OnePlus says no 9T this year, 2022 flagship will run merged Oppo OS

2021’s OnePlus 9.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has confirmed that the company doesn’t plan to release its traditional T-series device in the second half of this year. He also announced that next year’s OnePlus flagship phone would run on a newly unified operating system, following the company’s integration with fellow BBK Electronics subsidiary Oppo. OnePlus announced it would be merging the codebases of its Android-based OxygenOS operating system with Oppo’s ColorOS in July.

This means we’re unlikely to see a OnePlus 9T following up this year’s OnePlus 9. Despite the similar names, the company’s T-series phones have offered significant upgrades over its flagships from earlier in the year. For example, the 8T had around double the charging speeds of the 8, while the 7T bumped the original 7 display to a higher 90Hz refresh rate.

“This year we will not be launching a T-series product,” Lau said via a translator in a roundtable interview with The Verge and other journalists. This will be the first year without a T-series device since OnePlus adopted the release schedule with the OnePlus 3T in 2016. Since then, like clockwork, OnePlus has released a new T-series phone in the latter half of each year, culminating in last year’s OnePlus 8T.

In what is effectively a merger between OnePlus and Oppo, the two companies will be unifying the underlying codebases of OxygenOS and Oppo’s ColorOS. The two Android-based operating systems will continue to have their own branding and unique features, Lau said, but the code underpinning them will be the same, and they’ll be developed by a unified team. The way OnePlus describes it, the approach will result in an operating system that’s “fast and smooth” and “clean and lightweight” like OxygenOS, while also being “reliable” and “smart and feature-rich” like ColorOS.

Lau said the codebase integration of the two operating systems was completed in June, and that it’s already helping to allow for more frequent software updates. But we’ll have to wait until next year to see the first OnePlus flagship launch with the newly integrated operating system. It won’t just be new OnePlus phones getting the new OS — it will also come to OnePlus’s older devices is they’re still scheduled to receive support. These support periods include three major updates for flagship phones, two for most Nord devices, and one for Nord N phones. Last week, Oppo announced that the OnePlus 9 series will receive a beta of the new software in October, followed by the OnePlus 8 series in December.

OnePlus tells The Verge that integrating its operations with Oppo was necessary to make it more efficient, and would streamline its R&D resources “to support more products and work more efficiently.” As well as integrating the two company’s operating systems, OnePlus also said it would be integrating its Warp Charge fast charging standard with Oppo’s SuperVOOC.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Oppo’s merger with OnePlus is creating redundancies, including within its ColorOS development unit, as the two BBK subsidiaries pool resources. As many as 20 percent of staff across some software and device teams are reportedly being cut, according to the report. The cuts are reportedly the result of Oppo expanding too rapidly in recent years, moving aggressively into new countries and product categories with big bets that haven’t payed off.

During our briefing, however, which took place prior to the publication of Bloomberg’s report, OnePlus’s Lau played down the possibility of merger-related layoffs. “[Redundancies haven’t] been something that’s come up during the merger,” Lau said via a translator, “We have a focus on bringing together the OnePlus and Oppo teams to be able to bring together the strengths of both sides into the merged entity.”

Comments

OnePlus is going to stop pretending that it’s not just another series of Oppo phones from this year. Oxygen OS is going to be a skin over Color OS which is a skin over android.

Which may not be a bad thing in the end. If the phones have reliable software and if this allows them to support them better then great.

2022 flagship will run merged Oppo OS

That is going to be nail in the coffin for me. Oxygen OS was the main reason I was getting OnePlus phones in the first place. They also messed up storage option offerings this year. Only 128GB option for OnePlus 9? No thanks.

The whole point of OnePlus for me was it was basically stock android but with some nice features on top. I dunno anything about Oxygen OS but this has me worried….. guess it’s pixels for me from here out after all.

By "more frequent software updates" I hope they mean they will release updates monthly instead of every two months.

Choosing an Android phone isn’t the same as it used to be. And I wish I could buy an Android phone and get the same support (updates, customer, repairs) that Apple offers.

Each vendor seems to have so many issues these days.

One plus – people question its support model (customer and updates). Plus it’s a Chinese company so potentially at risk of US / China fallout. 9 pro was caught throttling apps – trust issue? Camera doesn’t compete with iPhones and Pixels even at the high end.

Samsung … ads in their software (WTF!) although they are stopping that practice soon and a relatively poor update support window compared to others. Inconsistent UI.

Pixels … lack of availability of the 5a in non US/Japan regions , no high end offering yet until P6 arrives.

LG – dead now

Xaomi – amazing hardware , questionable software , non Asia availability, Chinese risk point. Can’t comment on support model as not familiar.

Oppo/Vivo – not familiar with really in the UK.

Motorola – appalling support model in practice even if the phones are ok for budget offerings.

Nokia – probably fine but unremarkable mid rangers. Probably not the best cameras but doesn’t try to compete with the higher end flagships.

glad I’m not the only one feeling that way.
I’d wait for the new Pixels but..
1. the regular 6 has inferior specs (90Hz display in particular) compared to the Pro
2. even the regular 6 is still too big for my taste (after 2 years with a 7T Pro I’m really yearning for a smaller flagship)
3. I really don’t like their design

so I guess this time around I’ll probably give the iPhone a shot (iOS seems a lot better than the last time I considered switching).

Basically agree, but I go with Samsung as I receive monthly updates even for 3 years old devices where I live. All clear choice for me

I will suggest that your criticism of Samsung for a poor support window, if I understand you correctly, is not correct. On their upper and mid level phones they promise 4 years total, three platform and a security. You may wish for more (me too) but right now until something changes that’s as good as it gets. Yes they lag a couple of months behind google on the major version updates but that has gotten less meaningful year after year.

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