OnePlus co-founder reportedly leaving phone maker for own venture


OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei

Josh Miller/CNET

The co-founder of Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has seemingly left the company, according to a report Monday. Carl Pei was absent from an internal memo listing OnePlus’ leadership, Android Police reported citing a screenshot by a Reddit user who suggested that Pei had either stepped down or was removed from the position.

The reported departure comes just ahead of the OnePlus 8T event, which is scheduled for Wednesday. Pei’s is departing OnePlus to start his own venture, according to TechCrunch, although no details about that venture were immediately available.

OnePlus didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2019, OnePlus ranked eighth in the US market with just 0.6% market share, according to Counterpoint Research, but its phone sales more than tripled last year — by far the biggest gain of any company in the US market, the analyst firm said.

The first OnePlus phone debuted in 2014, relying on high specs at a lower price point than Samsung and Apple. Now it has a range of phones at mid- and high-tier price points, like the OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 7T and the 5G OnePlus Nord. The company has grown its business from a mobile startup to a player with significance that’s arguably achieved more buzz than established brands like Razr. And it’s been able to break in to the US market unlike fellow Chinese brand Huawei.

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