Update: Predictably, the OnePlus site is struggling to stay up under a barrage of traffic just minutes after pre-orders went live.
If you've been waiting patiently to get your hands on the OnePlus One, or even if you haven't been waiting patiently at all, the "flagship killer" is going on sale in a slightly more conventional way later this morning. OnePlus is scheduled to open its pre-order system at 11AM Eastern, 8AM Pacific US time, when customers will actually be able to pay for a phone immediately in the expectation of actually getting it at some point. Amazing.
The insufferable invitation system, where prospective buyers have had to either skulk around the official OnePlus forums, beg for invitations off of friends and acquaintances, or try to get one from the thousands that have been handed out on social media, is the primary complaint against OnePlus and its admittedly solid One phone. The pre-order system allows customers to buy a One in the usual way, though not without a couple of interesting frustrations of its own: your pre-order phone might ship out immediately, or you might have to wait for the next limited batch of OnePlus One devices to be built. There's no way of knowing before you lay your money down.
OnePlus seems to have added a timed element since announcing the pre-order system last week: the site now says that pre-orders will be live today for one hour only, from eleven to noon if you live in the Eastern US time zone. Presumably OnePlus will open up pre-orders in a similarly limited way over and over, not unlike the way that Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi sells its phones directly to consumers. It's a moot point in any case: whatever stock OnePlus has set aside for this initial pre-order blitz is likely to be exhausted long before the hour is up. That's what cheap hardware will do for you.
The OnePlus One will be sold at $299 for the 16GB version or $349 for the 64GB version, which also comes with a fetching textured black back. If you'd like an extra edge in getting in a fast order, OnePlus will let you set up your account and PayPal information earlier.