Wireless carriers have been the hot theme of this year's CES, but not in the way you'd think.
After Huawei failed to announce a partnership with a major U.S. carrier for the Mate 10 Pro after teasing one for weeks (although rumors are that it wasn't Huawei's fault), OnePlus' co-founders are now on record as saying they're entertaining offers from U.S. carriers for their next phone.
Details are scant at the moment, but OnePlus' Pete Lau and Carl Pei confirmed to CNET that they will start negotiating with U.S. carriers in 2018. However, the company doesn't seem to be particularly bullish about the prospect of launching the OnePlus 6 (or whatever it ends up being called) on the likes of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint. Lau simply said he'd be "happy to experiment" if the "right opportunity" presents itself.
Lau and Pei also spilled the beans on the about when fans can anticipate the popular niche phone maker's next product. Like the OnePlus 5, the company's next-generation handset should drop late in the second quarter of the year.
OnePlus didn't elaborate as to the possibility of a 6T, but given that both its current and previous flagships received a "T" revision midway through the release cycle, we see no reason not to expect the same this time around.
Lau also confirmed the successor to the OnePlus 5T will utilize Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip. Unveiled just last month, the 845 will reportedly be 25 percent faster than the current 835 in terms of general performance, and 30 percent faster in the graphics department.
The 845 will also add multi-device broadcasting to Bluetooth 5, allowing users to stream media to several connected devices at the same time, and bring multi-frame noise reduction to the chipset's image signal processor, which should result in much improved low-light photography.
For now, that's all we have on OnePlus' future plans. The OnePlus 5T was one of our favorite smartphones of last year, thanks to a killer combination of features and specifications in a very reasonably-priced package.
With that considered, we're not surprised that OnePlus is calling the 5T its fastest-selling phone to date. Word-of-mouth among the tech-savvy crowd has been enough to grow OnePlus' brand in its short four-year existence, but a carrier partnership would really go much further toward cultivating a foothold in the mainstream American market.