OnePlus mulls the price of innovation

Qualcomm’s big Snapdragon Summit has become yet another battleground for smartphone oneupmanship, as companies duke it out around the latest flagship chips. OnePlus, which has carved out a name for itself by producing high quality handsets on a budget, clearly intended to use the Maui-based event to establish itself among innovation leaders in the category. Ultimately, however, it appears the Chinese manufacturer is leaving the show with a bit of egg on its face.
CEO Pete Lau hit the stage this week backed by a slide proclaiming that the company’s 2019 handset would be the first to market with the Snapdragon 855. Huge if true. After all, OnePlus has long taken a wait and see approach to new tech. The company has rarely been the first, but that kind of patience has paid off in lower cost, solidly built phones.
That claim, however, was apparently the result of an unfortunate miscommunication — the last thing you want when a company like Qualcomm invites you to their big party. “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,” the company said in a statement provided to Engadget.

Equip the @Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 on the next OnePlus flagship! @Petelau2007 steals the show at the #SnapdragonSummit with a surprise announcement.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) December 5, 2018
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