Several job postings on OnePlus' official website indicate that the smartphone manufacturer is working to have its products sold via all major carriers in the US, not only T-Mobile, as these job listings suggest that its devices will be coming to Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon.
T-Mobile is currently the exclusive carrier partner of OnePlus in the United States, and the service provider has been selling the OnePlus 6T since late last year, essentially since the phone got announced. However, at this point, OnePlus is looking for Senior Technical Account Managers for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
According to OnePlus, people hired for these positions are responsible for coordinating with carriers for the testing and approval of handsets and ensuring compliance with network requirements. They will also serve as contact persons for carrier’s concerns related to engineering and product development, and if there is a need to troubleshoot product issues, these managers are also responsible for collaborating with service providers and third-party laboratories.
Given that these job listings are still available on the smartphone manufacturer’s website, it is likely that the company has not yet hired people for these positions, and this scenario suggests that OnePlus’ current carrier partner, T-Mobile, will still have the exclusive on the upcoming handsets from the device maker, the OnePlus 7 series, at least for a while.
On the flip side, depending on how long will this procedure last, the OnePlus 7 series may not become available via all those carriers at all, as the company may be aiming to launch the OnePlus 7T via all four carriers in the fourth quarter of this year. We can only guess at this point, of course, but we're sure that OnePlus would want to see the OnePlus 7 series available via Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile... it remains to be seen if that's possible to achieve.
If the company doesn't manage to do that in time, consumers from other carriers will still be able to purchase the OnePlus 7 smartphones unlocked, direclty from the handset maker. OnePlus' handsets are already compatible with AT&T’s GSM network, while Verizon certified the OnePlus 6T for use on its network last year, and the OnePlus 7 series will probably get the same certification.
OnePlus’ hiring of primary contacts for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint is part of the handset maker’s efforts to expand its distribution networks in the United States. For years, the tech firm sold its products through its official website. However, as another smartphone maker had noted, it is challenging to establish its presence and sell devices in the United States without partnering with a national carrier.
Therefore, while OnePlus is slowly getting recognized as a premium smartphone brand, the establishment of partnerships with US carriers will allow the company to compete with larger and more established rivals better and consequently boost its handset sales.
Despite the lack of partnerships with other US carriers, OnePlus has been performing well in the premium smartphone segment, with the handset maker recently finding its way to the top five manufacturers in the high-end handset segment. According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, OnePlus currently holds 2-percent of the flagship market, which is an improvement over the 1% share that the company previously held.
While the number is still a far cry from Samsung’s 22-percent share, the company’s market share will likely increase as it continues to expand its distribution. Given the increasing prices of flagship smartphones, OnePlus has the opportunity to undercut the competition by continuing to offer flagship design and hardware internals at a much cheaper price point.