On the outside, it may seem like OnePlus is perfectly content with sticking to its online-only model for selling new smartphones in the US, it seems that may be about to change. In an interview with CNET at CES 2018, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company will “begin talks with US carriers this year”.
This is HUGE news for the OnePlus faithful who are looking for the company to make a proper entrance into the US market, other than only being available through the OnePlus website. However, the road to being officially supported by at least one of the carriers in the US definitely won’t be easy to travel.
This was evidenced after Huawei confirmed that AT&T had reneged on a deal that was in place to bring the Huawei Mate 10 Pro to a US carrier for the first time. Huawei did not share the reasons behind the move, but reports claim that AT&T was dealing with pressure from different aspects of the US government due to privacy concerns.
Privacy concerns are something that OnePlus will also have to overcome, and the mountain may be even bigger due to just how small OnePlus is compared to Huawei. The company is still on the upward trend, after stating that the OnePlus 5T was the fastest and best-selling device when it launched in November.
It seems that Lau knows that the road ahead is a bumpy one, as he stated the following:
“If the right opportunity and right timing come along, we’ll be very happy to experiment,”
Nonetheless, the prospect of a OnePlus device being made available through a US carrier would be absolutely gigantic for a company as small as OnePlus. The company would likely see a surge in sales, and could quickly become as well known as other Android brands in the US.
In addition to sharing the prospect of joining a US carrier, Lau also confirmed that the next OnePlus flagship would be released in Q2 of 2018, which follows the company’s regular schedule of device releases. Lau stopped short of confirming the release of a second OnePlus device this year, only stating that he “wasn’t 100% sure” if that was in the cards.
Finally, Lau confirmed just one aspect of what the next OnePlus device would include – the Snapdragon 845 chipset. This is the latest and greatest processor from Qualcomm, and will be powering many flagship devices that are launched in 2018. It would only make sense for OnePlus to continue with the trend of following other flagship brands by offering the best processor and specs.
If OnePlus wants to enter the US carrier market, it’s going to be a long road, and the company will have to avoid situations like a recent one which showed data being sent to Alibaba servers in China. This will definitely deter any carrier from signing up, let alone the possible pressure being enforced by the government.
Let us know what you think about this latest report and if you would like to see OnePlus make a more concerted effort to become more widely available here in the US.