OnePlus may have had nothing to showcase at CES 2018, because that’s not how the late 2013-founded Chinese company rolls… just yet, but CEO Pete Lau and co-founder Carl Pei still made the trip to Las Vegas while the 5T Sandstone White was selling like hotcakes around the world.

In an exclusive discussion with CNet’s Roger Cheng, Lau and Pei (mostly Lau) revealed quite a few previously unknown things about the OEM’s short and medium-term plans, even though they predictably stopped short of sharing many specifics.

But it’s definitely nice to hear OnePlus consider “experimenting” with US carrier support. For the time being, a scenario where the OP7 or 8 would be sold through Verizon or AT&T seems largely hypothetical, although “talks with US carriers” should begin later this year.

“If the right opportunity and right timing come along”, the company would obviously welcome all the help it can get boosting its brand awareness and retail footprint in one of the most important smartphone markets, where mobile network operators continue to take the lion’s share of sales.

Of course, it would be a big step forward if the unlocked OnePlus 6 came with basic Verizon or Sprint compatibility “late in the second quarter” of 2018. Yes, that’s when the “speedier” new phone is currently scheduled to see daylight, most likely meaning June, i.e. one full year after the OP5.

According to Pete Lau, the company has “no choice” but to release the OnePlus 6 with a Snapdragon 845 SoC. What the future powerhouse is unlikely to tout as a major selling point is artificial intelligence, which has “become a buzzword” and not something useful the everyday user can appreciate. Now that’s an interesting and pretty unique take on a hot mobile topic.

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