OnePlus opens its first global R&D facility in Hyderabad

What you need to know

  • OnePlus has kicked off its first R&D facility in India in the city of Hyderabad.
  • OnePlus sees the center turning into its largest R&D facility globally over the course of three years.
  • The center will work on tailoring software for the Indian market, and feature a camera lab, work on 5G, AI, and IoT.
  • OnePlus' global flagship store is also heading to the city in Q4 2019.

It's not often that I get to write about my home town, and today's news is particularly interesting. OnePlus has kicked off its first global R&D facility in Hyderabad, India, and the company has ambitious plans for the center. OnePlus is investing over $140 million over the course of the next three years, leading to 1,500 jobs.

The goal is to turn the new facility into the largest R&D facility globally for OnePlus. It's obvious why OnePlus is building the center in India: the country is its largest market by some margin — accounting for nearly 40% of all global sales — and the company is now leading the pack in the high-end segment.

The facility in Hyderabad will work on customizing OxygenOS for the Indian market. We've already seen the first steps toward that earlier this year with the likes of Zen Mode, which was baked into OxygenOS 9.5. The feature was designed for India, but it's now available in the global ROM. OnePlus is also finalizing other India-exclusive features like an SMS app and Work-Life Balance, with the Hyderabad team leading the charge.

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But localization isn't the only area of focus: OnePlus says that the Hyderabad center will host a camera lab for fine-tuning the optics on its phones, a networking lab for testing 5G, and work on AI and IoT. I visited OnePlus' main camera lab in Taiwan earlier this year, and it's exciting to see the same come to India. Furthermore, with the company set to launch its first TV next month, OnePlus has confirmed that the interface customizations to Android TV are being done at the Hyderabad facility.

From OnePlus CEO Pete Lau:

In three years, we plan to grow the new R&D centre in Hyderabad into our biggest globally. We plan to re-focus our R&D efforts on a large scale and drive innovations in India for the global product, especially on the software side with special emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, 5G and IoT.

OnePlus is also launching its global flagship store in the city, which will be open sometime in Q4 2019. OnePlus has always been aggressive in India, but its latest investment shows just how seriously the company is taking the local market. India will also see the debut of the OnePlus TV ahead of other regions, so it should be exciting to see what the company has to offer.

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