The Chinese smartphone maker, which high-end products are little known among the mass consumers, is entering the US market today with the help of two key allies, the chip manufacturer Qualcomm and the mobile operator T-Mobile.
Shenzhen-based OnePlus takes this step after the US telecoms AT&T and Verizon have dropped out of plans to work with the Chinese company Huawei under the pressure of the US government, which believes it is a security risk.
But the partnership with OnePlus shows how many business links between the US and China, including those moderl technologies, are moving ahead despite the trade war. OnePlus quietly became Qualcomm’s third-largest customer in terms of its most expensive mobile chips. The company ranks after Samsung and LG Electronics in this ranking.
The President of Qualcomm, Cristiano Amon, last week presented 29-year-old founder Carl Pei during Hong Kong’s annual meeting where he told the audience that his company will be among the first to release a 5G smartphone using Qualcomm chips. In an interview, Carl Pei declined to comment on the partnership with American players. Such relationships, however, are key to companies like OnePlus, which want to reap big success in the US smartphone market.
Today, the company will present a smartphone called 6T, which will be sold at less than 500 USD, and features that we usually see on more expensive devices.
Chinese competitor Xiaomi, which also focuses on good smartphones at more affordable prices, says that plans to enter the US next year. The company has not responded to requests for comment if these plans remain in force.
OnePlus is not a common Chinese technology company. Others usually focus on mass consumer products in their domestic market. On the other hand, OnePlus sells only premium devices that cost 400 USD or more, almost exculpable online, without India, and generates two-thirds of its revenue outside China.