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OnePlus could take the POCO approach, make Nord an independent brand

A more independent Nord would apparently offer an affordable flagship and a new UI atop Oxygen OS.

Published onJuly 5, 2022

OnePlus Nord 2 placed next to OnePlus Nord
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • OnePlus is purportedly thinking about making Nord a sub-brand or independent company.
  • It’s believed that Nord would have a bigger offline presence and offer more ecosystem products as a result.
  • New Nord phones would apparently offer a new UI atop Oxygen OS.

OnePlus launched the Nord brand back in 2020 with the titular OnePlus Nord mid-range phone. We’ve since seen the Nord brand flood the market with a variety of low-end and mid-range propositions, but a new report suggests OnePlus has another idea in mind for the brand.

The Mobile Indian reports that OnePlus is thinking about spinning off Nord as an independent brand or a sub-brand, citing its own industry sources. This could be a similar arrangement as we see with Xiaomi and POCO, or vivo and Iqoo.

The outlet further claims that Nord would be treated as a separate brand with its own branding, stores, and team. In fact, the spun-off brand would apparently have light blue as its trademark color and could be presented as “a OnePlus brand” or “from OnePlus” in some cases.

A budget Nord flagship, new UI in the works?

What would a Nord sub-brand or independent company mean from a consumer perspective, then? Well, The Mobile Indian claims that it’ll have a significant offline presence and will expand its product portfolio to include TVs, fitness trackers, smartwatches, Bluetooth neckbands, power banks, and more.

The outlet further claims that Nord phones would also expand to slightly higher and lower price segments, specifically asserting that a “budget flagship” Nord would be available for roughly Rs 35,000 (~$441). It adds that an affordable Nord coming in at roughly Rs 15,000 (~$189) is also in the works. It’s also claimed that new Nord phones would gain a new user interface atop Oxygen OS.

Should Nord become its own brand?

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This all sounds like a very familiar strategy, as we’ve most recently seen Xiaomi set up POCO as an independent brand. POCO still uses Xiaomi designs for some of its phones but adds the POCO Launcher atop MIUI and occasionally tweaks the design. The Xiaomi-affiliated brand has also recently moved into the ecosystem product space, offering a smartwatch and earbuds.

We’ve asked OnePlus for comment on the story and will update the article when/if it gets back to us. For now, you should take this claim with a pinch of salt as the outlet isn’t a regular source of major exclusives. Still, it would be rather interesting to see OnePlus — which is effectively an OPPO brand these days — creating a sub-brand of its own. Would this make Nord an OPPO sub-sub-brand?

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