OnePlus Will Start Talking to US Carriers, Confirms that Next OnePlus Phone will Launch in Q2
In the four years since the launch of the OnePlus One, OnePlus’s first smartphone, the startup’s managed to amass a following. That’s at least in part because OnePlus phones cater to power users and modders, a segment of the market which was pretty much ignored by bigger brands. But the company has its eye on a bigger prize: The general public. This week at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, it announced that it’ll begin talks with US carriers in order to bring its devices to a larger audience.
In an interview with CNET, Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus, declined to give a time frame, but said that the company was “open” to a deal. “If the right opportunity and right timing come along, we’ll be very happy to experiment,” he said.
OnePlus has had stateside presence since the OnePlus One’s unveiling, but it’s been limited to its online store, which sells unlocked OnePlus devices and accessories. The company’s historically had bigger presences in Asia and Europe, where it’s opened physical retail stores in cities like Beijing, China.
Bringing OnePlus devices to American carriers would open lots of doors for the company, as it’s estimated that at least 85 percent of phone purchases are made through carriers. While OnePlus might not have the brand recognition of competitors such as Apple, Samsung, LG, its phones’ beefy hardware and low prices might prove to be a killer combo.
Mr. Lau also talked about OnePlus’s next device and successor to the OnePlus 5T, which is expected to be the OnePlus 6. He confirmed that the device would come late in the second quarter of 2018, in line with the OnePlus 5‘s launch last year, and that it’d ship with Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip.
“Of course, there’s no other choice,” Lau told CNET.