- OnePlus says it will begin discussions with carriers in the United States this year.
- The company says if the conditions are right, it is willing to experiment with carriers selling its devices in stores.
- Company co-founder Pete Lau confirmed a new device would release late in Q2 2018.
In the United States, there are two types of phones: those that you can buy at a carrier store, and those you can’t. According to some analysts, carrier stores make up 85 to 90 percent of all smartphone sales in the States. Online stores and marketplaces like Amazon are great, but if you want to sell a ton of phones, you need carrier support.
One of the most popular unlocked brands is OnePlus. The company is on an upward trend right now. The OnePlus 5T, which just came out in November, is the company’s most popular and fastest-selling device. The most popular device before it? The OnePlus 5. But OnePlus’ numbers pale in comparison to the major players in the industry. Samsung and Apple sell hundreds of millions of devices a year.
That’s why OnePlus says it will begin talks with carriers this year.
“If the right opportunity and right timing come along, we’ll be very happy to experiment,” Pete Lau, the company’s co-founder, told CNET.
OnePlus has grown from the company you needed an invite from to buy its phones. Now, it’s putting out phones that sell in the millions. But, is it ready for the kind of scrutiny and attention it would get as a major player?
Getting into carrier stores is hard. A proposed deal between Huawei and AT&T just went up in flames, reportedly due to political pressure. Huawei is a Chinese company, linked to the Communist Party of China. OnePlus will face a similar test. It is also a Chinese company — its parent company BBK is headquartered in Guangdong — and will face increased scrutiny as it becomes more popular. It will no longer get the benefit of the doubt because it is the plucky underdog.
Whether or not its sold in stores, we know OnePlus will release at least one phone in 2018. Lau confirmed the company is slated to release its next device late in the second quarter, much like it did with last year’s OnePlus 5. The device will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, but no other details were provided. For the last two years, OnePlus has released a second device near the end of the year, but Lau wasn’t sure if it would continue the trend in 2018.
What do you think about OnePlus being sold in carrier stores? Is the company ready? Would it make you more likely to buy its devices? Let us know down in the comments.