Last month, just as Chinese smartphone-maker Oppo was bringing its highly anticipated N1 handset to market, vice president Peter Lau quietly resigned. At the time he gave little explanation for his decision, and our only clue was a photo shared on Google+ of Lau meeting with CyanogenMod creator Steve Kondik. Now the former Oppo exec has unveiled his next project, a new smartphone company called OnePlus with a commitment to creating the perfect device at an accessible price and the slogan “Never Settle.”
Besides a brief mission statement and an open forum where consumers have been asked to describe their ideal smartphone, OnePlus doesn’t reveal much about its plans for the future. In an email to The Verge, Lau goes into a few more specifics, explaining how he plans to sell another high-end smartphone in an already-cluttered market.
“The Nexus line has taught consumers that it’s possible to purchase phones online,” he wrote, suggesting that OnePlus could follow Google’s example, bypassing individual carriers to sell an unlocked device directly to its consumers. Lau says the company’s first smartphone will launch in the first half of 2014, and hints that wearable devices and accessories are also a possibility in the future.
Whether the first OnePlus device will come with Cyanogen software pre-installed is unclear, though for now Lau would only confirm that the device runs some version of Android. It seems clear that Peter Lau and Steve Kondik intend to work together again in the future, but whether that collaboration shows up in the company’s first device is still a mystery.