Apple Event Forces OnePlus to Move 6T Launch to Oct. 29

OnePlus 6 Red

OnePlus blinked. It had to. The company’s new OnePlus 6T phone could be a big deal for the US, with potential T-Mobile sales, Verizon compatibility, and an under-the-screen fingerprint sensor.

But yesterday, Apple stepped all over OnePlus’s Oct. 30 launch event, scheduling its huge iPad-and-Mac extravaganza an hour before OnePlus was scheduled to show off its device.

That put OnePlus in a real bind. “We were dealt a pretty bad hand,” the company said in a post on its community forums today. “For months on end, hundreds of people have poured their hearts and souls into creating our best product to date. Our goal is to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves.”

So the phone maker today announced that it’s moving the 6T launch back to Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. The company will refund tickets or help change travel arrangements for any fans who purchased tickets to the event, it says.

Apple is a trillion-dollar company that tends to suck all of the media air out of any room. Shifting away from trying to compete head-to-head in a launch event is a smart idea, because it will let OnePlus get the news coverage it needs to really compete where it matters: on retail shelves.

Now It’s Apple vs. OnePlus at T-Mobile

OnePlus could become a key lower-cost rival for Apple at T-Mobile, which just introduced three-year payment plans that lower the apparent cost of iPhones, BayStreet Research founder Cliff Maldonado told us.

Those three-year payment plans are really going to squeeze Android makers, Maldonado said. On a 36-month plan, an iPhone XR will cost only $ 20.83 per month, so it’ll be advertised at the same monthly price as a $ 500 phone on a two-year plan.

Android makers’ problem is that their phones often don’t last three years without degrading in performance, Maldonado said, so Android manufacturers will need to pitch their devices as more affordable and easier to upgrade. Enter OnePlus.

“Samsung isn’t winning. It’s losing to Apple, and the Pixel just hurt Samsung,” Maldonado said. “But who’s going to come in and say, my phone is cheaper, but you can upgrade it every two years?”

We’ll see, now on Oct. 29.

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