OnePlus never disappoints. They provide smartphones that rival the top of the line flagships at nearly half the price. Sounds perfect, right? However, there was this one thing that people often complained about and that was the fact that OnePlus phones weren’t available on contract with any carriers. Which meant that you had to buy the factory unlocked international version and it was only available from their official website.
Well, it seems as if that’s about to change. Yes, you heard it right! OnePlus 6T will be the first OnePlus phone to be sold with a carrier support in the US. The carrier, will be none other than T-Mobile. Being one of the major US carrier, OnePlus is expected to gain further stronghold in the US market.
OnePlus 6T is expected to release at the end of October. Along with the regular international variant that we’re used to, it will have a T-Mobile optimized variant in the US. It is also expected to have a price tag of $550 which is a bargain considering the fact that you’re getting about the same performance and specs as the big boys like the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 9, both of which cost well over $1000.
Most phones, in order to succeed in the US market, tend to rely on carriers. OnePlus went for a different approach by direct online sales via their official website and through “flash sales” where the phone sold out quickly.
Getting a carrier support might be a game changer for OnePlus a sAvi Greengart, a Global Data analyst said, “Getting carrier shelf space is a prerequisite to volume sales in the US.” Though there haven’t been reports of any support from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, the other 3 major US carriers, they might be there for the next phone. However, T-Mobile just may be enough to boost OnePlus’s ever-increasing sales good enough.
By getting a carrier support, a phone becomes optimized to run smoothly on that particular network including better data speeds. However, it comes at a price. Your phone becomes carrier locked, which basically means that particular phone cannot be used with any network other the one its issued from. Though it’s not much of a deal breaker especially for a US market where this is common.
The only thing in OnePlus’s way now is a certification from T-Mobile. It’s basically a series of tests that check if the phone can be optimized for that particular network. If that doesn’t go through, then it might lead to the delay of the carrier launch.
OnePlus has already established a healthy market throughout the world especially in the US without any carrier support for quite a time now. It is incredibly common among young and tech-savvy people who prefer the customization power of Android over the relatively restricted customization options of iOS. Couple that with the fact that that OxygenOS (OnePlus’s user interface) provides a near stock Android experience, you get a good bank for your buck.
So, technically speaking, this meant that OnePlus didn’t really need carrier support. Well, that’s still debatable. But it’s safe to assume that OnePlus is trying to experiment in new markets. Even its CEO, Pete Lau, said, “If the right opportunity and right timing come along, we’ll be very happy to experiment.” Which, in my opinion is a good decision by the company and was long overdue.