OnePlus is, if nothing else, impressive for the disproportional amount of attention it receives relative to the number of phones it sells. And that's probably in part because OnePlus does ridiculous things like tease out a new phone for literally months on end to build up hype, and also offers things it sometimes cannot deliver on.
However, the primary reason OnePlus has received consistent attention in the last year? The price of its product. At $300, the One offered $600+ flagship-level specifications at a jaw-dropper of a price, and that phone is now down to just $250 if you want to order it today. Of course, being able to buy the phone for most of 2014 meant participating in an invite system very arguably designed to ride out high component costs by only ordering exactly as many phones as the company knew it could sell - so getting one wasn't exactly easy for a while there.
But basically, the relevant point to this article is that OnePlus priced its phone so low that people simply could not ignore it, despite ongoing touchscreen issues, a messy fallout with the company that did the phone's software, and delayed OS updates. If the OnePlus One had cost $600, none of this would have ever mattered, because no one would have bought it.
And yet, CEO Pete Lau was quoted on the company's official Google+ page today as saying the OnePlus 2 would be "under $450," as well as for the following much more did-he-actually-say-that-yes-he-did statement:
Honestly, it's never been about the price. We simply make the best smartphones we can, and we go from there.
I think we can all agree that this is, at best, woefully inaccurate, and at worst, moderately delusional. Why exactly OnePlus would make such a statement, I really can only speculate, because it makes no sense. Perhaps they're tired of being treated as a "budget" option and want to be seen like a premium brand(TM) with low prices, a la Xiaomi.
The problem is that this is at complete odds with reality, as OnePlus' international popularity essentially rests on the affordability of its phones. So of course they'll do as much as possible to avoid rocking that boat - they're not idiots, they just seemingly feel the need to say absurd things sometimes to make themselves sound legit. Remember, Lau was quoted last year saying the original OnePlus would be "under $500," and instead it turned out to be just $300-350. While this year's quote still suggests to me that the phone will be more expensive than the original One, I'm guessing they've left themselves some wiggle room here and that the phone will shock and surprise you with an unbelievably low price!
So, let's just #settle it now: yes, OnePlus, your phones always have been about the price (the single phone you've built, that is), and they will continue to be primarily about the price so long as OnePlus wants to continue being a relevant topic of discussion in the tech world. At this point, everyone's pretty much fed up with the lame-ass marketing, and the only real card left in your hand is value - play it wisely.