OnePlus Entering TV Biz

China’s smartphone upstart planning first smart TV
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OnePlus

Chinese manufacturer OnePlus is planing to add TVs to its roster of mobile phones and accessories.

The four-year-old business, a unit of BBK Electronics, is a favorite of tech enthusiasts for its fully featured but aggressively priced handsets, and has developed a global fan base thanks to the savvy social marketing and personal appeal of co-founder and company director Carl Pei.

But for its next act, Pei’s partner, CEO Pete Lau, will start up a new smart TV division, leveraging his video chops as a former VP and Blu-ray division director at sister company Oppo.

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau

Lau was short on details in his TV announcement, except for his intention to follow the OnePlus playbook and “improve the human experience” by infusing high-quality, minimalist hardware with the latest in technology to make things seamless for the end user.

“As other consumer electronics have evolved and improved our lives, televisions have remained conventional and cumbersome,” he said in a statement. “Something that seems as simple as displaying the photos from your mobile phone to a television is still difficult to achieve. With the development of AI technology, our imagination is endless — and we are looking forward to the future.”

Keeping the company’s close connection with its customers, Lau said he will welcome feedback and suggestions from the community on what should be included in the debut display. Presumably he has also studied the playbook, and will avoid the pitfalls, of ill-fated TV maker LeEco, which similarly began with a well-received smartphone and an interface to link them.

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