OnePlus to merge with Oppo in a move that comes as little surprise
OnePlus has been a darling of the Android enthusiast community for many years by offering ‘flagship killer’ devices at prices that undercut premium competitors like Samsung. However, that image has worn off somewhat in the past couple of years as the company’s flagship products have become less sharply priced. Fans had also noticed an increasingly uncomfortable partnership with Oppo that has seen OnePlus-branded smartphones released in China with Oppo’s ColorOS.
Now, after initially merging their Research and Development teams five months ago, OnePlus CEO Pete Chau has issued a blog post titled ‘A New Journey for OnePlus’ which he says is ‘at a turning point’. According to Chau, OnePlus has decided to ‘further integrate our organization with Oppo’. At the same time, Chau promises that OnePlus ‘brand will continue to operate independently’ but it is clear that while the companies might release uniquely designed and separately branded products, this is a merger for all intents and purposes.
Both OnePlus and Oppo are owned by BBK Electronics, a Chinese tech giant which also owns Realme, Vivo and iQOO. As OnePlus and Oppo both compete in effectively the same markets and are owned by the same parent company, it made little sense for them to double up on resources. Although it makes good economic sense, it does seem that OnePlus will inevitably lose a large chunk of its identity in the process even if its brand name is to live on. Chau believes the merger will result in better products, but only time will tell if this is indeed the case.