Former Oppo VP forms OnePlus, a brand new smartphone company

by: Andrew GrushDecember 17, 2013


Last month we first caught wind of a rumor that Cyanogenmod was working with an unspecified hardware partner to create a a handset that would run CM out of the box at extremely aggressive price points. Less than a week after the rumor sprung up, we learned that Oppo vice president Pete Lau had resigned and a new report suggested his departure had something to do with creating a new Cyanogenmod-related phone brand.

OnePlus' vision is to create the best smartphone experience possible, sparing no expense to do it.

As it turns out, at least some of these rumors were true. Lau is in fact launching a new company by the name of OnePlus. We also know the company’s handsets will run some form of Android, though it’s still unclear how strong of a role Cyanogenmod will play.

“Getting to know Steve, I feel we share the same philosophy – we both just want to create the best product, no matter what,” says Lau. “I believe that there are more opportunities for us to work together in the future.” Pete Lau’s comments suggest there is a partnership in the works, but it’s hard to say whether or not Cyanogenmod will be the default OS or merely a potential option.

So what makes OnePlus different from Oppo, besides a somewhat odd name choice? According to Lau, the vision here is to create the best smartphone experience possible, sparing no expense to do it.

[quote qtext=”Looking at the smartphone market right now, I see a lot of wannabes but few truly outstanding products fit for the demanding consumer. That’s what I want to address with OnePlus.” qperson=”Pete Lau” qsource=”OnePlus Founder” qposition=”center”]

It’s unclear how exactly OnePlus plans to create the perfect smartphone without totally breaking the bank, but the company’s positive attitude and “never settle” slogan certainly have our attention. We do know that OnePlus plans to save at least a little money by cutting out retail stores and selling directly online in a manner similar to the Nexus series.

OnePlus hopes to have its first smartphone flagship released sometime in the first half of next year. The company also suggests it will eventually consider other efforts including mobile accessories and wearable devices.OnePlus is still in its infancy however, so it’s best not to get any hopes up too high just yet.

Of course we’ve seen quite a few forward-thinking smaller companies including Oppo and Jolla that manage to create stunning products at somewhat reasonable price points — so anything is possible. What do you think, could OnePlus be a game-changer or just another tiny smartphone startup that won’t make too much of a difference in the long-run?

  • Bone

    That’s… a weirdly attractive name for an Android smartphone…

    • TRf

      And before that there’s O+ (a US smartphone manufacturer) that is widely known for the gimmick of “air shuffle” (read: swiping without contact).

      I hope that the first OnePlus smartphones will run on KitKat.

  • Paul Taylor

    I wouldn’t say OnePlus is a “somewhat odd” name choice… not alongside “Oppo” and “Jolla” anyhow!

    • MasterMuffin

      Jolla is Finnish and the name is Finnish, just like Nokia. Problem? :)

      • Paul Taylor

        And the choice of a name based on English words is odd? :)

        • MasterMuffin


    • Shark Bait

      It sounds like a HTC phone from the old days to me !

  • Groud Frank

    I am a phablet kinda guy so give me something with at least 5.6 inches, super battery life, good internals and most importantly, timely updates and you’ll have my money.

    • NeedName

      ditto. . . would love to see a cyanogenmod phablet however, CM has already stated that their device will NOT be a phablet :(

  • ezio233

    one more entry in the android bandwagon.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      how many can the wagon carry is the question.

  • Shark Bait

    Another insignificant Chinese brand ?

    • Frank

      The only insignificant one is your inbred thinking if you think the words ”Insignificant” and ”Chinese” go together in the 21st century. Ignorant idiot, Chinese brands are the fastest growing OEMS in the phone industry along with India’s Micromax, you’d have to be pretty ignorant (which you are by the way) to not take the rise of the two emerging Asian superpowers seriously when aside from Apple, all other western phone OEMs are pretty much going the way of the dodo.

      • Shark Bait

        dont call ignorant idiot, i was trying to provoke a response, see that curvy thing at the end, yeah? its called a question mark…..
        any way it looks like I did.

        I know not all Chinese brands are insignificant, some sell lots and lots of phones but only domestically. In Europe they have made no impact, levovo are the only ones to gain some traction, but that is mainly laptops. My point being their are many many Chinese brands popping up, who are making little impact internationally and will this one be any different? especially being behind already

        • Mike Reid

          Yes, IMO you are correct. They sell DOMESTICALLY.

          Oppo is one of those brands who seem to sponsor articles on many news sites. That I think is why they are written about so often.

          I’ve never seen an Oppo in person, almost never seen one for sale by a major “western” carrier/retailer, and I don’t think I’ve even seen any in the stats for my apps. There’s a few sections for Oppo recently on XDA forum, but that’s very new and may be due to their work with CM corp.

          The Asian markets are very different than in the Americas and Europe. Asian markets are full of Mediatek based devices, while virtually none are sold outside of Asia.

          • Shark Bait

            Exacly the market is very different yes, and I think quality requirements of each are very different.
            Here in the UK Chinese brands are viewed as lower quality, and generally have a lower status, something I don’t see changing.
            I too have never seen any Chinese brand in shops or out and about, the demand just isn’t there. I think newcomers will struggle out side of China

          • RanRu

            Do Huawei and ZTE (and Alcatel, sort of) have no presence in Europe? They’re readily available here in the US.

          • Shark Bait

            Not in the UK. I have owned one of both but they where network phones, huawei AMS zte were no where to be seen!

      • Mike Reid

        Which Western Phone OEMs are going dodo ?

        And who is Western and who is Non-Western ? Almost all the phones are made in Asia, so I’d guess you are talking of location of headquarters, and usually design and/or engineering.