The flagship OnePlus 5 has been around only for a few months, and it has been selling well since its launch. The handset has mysteriously gone out of stock in the US, UK, and many other major markets. All the color and storage variants of the device are listed “out of stock” on the OnePlus online US store. The story is similar in the UK, where only the recently launched Soft Gold color variant is available.  There is no word on when the device would be restocked. Customers are surprised and confused. So, what’s going on?

Flagship OnePlus 5 Software Update
Image Credit: OnePlus.net (screenshot)

OnePlus struggling to keep up with the demand?

Launched in June, OnePlus 5 has been an incredibly powerful and successful smartphone. It comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. Priced at $479 for the base model, the phone features the Snapdragon 835 SoC, Adreno 540 GPU, a dual camera setup on the back, and a 5.5-inch Full HD display. It has enough features to compete with the iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8, especially considering it costs only about half as much as the Note 8.

One possible explanation is that OnePlus is struggling to keep up with the consumer demand. The flagship OnePlus 5 has been a major success worldwide. It might be running out of stock. Now that the initial euphoria is over, the Chinese company might be producing the device in smaller volumes. If this theory holds true, it’s only a matter of time before OnePlus restocks the inventory. However, there could be a much bigger reason than just low production volumes.

The flagship OnePlus 5 successor may launch soon

It’s possible that OnePlus is planning to bring its next-gen smartphone sometime soon, which helps explain why the current flagship OnePlus 5 has run out of stock in some of the largest markets. The new OnePlus flagship could hit the store shelves by the end of this year or early next year. Last year, the Chinese vendor introduced the OnePlus 3T just a few months after the launch of OnePlus 3. The OnePlus 3T took advantage of a newer Snapdragon 821 processor launched by Qualcomm.

However, the rumor mill claims that there will be no Snapdragon 836 this year. It means there is little possibility of a OnePlus 5T. One area where the current flagship OnePlus 5 lags behind its premium rivals is an edge-to-edge display. All the newly launched flagship smartphones such as the iPhone X, Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, and Google Pixel 2 XL feature a bezel-less display, something the OnePlus 5 lacks.

The next-gen phone is rumored to be called OnePlus 6, and debut early next year. Whenever it comes out, we can expect the OnePlus 6 to have a bezel-less display. Other expected features include a more powerful Snapdragon 845 processor, which would run most of the premium Android handsets coming in 2018. The fact that OnePlus 5 is out of stock in most countries suggests that the Chinese vendor would bring a successor sometime soon.

PhoneArena points out that OnePlus is owned by BBK Electronics, the same company that owns other popular brands such as Oppo and Vivo. Since both Oppo and Vivo have already launched phones with bezel-less screens, OnePlus is the only BBK brand that doesn’t yet have a bezel-less display smartphone. OnePlus takes design cues from Vivo and Oppo. So, we can expect the next OnePlus smartphone to have minimal bezels.

European customers can buy the JCC edition of OnePlus 5

A few weeks ago, OnePlus released a special edition of its current flagship in European markets. It has partnered with noted French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (JCC) for the JCC edition. The handset has the JCC moniker in its name and product description, and it reflects the designer’s signature chromatic style with loud colors. It has a blue power button, a red volume button, and a yellow sound profile button. A mantra is also scribbled on the back of the phone.

OnePlus has also launched a series of JCC branded accessories such as holsters, caps, shirts, and bags. All the accessories have been priced between $20 and $30. The JCC edition of the flagship OnePlus 5 is selling at EUR 559 in European markets. However, it will be available only in limited quantities. The JCC edition has 8GB RAM and 128GB. In terms of features and specifications, it’s the same as the regular OnePlus 5.

OnePlus has also been teasing that it would bring Android 8.0 Oreo update to the flagship OnePlus 5 by the end of this year. In a recent tweet, the Chinese company said, “You’ve heard of Elf on the Shelf, now get ready for.” The “Elf on the Shelf” reference indicates that the software update would be rolled out around Christmas. OnePlus has been beta testing Android Oreo-based OxygenOS for OnePlus 3 and 3T for the last several weeks.

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