OnePlus is really dragging its feet with the release of the OnePlus 10 Pro in the U.S.
First announced at CES 2022 for release initially in China, OnePlus said yesterday on the first day of MWC 2022 that the OnePlus 10 Pro will be released in the U.S./North America by the end of March. That also goes for Europe and India.
When in March? What date? When are pre-orders? When will OnePlus 10 Pro phones ship? How much will the phone cost? Will there be a regular non-Pro version of the OnePlus 10? Will there be midrange versions of the OnePlus 10 like there was the OnePlus 9 series with the OnePlus 9R? Nobody at OnePlus can say.
A OnePlus spokesperson told me: “We don't have a specific date to share at this time but it will be coming to North America in the second half of March.” OnePlus is making everyone wait — a whiff of unconfidence (or botched marketing strategy). Samsung’s Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra are already out (read our review of the S22+ here). They were announced after the OnePlus 10 Pro and arrived in hands before OnePlus has even moved a single unit outside of China!
The biggest losers are consumers. Anyone considering a OnePlus 10 Pro needs to wait some more. (Or don’t and just get any of the S22s right now — phones that seem to be selling well for Samsung.)
I have covered every OnePlus launch — scratch that, virtually every major phone release — and it’s rare for a company (a veteran one at that) to make such a mess of a phone launch. In a roundtable with media last Friday, Oppo chief product officer Pete Lau, who loves to hold these virtual chats several times a year, said that launching the OnePlus 10 Pro in China first was a decision to show greater commitment to that market. Though Oppo (sibling brand to OnePlus and now joined at the hip more than ever as of last year) is a major brand in China, OnePlus was not. OnePlus clearly wants it to have a stronger presence there.
It’s totally fine to launch a phone in China and then the rest of the world, but why be so vague with the details like the release date? Why don’t we know the U.S. pricing yet? The drip-feed of the OnePlus 10 Pro’s design, some specs, and then the full camera and hardware details was frustrating. Lau told media during the roundtable that it has not deemphasized its marketing/PR in North America since integrating closer with Oppo. But it feels like it has. The launch of the OnePlus 10 Pro outside of China feels... off. Disorganized.
If there’s anything OnePlus is consistent at, it’s listening to feedback.
All of these little changes compound over years — this is how a brand loses its North Star and its most loyal followers. I don’t want that to happen to OnePlus.
If there’s anything OnePlus is consistent at, it’s listening to feedback from media and consumers. When the company secretly preinstalled Facebook apps and services on OnePlus phones, it walked back on that after Input and others called them out. Last year, when the company announced Oxygen OS and ColorOS that ships on non-Chinese and Chinese versions of its phones, respectively, were merging, consumers revolted. OnePlus heard and recently decided not to merge the two OSes into one for the OnePlus 10 Pro. OnePlus 10 Pro phones released outside of China will continue to run Oxygen OS (though the underlying codebase remains shared) and Chinese OnePlus 10 Pro phones will operate on ColorOS.
Hopefully, this feedback reaches Lau’s desk. The time is ticking for consumers who need to decide whether to wait for the OnePlus 10 Pro or just get another phone like the iPhone 13 Pro or Galaxy S22 Ultra.