The OnePlus One has had a bit of an odd start in life. The company succeeded in getting a huge chunk of the tech community excited about its stylish design, flagship-class specs and exceptional price. But then it managed to frustrate just about everyone with its ‘invite system’, requiring those who wanted to purchase the device to jump through hoops and participate in contests and social media activities in the hopes of being able to buy one.
A lucky few managed to defy the odds to place their orders, which finally began shipping earlier this month. But those in Europe who are awaiting delivery now face a delay, after the company made a design error that resulted in its entire EU shipment being barred from sale.
As Android World reports, the company told one of its customers in an email that “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 [sic] 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.”
The icon to which the company is referring is the CE mark, a regulatory conformity symbol required for various products sold in the European Economic Area, and is Europe’s equivalent of the FCC conformity mark found on devices sold in the United States. The purpose of the mark is to indicate that a product complies with European safety, health and environmental requirements, and it is therefore important that the symbol be presented accurately.
The European Commission's guidance on this is unambiguous: "The CE conformity marking must consist of the initials 'CE' taking the following form [see image above]. If the CE conformity marking is reduced or enlarged the proportions given in the above graduated drawing must be respected."
Evidently, the OnePlus design teams believed that they were nonetheless free to modify this conformity mark, perhaps pursuing the same effect as Apple achieved with its consistent application of regulatory markings on its iPhones (below). OnePlus described the issue over its non-compliance with the regulations and subsequent delay as “unforeseen”.
Nonetheless, the company is making amends for its mistake, which has resulted in a delay of two weeks for those customers affected. As a “token of good faith”, OnePlus will be giving those customers “a complimentary cover and screen protector (when they become available next month)."
The email added: “We sincerely apologize on behalf of the entire OnePlus Team for causing you such inconvenience, and hope you forgive us for making such mistakes in the course of our growth.”