(CTN News) – Chinese Android handset maker OnePlus has re-entered the German smartphone market after an absence of nearly 18 months.
This development follows a recent global 5G patent cross-licensing agreement between sister company Oppo and Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia, putting an end to an extended legal dispute spanning 12 countries.
OnePlus has introduced six smartphone models, including the foldable OnePlus Open, and initiated pre-orders for its latest OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R handsets.
OnePlus had withdrawn from the German market in August 2022 after Oppo lost a patent infringement lawsuit to Nokia.
The regional court ruling in Mannheim, Germany, had implications not only for Oppo but also for OnePlus, restricting the sale of their smartphones in the country.
The return of OnePlus to Germany signals a positive turn of events for the company, allowing it to re-establish its presence in one of the world’s major economies.
Global Smartphone Market Recovery:
The comeback of OnePlus in Germany coincides with positive signs of recovery in the global smartphone market after a prolonged slump. According to tech research firm IDC, the industry is projected to experience 3.8% growth in the current year.
Despite challenges faced by the smartphone sector, 5G adoption remains a significant driver of growth, with IDC anticipating a 20% increase in global 5G smartphone shipments this year, up from 11% in 2023.
Oppo and Nokia’s Global 5G Patent Deal:
The revival of OnePlus in Germany closely follows the resolution of a protracted legal dispute between Oppo and Nokia. The global 5G patent cross-licensing agreement covers standard-essential patents in 5G and other cellular communication technologies.
The deal allows Oppo to pay royalties to Nokia based on agreed rates and settlement arrangements, resolving patent litigation in all jurisdictions. The terms of the agreement remain confidential.
OnePlus’s Position in the Market:
Founded in 2013 by a group of Oppo employees, including current CEO Pete Lau, OnePlus has gained popularity in the West for offering premium smartphones at competitive prices compared to Apple’s iPhone or equivalent Android handsets from Samsung Electronics.
The resumption of smartphone sales in Germany reflects OnePlus’s commitment to expanding its global reach.
Oppo’s Ongoing Challenges:
While OnePlus re-enters the German market, Oppo is still navigating legal challenges in the country. A Munich court ruled in late December that Oppo infringed on the patents of US wireless and mobile technology company InterDigital, leading to an injunction against Oppo.
The company is under pressure to resolve patent disputes amid fierce competition from other major Android handset vendors.
OnePlus’s return to the German market signifies a positive turn of events following the global 5G patent cross-licensing deal between Oppo and Nokia.
As the smartphone industry shows signs of recovery, OnePlus aims to capitalize on the growing 5G adoption. The resolution of legal disputes and the re-entry into key markets position OnePlus for renewed success in the competitive global smartphone landscape.