Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus found its big break for establishing a significant presence in the United States by negotiating a retail partnership with T-Mobile which will see the Bellevue, Washington-based telecom giant carry the OnePlus 6T this fall. CNET reports that the third-largest network operator in the country will start selling the OnePlus 6 successor this October, shortly following the official announcement of the device. The timeline corresponds to the handset manufacturer’s 2017 roadmap that saw it follow up on the OnePlus 5 with the OnePlus 5T in November.
The upcoming device currently has a provisional $550 price tag attached to it, suggesting OnePlus is once again planning to raise the prices of its new handsets, with the OnePlus 6 already doing the same earlier this year when it was unveiled with an introductory price of $529. The Shenzhen-based OEM will still be selling unlocked variants of the device in the U.S., much like it did so far. Those will once again be GSM-only smartphones, meaning they’ll work on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks but will be incompatible with Verizon and Sprint’s infrastructure. The carrier-locked model set to be offered by T-Mobile will be optimized for the network operator’s 600MHz band, hence allowing for improved 4G LTE speeds compared to traditional wireless solutions, as per the same report. T-Mobile’s portfolio of 600MHz-enabled handsets has been steadily growing since last year, with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy s9 Plus being the latest high-profile additions to the thereof, whereas the Galaxy Note 9 will follow suit once it’s released next Friday.
While the OnePlus 6T is set to be announced in October, there’s still a possibility of the T-Mobile variant of the device being delayed in case any certification issues arise, with one source claiming the company still hasn’t completed the process of receiving “technical approval” from the self-proclaimed “un-carrier.” The Chinese firm has so far been relatively open about its ambitions to partner with at least one American network and already announced that such a collaboration will start no later than 2019, the year when the company also plans to launch its first 5G-ready Android smartphone which will presumably debut in the form of the OnePlus 7.