Earlier this year OnePlus announced that they’ll be releasing a OnePlus TV device, but that was pretty much the extent of the announcement. They didn’t talk about specs, features, or much of anything else besides it being a connected TV device. They’re opening up a little more today, explaining what operating system they’re choosing to use for several reasons. I don’t think the answer will surprise many people.
Android TV is the only option
If you guessed literally anything besides Android TV, I’d like to know what other TV platforms even exist for a third-party device. I guess OnePlus could’ve partnered up with Roku or something, but I seriously doubt that would’ve been anyone’s first choice.
Nope, the OnePlus TV will run Android TV, and OnePlus explains why it was the best option:
- Based on Android. Android TV is the most powerful TV operating system, and offers a ton of great features like the Play Store and Google Assistant.
- OnePlus TV is our first step to gradually establish a OnePlus IoT ecosystem. In order to do so, we had to choose an operating system that can interact and seamlessly connect with your Android phone. Android TV is the natural choice.
- Strong strategic partnership with Google. We are able to work alongside Google to optimize the Android TV user experience and offer our users Android TV updates for at least 3 years.
All of those reasons make perfect sense. OnePlus already relies heavily on Android, and if they’re building out a connected smart home like they’ve said before, you pretty much need Android as the backbone of everything. That’s where something like Roku would’ve really struggled. OnePlus could’ve also built their own OS from the ground up, but then you run into the issue of needing to get big hitters like Netflix and Hulu on board. Even Google is reluctant to help out third-party competitors, with Apple being the lone exception. Remember all the YouTube drama with Amazon and Microsoft?
Tons of apps, but only three years of software support
So yes, this really shouldn’t shock anyone, but the announcement does clarify some things. The biggest, of course, is that the OnePlus TV will immediately have access to a ton of apps, which will make or break a device like this.
But one thing you might’ve noticed is that they said they want to be able to support the device for at least 3 years. For a phone, sure, that’s great, but all rumors point to the OnePlus TV as being an actual, you know, TV. Some internet leaks have said it’ll be a QLED panel, which means it won’t be cheap. OnePlus is aggressive on pricing, but TVs are already pretty thin on margins, so there’s only so low you can go, even selling at a loss.
And that makes software updates a seriously painful point. Very few people upgrade their TVs every 3 years. Even if that’s just a conservative estimate and OnePlus doubles it, 6 years is still pretty short for a TV set. It’s not uncommon for a TV to run for a decade, since that’s what most LED TVs are rated for.
It’s going to have to be a killer looking display to get people on board, because otherwise they’re just going to need an external box in a few years anyway. Maybe that’s what OnePlus should’ve gone for.
source: OnePlus Forums