OnePlus and OPPO have had an interesting relationship. While OnePlus is wholly-owned by OPPO, the company has always maintained its distance, at least publicly. Well, now the two companies have gone public about their relationship after penning a deal that will see the two R&D teams merging.
In a statement given to Android Authority OnePlus stated the reasoning behind the new agreement:
To better maximize resources and further position OnePlus for growth, we are in the process of further integrating some R&D capabilities within OPLUS, our long-term investor. OnePlus will continue operating independently and working to deliver the best possible user experience for existing and future OnePlus users.
The new agreement doesn’t really strike anyone as surprising. The two companies tend to make awfully similar-looking smartphones, even if OnePlus always denied that it shared any design references when questioned about its hardware and whether or not it recycles designs from its parent company. According to OnePlus, the two shared a supply chain but that was it.
The deal between OnePlus and OPPO could now give the “flagship killer” full-range to copy/paste designs from OPPO, and vice versa, and not be questioned about it. This may leave some questions about the respective companies’ wearable hardware, such as the long-rumored OnePlus Watch and how it will relate to the OPPO Watch we reviewed last year. According to the report, the R&D agreement will not extend to software meaning that Oxygen OS and Color OS will remain separate.
While OnePlus makes some of the best cheap Android phones on the market, particularly with the recent OnePlus Nord N launch in the US, Realme is another related brand that also makes value smartphones and could also benefit from the merging of the R&D teams. All three brands are overseen by the OPLUS investor group.
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