By Saleha Riaz

OnePlus CEO talks up community, 5G device

China-headquartered OnePlus aims to leverage its close partnership with US-based chipmaker Qualcomm to deliver a 5G product next year, although the company’s CEO Pete Lau didn’t reveal a launch date.

Lau noted its users are passionate about their devices and have formed a community around their shared interest, and he wants to encourage this. More than 15,000 people queued up worldwide to buy the OnePlus 6, he said, claiming only his company can achieve this kind of “crazy behaviour”.

Speaking at yesterday’s Global Device Summit, Lau said this culture is part of the “core genetics make up” of the company and he spends time everyday engaging with people online and getting their feedback.

However, that doesn’t mean he always listens to consumer requests. For instance, when they asked for longer battery life he had to ensure it didn’t come at the cost of making the device thicker.

The key is to ask again and again why they want a particular feature, and then find out the best way to get to the heart of a solution, he explained.

Lau is also seen as chief product manager because of his involvement in every detail of a device’s design, and he joked that he often tells his team they are lucky to have a CEO who knows about product design, pulling on his knowledge as director of Oppo’s Blu-ray division.