OnePlus One delayed by customs

Why we still don't have our OnePlus One phone, nearly three weeks after we ordered it. Here's why OnePlus One phone shipments to the UK continue to be delayed.

When news of the OnePlus One phone first hit, it truly looked as though it would be a flagship smartphone killer, with many of the same specs as key rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2, and available at half the price. Except that it wasn't available, and as fresh delays hit OnePlus One shipments, here at PC Advisor we're beginning to wonder whether we'll ever get our OnePlus One phone. Also see: OnePlus One release date, price and specs. 

Update: although we've now been told our OnePlus One phone is on the way, this week we were contacted by the courier - DHL. DHL told us that the import duty on our phone had not been paid, and so in order to have it delivered we need to pay an additional £31. This has added further delay to the process. We have asked OnePlus for an explanation and will update this story when we have it. We placed our order on June 8.

See: OnePlus Two release date rumours: Something's happening on 22 JulyRead more about the possibility of a OnePlus One mini, a OnePlus One tablet, and a OnePlus Two phone.

Indeed, while the OnePlus One has proved pretty much unobtainable for consumers, review samples similarly do not exist. We're eager to update our OnePlus One hands-on review and, although OnePlus offered us an invitation to buy the smartphone, that was weeks ago. Yesterday, we received news that our OnePlus One phone was part of a shipment delayed by customs as it made its way to the warehouse. Also see: Inside the OnePlus One phone - what the specs don't tell you. 

The excuse, according to OnePlus' Michael Truong, is thus: "The issue stems from our vision for the design of the OnePlus One. For the back cover, we wanted the regulatory icons and text to be in harmony with each other and appear be as minimalistic as possible. In order to achieve this, we modified the CE icon to match the other icons. This was deemed unacceptable and our shipment was returned." Also see: 31 best smartphones 2014. 

The CE icon is a mandatory marking for certain products sold within the EEA, and is the manufacturer's declaration that its product conforms to requirements. That OnePlus tampered with the logo does not necessarily mean that its product does not conform, but it has caused yet another unneccessary delay to the OnePlus One phone's delivery. 

OnePlus expects this problem with European customs to add another two weeks to the delivery date, and is offering a complimentary case and screen protector by way of apology. The company is also happy to provide a full refund for those unwilling to wait the extra time. Also see: 30 best Android phones 2014. 

The news will come as a fresh blow to OnePlus One hopefuls, many of whom are already up in arms on the company's forums, threatening to wait no longer than 30 June before buying a different phone. See how the OnePlus One compares to 2014 Android flagships. 

OnePlus has already accepted that its invitation system has been confusing for those who wish to purchase the device, and intends to also set up a pre-order system that will go live in Q3. 

OnePlus One phone: Storm of invites 

OnePlus One Storm of Invites

Meanwhile, OnePlus has unveiled a new promotion on its site for those hoping to secure an invitation to buy the 64GB OnePlus One, and is giving away one device for free. To enter its 'Storm of invites', simply head to OnePlus.net within the next five days and enter using your Facebook login or email address. Unfrotunately, there has already been close to 350,000 entries from consumers all hoping to win one of only 2,500 invites. Supply and demand of the OnePlus One phone therefore seem destined to continue as polar opposites. (Also see: OnePlus One phone Smash the Past: Best Phone Smash videos so far.) 

Sick of waiting for the OnePlus One? Check out the Oppo Find 7, a Quad-HD smartphone with links to OnePlus, and available to pre-order now.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.