OnePlus and Oppo are making it official. After collaborating closely for some time, they're merging, with OnePlus becoming an Oppo sub-brand. The brands are both owned by BBK Electronics, so the move appears to be mainly about pooling more resources and formalizing their working relationship.
OnePlus co-founders Pete Lau and Carl Pei previously worked together at Oppo. Lau, who is CEO of OnePlus, took on a second role as Oppo's chief product officer in May 2020. "Since then, we have integrated a number of our teams together with Oppo to better streamline our operations and capitalize on additional shared resources," Lau wrote in a forum post. "After seeing positive impact from those changes, we’ve decided to further integrate our organization with Oppo."
The move will give OnePlus additional resources to develop better products, according to Lau. "It will also allow us to be more efficient, for example, bringing faster and more stable software updates for OnePlus users," he wrote.
Although OnePlus is now under Oppo's umbrella, Lau said it will remain independently operated. OnePlus will still have its own products and events, and it will keep engaging with customers directly.
OnePlus released its first smartwatch, OnePlus Watch, earlier this year to poor reviews and it promised a number of updates to improve the device. Having more resources to perhaps roll out those updates faster may come as welcome news for many OnePlus Watch owners. This week, the brand announced details about its cheapest 5G phone to date, the $240 OnePlus Nord N200, which goes on sale later this month.