OnePlus Corrects 'First Snapdragon 855 Phone' Goof, Says 5G Phones Will Carry $300 Premium

OnePlus and Qualcomm
For a short period of time, it appeared as though OnePlus had scored a big victory in the smartphone wars, having apparently negotiated a deal to be the first phone maker to implement Qualcomm's new flagship Snapdragon 855 processor into an upcoming handset. OnePlus was to be the first to feature the new chip, the company's CEO Pete Lau announced on stage at Qualcomm's event in Hawaii. Unfortunately for OnePlus, something got lost in translation.

The original slides that OnePlus put together for Qualcomm's Tech Summit said the handset OnePlus planned to release in 2019 would be "among the first" to use the Snapdragon 855 processor. However, the person who translated the company's slides is not a native English speaker, a company spokesperson told Engadget.

The English slide said in no uncertain terms that the OnePlus 2019 handset would be the "first to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855," not "among the first," and the company's social media team compounded the gaffe by running with the news on Twitter. OnePlus later clarified things, and apologized for the blunder.

"We appreciate the opportunity to clarify that we will be one of the first to have access to, and use, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, and apologize for the miscommunication," a spokesperson said in a statement.

It's a somewhat embarrassing mistake, though obviously there was no malicious intent. OnePlus can still celebrate being one of the first to push a phone out the door with Qualcomm's burly new processor sometime in 2019. Furthermore, the upcoming phone will feature support for 5G connectivity.

There's a side story there as well, though. The company told The Verge that it will develop its 5G phone and 4G handsets simultaneously, and that it expects the 5G model will cost $200 to $300 more.

"It's hard to know because there are a lot of specifics still to look at, but it's likely in the neighborhood of $200-$300 more," Lau said, through a translator.

That's a hefty premium, though it's not clear if the higher price tag is only due to the 5G modem, or if other factors are involved. We'd be surprised if the implementation of 5G alone drove the price up to that extent, but we'll have to wait and see.