One of the longest living jokes in the smartphone industry is that whenever Oppo launches a new phone, OnePlus will release something very similar a few months later. But now the two companies, together with Realme, are making this kind of collaboration official by merging parts of their research and development.
In a statement given to Android authority, a spokesperson for OnePlus said “To better maximize resources and further position OnePlus for growth, we are in the process of further integrating some R&D opportunities into OPLUS, our long-term investor. OnePlus will continue to operate independently and strive to deliver the best possible user experience for existing and future OnePlus users. ”
For people in the West who may not be very familiar with OPlus, OPlus is a holding company that oversees OnePlus, Oppo, and Realme and is led in part by OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau, who joined OPlus last autumn as senior vice president to help promote synergy between the three phone brands.
While Oppo, OnePlus, Realme are expected to maintain a certain level of independence across the three companies, this statement confirms anything but that future devices from members of OPlus will have a wider range of shared features and designs, which is a trend that has been growing for quite some time with recent phones like the OnePlus’ Nord N100 which has almost identical specifications as the Oppos A53s.
You should still expect the brands to maintain certain differences like Android leather, with OnePlus likely to keep its Oxygen OS skin for Android, while Oppo continues to develop its own ColorOS.
That said, the biggest effect of this development may be for things like camera performance and image processing, where a wider range of resources and investments can help OPlus members keep up with tech giants like Apple, Google and Samsung. ONEafter reviewing the OnePlus 8T last fall, I found myself noticing that while the device itself was a good value and a decent phone, I still felt OnePlus still needed to level up if it wanted to be relevant in an increasingly competitive market.
And with OnePlus advancing in operator stores in the US (where the vast majority of people in the US buy their phones), it makes some sense for OPlus to continue to push OnePlus as a phone brand aimed more at the western market .
But maybe an ever bigger one takeaway from all this is that OnePlus for a long time, while OnePlus may have started making handsets designed to satisfy hardcore smartphone enthusiasts, the days of OnePlus resembling something like the lucky phone launch we knew back in 2013 are gone.