• 5G phones could cost $200 to $300 more, says OnePlus CEO

    5G phones could cost $200 to $300 more, says OnePlus CEO File Photo

    OnePlus has built a reputation for offering premium phones without a premium price to match — we called the OnePlus 6T “the most affordable flagship you can get.”

    But the company’s first 5G phone, announced this morning at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui, won’t be cheap.

    OnePlus CEO Pete Lau tells The Verge that his company is working on both the new 5G phone and existing 4G phones in parallel, and that he expects his 5G phone will likely cost $200 to $300 more.

    “It’s hard to know because there’s a lot of specifics still to look at, but it’s likely in the neighborhood of $200-300 more,” Lau says, via translator.

    That might not be the case for all new 5G smartphones, though.

    “You may see some OEMs try to monetize as much as they can their existing customer base... on the other hand you may see folks try to gain share and use price as one of those tools,” says Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon, in a roundtable interview later in the day.

    When I corner him later about Lau’s $200-$300 comment, he suggests it’s a little high: “I’ve seen some people being way more aggressive [on price].”

    But to be frank, it’s the first time we’ve gotten any idea what 5G might cost when it arrives by the end of the year.

    Most companies here at in Maui have been extremely cagey about pricing, with both AT&T and Verizon executives telling The Verge that they can’t disclose what they haven’t yet announced in terms of pricing or plans. Motorola, with its 5G Mod, deferred to its carrier partner Verizon, and Netgear, with its Nighthawk 5G Hotspot, deferred to AT&T.

    Samsung only has a proof of concept at the show, but has announced two phones so far.

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