OnePlus CEO Pete Lau believes the company's close ties with Qualcomm can help it beat the competition in the 5G race Image: OnePlus
The OnePlus 6T or the OnePlus 7 may be one of the first smartphones in the world to feature 5G technology, according to latest reports. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, in a recent interview, revealed that the Chinese smartphone giant is already working with US carriers to bring 5G connectivity to next year's OnePlus launch. And if 5G makes its way to contracted OnePlus 6, we can very well expect the connectivity feature to be incorporated in SIM-free variants as well.
Lau, during the Mobile World Congress Shanghai in China, was talking to technology website PC Mag about OnePlus's product and community philosophy. "Lau said that his company's relationship with Qualcomm is leading to OnePlus becoming one of the first 5G mobile phone makers, and that the launch will sync up with the first year of 5G being available in the US," read the report.
For the uninitiated, the development of 5G standards is being driven by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) — a collaboration between groups of telecommunications standards associations, which also oversaw the development of 3G UMTS (including HSPA) and 4G LTE standards. Mobile component makers Qualcomm Technologies is very much at the heart of the project, driving many essential inventions across all aspects of the 5G design, from the air interface to the service layer.
Now, Lau didn't reveal the name of the device which will introduce 5G but considering he revealed that the smartphone will be launched next year, it'll most probably be the OnePlus 7. However, the possibility of the device being OnePlus 6T cannot be ruled out entirely either, considering Lau, in an earlier interview, said that the OnePlus 6T may not launch in 2018 if there's a lack of adequate innovations to incorporate in it.
OnePlus traditionally launches a T variant of their flagship around October or November every year, but if the company decides to skip it this year, it'll be interesting to see if OnePlus abandons the T brand devices completely or just carries forward the name for the next launch.
To recall, the OnePlus 6 was launched in May this year and has sold over one million units within just 22 days of launch.
In addition to OnePlus, another Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Huawei, is also reportedly close to launching a 5G phone.