users. This, however, necessitates another round of QA tests and certification, which is actually not unusual when it comes to commercial mobile devices such as this.
While Cyanogen’s and OnePlus’ eagerness to ship secure software is commendable, it does open up a few issues. It is certainly possible for Cyanogen and OnePlus to have shipped the device now while working towards an immediate firmware update. This is, in fact, what most manufacturers would do. Of course, the consequence of these new OpenSSL bugs could be pretty severe, but delayed products could have even more dire penalties. It also implies that the OnePlus One isn’t far into the production process as one would hope. If they’re still at a stage where Cyanogen can still make changes that would halt production entirely, then the smartphone is far from ready to ship in the first place, perhaps months even. It is impossible to ship the perfect software, but products like this have a window of opportunity to make an impact in the market. For OnePlus, that window, which is probably small enough to begin with, might be closing in fast.