Back to its roots: OnePlus merges further into OPPO
In September last year, OnePlus’ CEO Pete Lau took on an additional role as SVP of OPLUS — an investment firm that oversees OnePlus, OPPO, and Realme. Soon thereafter, the company confirmed that it was in the process of “further integrating some R&D capabilities within OPLUS,” suggesting that OnePlus and OPPO had merged their R&D teams. Although OnePlus’ statement didn’t outright confirm that the two companies had merged their R&D teams at the time, Lau has now shared a statement suggesting that the integration goes even further.
In a recent post on the OnePlus Community forums, Lau wrote: “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.”
The statement not only confirms that OPPO and OnePlus now share the same R&D team, but it also reveals that they have more in common. While the statement doesn’t go into specifics about the shared teams, it suggests that both brands will continue to operate independently. Lau also claims that the integration will help OnePlus improve its software update situation, thanks to the additional resources. If that’s the case, you can expect to see faster and more stable software updates from OnePlus going forward.
While OnePlus is just coming around to confirming that it has integrated several teams with OPPO, most of you may already be aware that the two companies share a lot of infrastructure. Over the last few years, the brands have launched several nearly identical devices (e.g., the OnePlus 8 Pro and OPPO Find X2 Pro), with the software being the only major differentiating factor. Now that the company has confirmed the integration, we expect to see more such devices in the future.
Update 1: OxygenOS will remain the OS for global markets
We reached out to OnePlus to ask them if today’s announcement is a reversal of the statement they sent us back in March. In March, we learned that OnePlus phones sold in China — starting with the OnePlus 9 series — will run OPPO’s ColorOS software instead of HydrogenOS (the Chinese version of OxygenOS). At the time, the company told us that its phones sold outside of China will continue to run OxygenOS. Here’s the statement they shared with as:
“We don’t have any updates about HydrogenOS to share at the moment, but we can confirm that OxygenOS remains our operating system for all global devices.” – OnePlus spokesperson
In an email, a spokesperson confirmed that OxygenOS will remain the OS for global markets. However, there’s still the possibility that OxygenOS becomes another skin on top of ColorOS (like Realme’s Realme UI software) rather than the wholly independent OS that it currently is. We’ll likely find out for sure once OxygenOS 12 based on Android 12 matures.