India is an important market for smartphone OEMs, as it is one of the few markets that has continued to grow despite a global slowdown in smartphone sales. All major players are looking to cut themselves a piece of this pie, and many have refocused their efforts to cater to the Indian audience. At an event in Hyderabad, India, OnePlus inaugurated its first R&D center in the country, and this center will become their biggest center globally.
The R&D facility in Hyderabad is spread over a 186,000 square feet space and five floors in Hyderabad’s Vamsiram’s IT Park at the Wipro Circle in Nanakramguda. While the facility is being inaugurated with 200 employees at present, this R&D center will eventually employ over 1,500 employees, built up over the next three years in line with the ₹1,000 Crore (~$139 Million) investment into this office. Consequently, this R&D center will play a critical role in the development of AI and Machine Learning in OnePlus products and will be a key driving force behind the innovations that are central to OnePlus’s Indian community.
The OnePlus R&D center in Hyderabad will house three labs — a camera lab, similar to the one we visited in Taiwan, communications and networking labs, and automation labs for creating solutions towards camera development, 5G testing, software with a focus on AI, and performance testing. The key focus areas for this R&D center will be Network, Global Carrier Customization, OxygenOS native apps, global product development, software innovation, and testing. The center will also specifically work on the development of India-specific OxygenOS features including OnePlus applications design and development and will drive 5G enablement for regions like the EU, UK, and India. In short, users can expect to see more new features, much like Zen Mode, SMS categorization, work-life balance, and Cricket Score info, coming to future OnePlus devices across India and other key markets. Hyderabad will also house its own OnePlus Experience Store soon.
India will remain the focus of smartphones OEMs for the future, as more and more OEMs look at localizing their software and seeking the benefit of hardware localization programs under the Government of India’s Make in India program.