When a new manufacturer enters the ring there are always questions about where they came from. Where did the capital to start the company start, who's investing in the company, and who's driving the ideals of the company for the consumers? OnePlus is a brand new company started to bring about one ideal for consumers: "Never Settle." It's the campaign they've begun since teasing their first phone, the OnePlus One, and it's one they are trying to prove with that phone. If you've been following tech news since the OnePlus One was announced last week though you'll know that everything isn't so rosy for the fledgling Chinese manufacturer. First off they touted that the phone would be smaller than many other flagship phones all while retaining a 5.5-inch screen. This turned out to be untrue, and it's basically the same size as the Galaxy Note 3. While that's likely not a big deal for some it may be for others. Next up is the striking similarities the phone shares with another Chinese manufacturer, Oppo, and it's Find 7 lineup of phones. Holding the two side by side reveal some incredibly similar characteristics and it leads one to wonder how much Oppo and OnePlus might share in general. We found out just yesterday that OnePlus may actually be a wholly owned subsidiary of Oppo, and now Oppo has chosen to respond to these allegations:
"We understand the confusion as many people are just finding out about OnePlus. But as we've said from the beginning, OnePlus is a separately run company that does share common investors with OPPO.
One of those investors is OPPO Electronic. OPPO Electronic is an investment company and is not the same as OPPO Mobile. OnePlus is also in talks with other investors."
So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. Oppo Electronic, who is affiliated with Oppo Mobile, also owns stake in OnePlus, so in a way they are sister companies of a single investor. In the end how much do the two companies really have to do with eachother? Honestly I'm not even sure why it matters, as in the end OnePlus is here to realize the vision of "Never Settle" in a way that we haven't quite seen in the tech industry yet. Google delivered a top-tier phone two years in a row with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, all while keeping the price super low. The OnePlus One does that without any obvious compromise, so for $299 you can get a 16GB phone that has all the same specs as the $600 and $700 phones out there. $50 more will net you a 64GB phone with the same specs, putting this in a value range all its own.
So while it's intriguing to follow the money and see where OnePlus's funds originated, in the end it seems like it might actually create some incredibly positive change in the mobile industry if OnePlus can get the One into the hands of millions of people over the course of the rest of the year. Who knows, maybe that 300% markup we've seen from the likes of Samsung and other mobile giants will be significantly reduced this time next year, and the real price and spec war will begin.