Two brands walk into a cafe and order Chinese green tea.

“Hi! Sorry for making this so formal, but we really needed to talk and clear this. I know we understand each other but it’s just that people are saying all kinds of stuff, so I felt that we need to just clarify matters.”

Yes, of course. I can totally get where you are coming from. We do need to get some clarity here. There seems to be a lot of confusion.

“Thank you. I mean, we have been together now for a while.”

Well, yes.

“Thank you!”

And no!

oneplus and oppo: "it's complicated!" - oneplus oppo

“What! Wait a minute, I was making stuff for you in 2017 – and it said so on the box too. You used to be with me for quite a while before you moved out and started your own business. You said you wanted your own space…”

Exactly. We have a relationship. A relationship that I love and treasure, and value a lot. But I am very much my own person.

“Oh come on, we announced deeper integration of the research and development teams last year. And you have started using a bit of my Color (OS) at home now…”

Yes, of course. But that is merely an agreement. We work well together in some regards. It does not mean we are one and the same. Your Color is cool, but I kinda sorta need my Oxygen…

“Aren’t you pushing this “independence” thing a bit? I mean if you need your independence so much why are you now looking at getting even closer to me? Why not just tell the world we are together?”

Because we are not. Yes, we share a lot of stuff, but hey, you are you and I am me!

“But everyone thinks that we are together! Why cannot we simply say that? It would reduce confusion…”

Because we do not exist to ‘reduce confusion.’ Friendship is friendship. Business is business. They have been saying we are together since God knows when. This changes nothing…

“Yes, but that was because we had worked together. You had said you wanted your space. And now we are coming back together…”

No, we are not. We are just integrating some parts of our work…

“Oh come, what else is being together then?”

A lot of things. My identity is separate. What I stand for is different. And while we share a lot of work, our lives are very different.

“Can’t we just get it over and simply say we are together?”

We cannot. It would be a lie. We are different. What you represent is different from what I represent. Being together would be bad for both of us. We end up losing what we have earned over time.

“But, people…”

…will talk. They always will. But then they have been doing so for a while. Both of us have our lives. Both of us have our business. They may overlap – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but as of now, we are different. Independent of each other.

“You love that word, don’t you? ‘Independent’!”

It is very important. In life and in business. Terminology and technology work hand in hand.

“But how long can we carry on like this. Will we never settle? Can’t we be one, instead of One Plus One?”

Who knows? The future is uncertain. But right now, we work together at times but live separate lives. Speaking of settling, let us settle the bill and get back to work.

“At my office?”

Oh yes, that part is integrated, if I remember right. It’s a new journey, after all.”

“It’s so confusing…

It’s complicated. But we are both happy and doing well. So, why worry about settling?

(This conversation and its characters are totally fictional. Any resemblance with real persons, entities, and incidents is purely coincidental.)

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