The race to 5G is speeding up, and OnePlus want to cross the finish line first.
Qualcomm, one of the major driving forces behind 5G, have announced at a conference in Hong Kong that they're expecting at least two 5G flagship phones next year, one of which will be in the first half of the year. Shortly afterwards, OnePlus CEO Carl Pei joined them on stage and announced that OnePlus will be one of the manufacturers with a 5G phone coming out in 2019, and they expect to be either one of the first, if not THE first.
We already knew OnePlus had something planned for January, and the rumour mill is now churning at turbo speed speculating that it could be the OnePlus 5G (as we're calling it).
The Chinese company has a significant advantage over bigger, more traditional tech companies when it comes to adopting new tech early. Their audience is hardcore phone fans who want the newest and best of everything, which is presumably why we haven't seen any lower-spec phones like the OnePlus X recently.
It seems OnePlus has rightly surmised that its audience of early adopters will want to be the first to get 5G, and with some major capital behind it from strong sales (for a challenger brand) and recent high-street deals, the company is one of the best placed to take the gamble.
That's not to say Pei and co always give the fans what they ask for – they famously ignored protests about including a notch on their phones, and more recently they've come under fire by the fanbase for removing the 3.5mm headphone jack on the upcoming OnePlus 6T.
January seems early to expect a fully-fledged 5G phone, especially when the 6T will only have been released a few months before, but it's theoretically possible. Whatever the mystery announcement is, hopefully it'll be something to cheer up our grey British January – i.e. not another all-black phone and dear god, please not another backpack. [Engadget]