In direction of the top of final yr, we printed an opinion article titled “The Oppo-ification of OnePlus is getting worse.” The piece primarily argued that OnePlus is slowly morphing into Oppo. We identified the exit of co-founder Carl Pei and the discharge of blatant Oppo rebrands as main touchstones.
Now we have now information from OnePlus CEO and co-founder Pete Lau that the corporate is coming into a brand new part, which he termed “OnePlus 2.0.” Nevertheless, I really feel it is a misnomer. From what Lau has advised us to this point, it’s not OnePlus 2.0, however “OppoPlus 1.0.”
See additionally: Everything you need to know about OnePlus
Lau contends Oxygen OS is both going to exist in identify solely or just get replaced by an as-yet-unnamed unified working system that can land on each OnePlus and Oppo telephones. The as soon as particular person engineering and improvement groups at OnePlus and Oppo are actually totally merged. Tellingly, the one groups that haven’t merged are PR, which is able to proceed to work individually on their respective manufacturers.
The writing is on the wall. The Oppo-ification of OnePlus that we referred to as out final yr is now full. It’s the top of an period.
However OnePlus has all the time been Oppo, proper?
These of you studying this who’ve been following OnePlus’ trajectory are seemingly pondering that OnePlus and Oppo have all the time been interchangeable. Regardless of each corporations’ insistence on the contrary, it’s simple to attract straight traces from a OnePlus product to the Oppo product that “impressed” it.
Whereas I readily agree that OnePlus has existed on the again of Oppo for the reason that starting, OnePlus shortly turned its personal factor. Its merchandise had a singular fashion, its software program was very totally different, and its branding and “angle” contrasted closely with Oppo’s. To me, OnePlus was akin to Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of The Joker: he made the position its personal unbelievable factor regardless of the plain inspiration of Heath Ledger’s earlier portrayal of the identical character.
Associated: A history of OnePlus’ entire lineup so far
Now, although, Lau seems to be shifting away from that distinctive identification as shortly as he can. The truth is, he even made a brief documentary about it. Titled “New Journey,” it goes over the relocation of OnePlus workers members to new shared places of work with Oppo staff. It’s as miserable and boring because it sounds. Most tellingly, although, there’s one part the place a OnePlus worker refers back to the early days of the model as “harmful,” and admits that identification is now gone. It doesn’t get way more direct than that.
I’m positive Lau has causes for initiating this big transition. Possibly OnePlus isn’t doing nicely sufficient financially. Possibly he feels shedding the “harmful” points of the corporate will make it extra profitable in the long term. Or, perhaps it’s probably not about OnePlus and as a substitute is a tactical shift to hoist Oppo into markets it could possibly’t contact, reminiscent of the USA.
Regardless of the case, OnePlus and Oppo have all the time been linked, however totally different. That’s not true anymore, although.
The longer term is inevitably sameness
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
As is the norm with OnePlus, there are tons of query marks hanging across the reveal of OnePlus 2.0. We don’t know the identify of the unified OS that can hybridize Oxygen OS and Coloration OS. Frustratingly, we additionally don’t know the total record of which OnePlus/Oppo telephones will get this new working system. We don’t know what would be the figuring out elements of whether or not a brand new system comes with an Oppo brand or a OnePlus brand. So many questions.
As talked about beforehand, we do know the Oppo/OnePlus groups are actually merged (after shedding about 20% of the Oppo team, sadly). Nevertheless, the only giant crew can have breakout groups that head up the creation of latest merchandise. In different phrases, the crew that makes the subsequent Oppo telephone might have a unique set of individuals than the one designing the subsequent OnePlus telephone, despite the fact that all of them come from the identical pool and will even function some crossover. Lau appears very assured that this may result in higher merchandise.
If all of the concepts for 2 separate manufacturers come from one pool of individuals, how a lot individualism can there be?
To me, although, this simply looks as if a recipe for homogeny. It’s not simple for a designer to internally juggle the refined variations between one firm’s product and one other. It’s inevitable that some points of every variant will bleed throughout the traces. Finally, this might result in there being not a lot distinction between an Oppo telephone and a OnePlus telephone — particularly when you think about the software program shall be just about the identical on each!
The underside line right here is that these of you on the market who suppose there was little distinction between OnePlus and Oppo through the years haven’t seen something but. If the Oppo-ification of OnePlus continues unabated, you’ll shortly acknowledge how totally different OnePlus actually was.
Is that this going to be a Home windows 8-style mistake?
From our time speaking with Pete Lau about OnePlus 2.0, it’s clear he thinks that is nice information for followers of the model. He touted numerous positives, reminiscent of higher/sooner R&D, sooner and extra secure software program updates, and an expanded portfolio that’s tailor-made higher to particular areas.
Whereas that every one sounds nice, it doesn’t imply a lot for OnePlus followers if all the identification of the model is sacrificed. It type of jogs my memory of the debacle that was Home windows 8. Microsoft tried to wholly revamp Home windows, making it extra touch-focused and eradicating Home windows staples, such because the Begin button. Folks hated it. They hated it as a result of Home windows has appeared a sure approach since its inception and that’s what folks count on. It’s a part of the model identification.
Microsoft made enormous errors with making an attempt to reformat Home windows. Is OnePlus making those self same errors?
Finally, Home windows 8.1 introduced again a pseudo-Begin button, however even that wasn’t sufficient. Home windows 10 introduced again the unique appear and feel of Home windows and folks beloved it once more. I’m involved Lau is making the identical mistake right here with OnePlus 2.0. He thinks it’s an ascension of the model to a brand new peak, however from the place I’m sitting it appears to be like like a model abandoning the weather that folks actually like about it.
For my part, there isn’t any approach for Lau to positively spin this. OnePlus 2.0 is absolutely simply OppoPlus 1.0 and signifies the top of one in every of my private favourite smartphone manufacturers.