OnePlus has successfully re-entered a leading European smartphone market after overcoming a significant legal hurdle centering on a patent dispute with Nokia (the telecoms company, not the mobile brand). In 2022, Nokia accused BBK group – which owns the OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, and vivo brands – of patent infringement on its 5G technology. In response to a court ruling in favor of Nokia at the time, BBK Group halted the sale of the OnePlus, and other 5G smartphones, in Germany due to the cost of Nokia’s licensing fees.
Thankfully, Nokia and BBK Group have circumvented the deadlock – and the ban on OnePlus sales without licensing – by finally agreeing to a licensing deal in which BBK Group pays Nokia and resumes the sale of the OnePlus in Germany. You can see that for yourself with the availability of the new OnePlus Open foldable phone and the pre-orders for the OnePlus 12 and 12R on the German website. In contrast, for now, OPPO and vivo’s German websites still show a lack of product availability, but there’s no reason why this shouldn’t change soon, allowing these brands to return to the German market once again.
Keen observers of the situation will conclude that both Nokia and BBK Group benefit from the settlement and the resumption of OnePlus sales. Nokia will see an increase in patent revenues, and BBK Group’s brands will be able to reclaim their strong foothold position in the European market as the iPhone vs Android debate continues.
Of course, this is all significant more broadly within the mobile phone tech industry as Europe remains a critical market, with a vast potential consumer base who have shown a significant preference for Android devices over Apple’s phones, which hold a 28% market share in the region. Prior to the legal complications, BBK Group’s brands had captured a 20% share of the EU smartphone market, and that trend should now continue.