Back in October, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei made the surprise announcement when he revealed that he would be leaving OnePlus. We say that it’s a surprise because it wasn’t too long ago that Pei and MKBHD unveiled the OnePlus Nord in a video uploaded to YouTube, so it did come as a bit of a shock.
Naturally this led to speculation that maybe things at OnePlus weren’t going as well as we thought, and that there might be some kind of internal conflict. That being said, WIRED has since put together a new report and an interview with Pei where he revealed what he’s been up to since he left, and if the rumors of an internal conflict were true.
Regarding the rumors that he had a falling out with OnePlus’ other co-founder, Pete Lau, Pei had this to say:
“It was an amicable departure and we’re still in touch. We text each other once every couple of weeks. I told him [I was leaving] face to face at a cafe. I don’t think he saw it coming, but I very calmly laid out my gratitude and what I wanted to do next. We talked a couple of times [after that] and in the end he agreed and is supporting me.”
He also revealed that the reason he left was because he wanted to try something new, and that given that he’s still relatively young, he wanted to explore what else he could do without necessarily having to worry about how it might affect OnePlus as a company.
“I wanted to explore something new. I still feel like I have a lot of creativity within me, but I still love tech and I have some new ideas I wanted to try out. So I decided to make my birthday my last day.”
As to what’s next for Pei, he revealed that his next venture will have something to do with music and hardware. As WIRED points out, prior to OnePlus, Pei made a living by sourcing white-label MP3 players in China and sold them globally, so it’s not surprising that he is returning to those roots. Pei confirmed that we can expect to see new hardware in 2021, but stopped short of mentioning what it might be.