OnePlus typically releases a phone every six months, with each new numbered flagship arriving sometime in Spring. Usually May, but sometimes as early as April, while the T series arrives around October.
Things might be a little bit different for the launch of the OnePlus 9, however, because the latest rumor is that OnePlus is aiming for a mid-March 2021 launch window.
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This news comes from insider sources speaking to Android Central. They claim that while OnePlus hasn’t decided on a release date for the OnePlus 9, it is planning on holding the launch event in mid-March. That could put the phone in more direct competition with companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Huawei, which are tipped to launch new devices around the same time.
The reason for this timing isn’t really clear, though Android Central speculates that it could give the OnePlus 9 more time to sell before the launch of the OnePlus 9T. Though this does come at the expense of the OnePlus 8T, which has to deal with being replaced a month earlier than normal.
It could also be that OnePlus is planning on spreading out its phone launches a bit more, given the increased number of devices it’s producing. We’ve already had the launch of the OnePlus Nord this past summer, while rumor is OnePlus has at least two more low-priced Nord devices on the way in the form of the Nord N10 5G and N100.
If OnePlus wants to give future Nord range devices the same amount of fanfare as the original, then it’s a good idea not to launch them all so close together. Getting the OnePlus 9 out of the way sooner lets the company focus on the Nord range for a few more weeks before everyone starts asking about the 9T and whether it will be less of a disappointment than the 8T has been.
As for what we can expect, probably an upgrade to the Snapdragon 875 chipset, 65W Warp Charge like the 8T, and more improvements to the cameras. Beyond that, we don’t know what to predict, especially since the 8T was still missing a number of key features enjoyed by OnePlus 8 Pro owners. At the very least, bringing back wireless charging would be nice.