Everyone’s focus right now is probably on the new OnePlus 6T that was just announced this morning, but OnePlus itself is already looking far ahead of that. Last week, OnePlus announced that it was working on a 5G phone for launch as early as the first half of next year, and today, this upcoming 5G phone was a point of discussion during the 6T launch event.
When discussing the Snapdragon 845 processor found in the 6T, Qualcomm’s president Cristiano Amon made a point to note that “we’re very happy that our efforts with OnePlus will include 5G smartphones in the very near future.” In an interview ahead of the 6T launch, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, told me that OnePlus expects to launch a 5G phone next year and that it’s already working with European carriers to make it happen. “We’re confident we’ll be the first 5G phone in Europe,” said Lau, through a translator.
When I asked why it was so imperative to jump into 5G so quickly, Lau said it’s something that the company has seen demand for from its customers, even though 5G networks have yet to launch anywhere in the world. Lau says the company is also interested in developing a 5G device early so it can better learn what the technology is capable of and what it can bring to its customers.
One thing that won’t change is OnePlus’ current device track: Lau says the new 5G device will coexist alongside its existing 4G LTE phones because 5G won’t be available worldwide by next year. “It doubles the workload for us because it’s an additional product,” he said. “It will be its own line of phones.”