Seems like OnePlus really can’t catch a break. The company has just announced that its interesting StyleSwap covers, which was a genuinely interesting concept of changing not just the colour of the back cover but also the texture, has been scrapped. This action was due to a combination of factors, including production yield issues as well as the OnePlus One smartphone’s design itself.
If you recall earlier this year, one of the most interesting ideas that OnePlus came up with alongside the “2014 flagship killer” smartphone was the StyleSwap covers. Featuring a variety of very intriguing back covers that added texture to a smartphone’s back, it was actually an exciting bit of innovation from the small Chinese startups. In addition to the soft-touch Silk White and lovely Sandstone Black colours as default, there was the promise of covers including Kevlar, Denim and more recently Bamboo.
Unfortunately, these covers may never come to light. OnePlus has stopped production of the StyleSwap covers after the company realised several things. First off, the production yield of these covers were simply not enough, and most of the covers produced were not of an acceptable quality.
On the other hand, OnePlus also realised that frequently switching covers on the One smartphone could potentially harm the device itself. The “tricky” removal process of the back cover made it possible for the covers to become creaky or loose over time, or in a worst-case scenario, even damaging the exposed battery.
However, the company does have a small number of the Bamboo StyleSwap covers which made it past the production lines and passed QC tests. These covers will be sold alongside “explicit instructions” on how to exchange the covers without damaging both the cover and smartphone. On top of that, OnePlus is also looking to introduce the Kevlar and Denim StyleSwap covers as default covers as a limited edition run in the near future.
It was a difficult learning process, but it is one that the startup promises will not happen with the OnePlus 2 (apparently that’s what the new OnePlus smartphone will be called). The design issues from the original smartphone has been identified, and the company is aiming to finally introduce StyleSwap covers that will be painless to switch.