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(Pocket-lint) - OnePlus recently launched its first 5G device this year, but Pete Lau, OnePlus’ CEO, said the company's already planning a second 5G handset.

He told the Financial Times that, with the upcoming 5G era approaching, OnePlus is going to invest more. OnePlus has doubled its headcount to more than 1,700 employees, he explained, focused more on research and development, and it will release a new 5G handset globally in the fourth quarter of 2019. “If you want to be a premium phone in 2020, you have to be equipped with 5G technology,” he said.

Last May, OnePlus debuted the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, the company's first 5G smartphone to launch in the UK, on EE’s network. It's since come to Finland with Elisa and will likely soon come to North America. There are no official details yet about a release date in the US, however.

Let's not forget, though, Sprint recently revealed it'll soon carry a mystery 5G device from OnePlus. Sprint's 5G network is live in five US cities and is expected to imminently expand to LA, New York, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. Sprint said the 5G phone from OnePlus will become its fourth 5G device, alongside the LG V50, Galaxy S10 5G, and HTC 5G Hub. 

Images also recently appeared online showing what's said to be a new OnePlus 7T Pro phone. Add it up, and it's likely that handset is OnePlus' next 5G device, headed to Sprint US. But none of that is official.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 14 August 2019.