Earlier this week, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau finally announced an integration with Oppo, a move that had been rumored since he took over product responsibilities for both companies. Although his initial forum post confirmed the two companies would remain separate entities, a few questions went unanswered. Luckily, we have a confirmation on one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the move.
Although Lau has mostly been silent in the follow-up thread to his original post, he did respond to one question wondering whether either company would move to a new operating system (via 9to5Google). Outside of China, OnePlus devices will continue to use OxygenOS in the future. That's great news for pre-existing owners and anyone interested in picking up a OnePlus 9 or — eventually — a OnePlus 9T if and when that launches this fall.
Whether or not that means OxygenOS starts to look more like ColorOS remains to be seen. AP contributor Max Weinbach installed the Android 12 beta on his OnePlus 9 last month, and as he noticed, it looked more or less identical to ColorOS. Of course, it could just be an early build — and it definitely was, considering it turned phones into bricks — but it's still a sign that the two are growing closer than ever.
OnePlus 9 Pro Android 12 beta is literally ColorOS pic.twitter.com/aQLW7NqaQH
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) May 18, 2021
Redesign or not, consistency in operating systems is probably for the best, especially as OnePlus moves to attract a wider audience of fans. You can't expect the average smartphone buyer in 2021 to walk into an AT&T store, leave with a phone, then replace its OS with an all-new iteration just a few months later. If OnePlus expects Samsung-level name recognition, keeping its software strategy for phones simple and easy to understand is a must.