OnePlus’ new marriage to Oppo can only mean way better products

OnePlus and Oppo are joining even closer together at the hip. But I don’t think this means the end for OnePlus — the company’s products can only benefit from Oppo’s innovations.

Some big news that may or may not upset diehard OnePlus fans: the brand will “further integrate” with sibling brand Oppo.

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau made the “new journey” announcement on the OnePlus forums spinning the closer collaboration with Oppo as a way to “have more resources at hand to create even better products” as well as “be more efficient” when it comes to bringing software updates to OnePlus products.

To longtime phone nerds, this news isn’t surprising. Lau took on the role of senior vice president of OPlus last year to oversee product development at both OnePlus and Oppo. The merging of their resources was inevitable given how closely OnePlus and Oppo phones resemble each other and the fact that OnePlus switched from OxygenOS to Oppo’s ColorOS for phones sold in China.

The end for OnePlus? — Not quite. Despite losing co-founder Carl Pei, who’s now building his own startup, Nothing, the OnePlus brand remains strong. The company continues to release strong flagship phones like the OnePlus 9 Pro and has broadened its portfolio to more budget devices with the Nord series. Additionally, OnePlus is building out its ecosystem with devices like the OnePlus Watch and OnePlus TV (India only for now).

Lau is adamant that OnePlus will “continue to operate independently.” Of course, we hear that all the time. This new integration can only mean some changes on the horizon for OnePlus hardware and software. Whether those are good or bad changes... we don’t know. But expect changes. Always expect changes when mergers like this happen, even if they’re more inward-facing.

I’m going into this with an optimistic view. Oppo’s innovations like its 125W fast charging or 65W wireless charging and in-display selfie cameras can only mean they eventually appear in OnePlus phones sooner, too.

From Lau’s forum post:

As many of you know, last year I took on some additional responsibilities to oversee product strategy for both OnePlus and OPPO. Since then, we have integrated a number of our teams together with OPPO to better streamline our operations and capitalize on additional shared resources. After seeing positive impact from those changes, we’ve decided to further integrate our organization with OPPO.
I’m confident that this change will be positive for our community and our users. With this deeper integration with OPPO, we will have more resources at hand to create even better products for you. It will also allow us to be more efficient, for example, bringing faster and more stable software updates for OnePlus users.

Pay attention — I’m rooting for the integration to yield changes that will restore some faith in the OnePlus brand. As the company has grown, the number of complaints about product quality, customer service, and commitment to timely software updates has skyrocketed. Just go look at the r/OnePlus subreddit if you don’t believe me.

Users are upset that OnePlus is no longer listening to feedback the way it used to in the early days when it was an unknown brand. With Oppo’s resources at its disposal, OnePlus just plugged up its own excuses.