OnePlus intends to release its OnePlus 10 Pro flagship phone in North America in March, CEO Pete Lau said in a roundtable last week.
While now an “independent sub-brand of Oppo” decided on a China-first rollout for the 10 Pro in January, that shouldn’t be seen as a step back from the US or global markets, according to Lau.
“There is no such thing as withdrawing troops from North America or withdrawing from North America,” Lau said. “Our focus for North America remains as strong as ever and we will only continue to grow… We are going to deepen our partnerships with existing carriers and expand existing carrier relationships. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of global users, and this will continue to be the core aspiration of our brand.”
According to studies by Wave7 Research, the company is actually leading the way in the US on the back of its midrange Nord phone line, which has seen double-digit market share in MetroPCS from time to time.
Lau said OnePlus shipped 11 million phones in 2021, and 10 million Nords in two years — according to Statista, the company shipped a total of 2.5 million phones in 2016.
But OnePlus has seen major non-China-based decision makers depart over the past two years, leading some fans to believe it has lost a certain global vibe (see such count on my tweet below). .
One of the most notable departures was OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, who left to debut in 2020 earbud company nothing, Chief Marketing Officer Kyle Qiang, an American who had been with the company since 2015, departed in March 2021. Lau says he is not upset.
According to Lau, “The departure of an employee is a normal process for the company, so the departure of a person does not affect the company.”
We haven’t tested the OnePlus 10 Pro, but here’s a review of the Chinese model on GizmoChina.
Balancing China with other markets
Lau said that OnePlus now considers China as one of its key markets, and the Chinese market has different demands than others. “In the past, we did not invest much in the Chinese market, but now we have fully seen the importance of the Chinese market,” he said.
As other Chinese competitors released products in China in January, OnePlus realized it needed to roll out the 10 Pro to keep up – even though the international versions weren’t ready yet. Lau blamed the “long software development process” and “carrier approvals” required for phones outside China for the delay.
It looks like at least some future product surprises will still be spoiled by the initial release in China.
“In the future, we will think about how we can better address this issue, how can we reduce the gap between launches in China and launches in overseas regions,” Lau said.
OxygenOS, not ColorOS
Software head Gary Chen said that OnePlus will not adopt Oppo’s ColorOS interface. While the company has expressed over the past year that it wants to merge the codebase between OnePlus’ OxygenOS and Oppo’s ColorOS, they have very different UI philosophies. OxygenOS is minimalistic and Google-focused, while ColorOS is loaded with duplicate apps and a staggering amount of bloatware.
Last September, Chen mentioned an “integrated operating system”, which made it seem like the same experience was coming to both Oppo and OnePlus phones. Now, he wants to clarify that this is not happening, at least from the UI level.
“We understand that users of OxygenOS and ColorOS want each OS to be isolated from each other,” Chen said. OxygenOS “offers users a lightweight experience that is close to stock Android,” he said.
According to Android Central, the rollout of Android 12-based OxygenOS 12 had to be rolled back in December because of a minor glitch. OnePlus is fixing “key issues affecting the user experience” and rolling back a fixed version even as it starts work on OxygenOS 13, according to Chen.
“With OxygenOS 13, we want to deliver an experience that longtime OnePlus users will be more familiar with… The Google team, including the Android team, will also co-create with OnePlus in the coming months to ensure that OxygenOS 13 meets our requirements. standards,” he said.
What about foldables?
OnePlus hasn’t confirmed if it’s working on any foldable phone, but Oppo has one, the Find N. Responding to a question about collaborating with Google, Lau and product strategy chief Chris Shu specifically mentioned that their team is working on software for the foldable.
“We have co-worked in terms of features for the foldable … We aim to have a more in-depth collaboration in terms of software features. In the future you will really see the results of products from Oppo and OnePlus.” Lau said.
“OnePlus is going to expand its product categories globally,” Lau said at another point, “specifically which product category to enter, all I can say is, stay tuned.”