OnePlus 9 may land earlier than expected

OnePlus is known for its tick-tock release cycle, pushing out new versions of each phone roughly every six months. Like it or hate it (personally, I love it), the company is reportedly bringing that schedule forward by nearly a month to push out its next series of flagship phones in March 2021.

Details are sparse, and things like specs haven’t leaked yet, but a source speaking to Android Central claims that the phone will be launched in mid-March. In comparison, the OnePlus 8 series landed in the middle of April, and the OnePlus 7 and 6 series both landed in May. If anything, we had assumed last year was a fluke, but OnePlus is apparently bringing its release dates even further forward with this next series.

OnePlus wouldn’t be the only company moving its normal schedule forward. Samsung is also rumored to be launching the Galaxy S21 (or is it S30?) in January, earlier than the usual February release.

I’m the first person to defend OnePlus’ rapid release cycle, given the added value it presents to customers purchasing devices outright and unlocked. More frequent releases mean the “current” model always has more up-to-date specs, and you’re always near the beginning of your software support window — no small thing given the stunted numbers in the world of Android. Still, bringing the schedule this far forward diminishes the value of the already slightly overpriced OnePlus 8T, and I can’t help but expect this news will make a negative impact on that phone’s sales.