OnePlus is one of the most popular smartphone makers among hardcore Android fans. However, the Chinese company still hasn’t hit major mainstream success in the United States. But that may soon change as OnePlus plans to begin talks with carriers this year.

“If the right opportunity and right timing come along, we’ll be very happy to experiment,” OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told CNET when asked about their talks with U.S. carriers. Lau declined to comment on which carriers they plan to speak with and he also didn’t give out a specific time frame for when an agreement could be made.

When OnePlus came out with its very first Android smartphone, it started selling the OnePlus One on an invite-only basis. The company continued doing this until the OnePlus 3 in 2016, when the company finally ditched the process and had enough resources to start selling unlocked devices online directly to customers.

Although OnePlus has already made a name for itself for releasing more affordable Android flagship phones, its handsets are still pretty much under the radar in the U.S. This is because the best way to gain traction in the country is by selling phones through carriers, as pointed out by Android Police.

Last year, the company released the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, just roughly five months apart from each other. Both devices have been received well by fans and critics and the company was selling the phones at a faster pace than ever before. The 5T actually became the company’s fastest selling phone just six hours after it was made available for purchase in November. Most recently, the company also released a special Sandstone White version of the 5T, which sold out almost instantly in the U.S.

It’s becoming clear that OnePlus already has a solid fanbase that just keeps on growing. Selling its Android phones through carriers in the U.S. now seems like a logical step forward to further cement itself as a major competitor in the smartphone market.

Support from U.S. carriers has been an issue for Chinese smartphone brands. Huawei’s potential deal with AT&T was canceled due to security concerns. Huawei is suspected of having a role in Chinese espionage. Huawei has denied those claims and has decided to sell its Mate 10 Pro flagship in the U.S. through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, and through its own website. Lau didn't comment on what happened to Huawei.

With a U.S. carrier deal being a major possibility for OnePlus in the near future, Lau teased that they will be releasing a brand new phone in a few months. The CEO said that they plan on releasing the next OnePlus phone sometime during the later part of the second quarter of 2018. If the company plans on sticking to its release schedule from last year, the OnePlus 6 could arrive in June.

Lau didn’t give too much information on the OnePlus 6, but he did confirm that it will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor. “Of course, there’s no other choice,” Lau said.

The Snapdragon 845 was first announced by Qualcomm back in December, and Samsung is expected to be one of the very first Android smartphone makers to put it it inside one of its new flagship smartphones for 2018, the Galaxy S9.

OnePlus OnePlus wants to start talking to US carriers this year as it plans to release the OnePlus 6 this June. Photo: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui