Update (Jan 11): Good news! The teasing is over with OnePlus' final 10 Pro announcement. However we still have to wait to buy one outside of China.
Just when you think OnePlus has started to grow up, the company slides back into strange marketing gimmicks. This time, the Chinese phone maker has decided to go with a series of elaborate teases in the lead up to the launch of its latest phone, the OnePlus 10 Pro, in China — don't even get me started on the weird decision to launch the phone internationally months later.
We've had three announcements at time of writing, each detailing slightly more information (the first on the OnePlus 10 Pro design, the next on its specs and the third on its cameras). Teases are fine, but drip-feeding information like this is just annoying.
Take confidence in your product, and announce it outright. Tell us why we should care about it. This attempt to dominate the news cycle, especially during CES 2022, is peak OnePlus vanity.
I'm going to let you in on how things work in this industry in case you don't know already. Companies offer to send us information ahead of time as long as we agree to an embargo (or NDA, if you prefer). Usually, this is just one embargo that tells us about the product in detail so that we can have articles about it ready for you all when it's announced.
In this circumstance, OnePlus chose not one, not two or even three, but four separate embargoes relating to the OnePlus 10 Pro. That's practically asking for some journalist to accidentally post something they shouldn't. Publications (and sometimes the companies themselves) unintentionally break embargoes frequently enough that many writers and editors are extremely careful to check scheduled publish times.
OnePlus going this route has frustrated me to no end. Sure, OnePlus gets some extra attention each time one of the embargoes lifts. And sure, we're feeding right into the intent to generate hype leading up to the launch. I totally see why OnePlus did this, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Nor does it mean that the press shouldn't admonish the company for this behavior.
From the days of old to trying to steal Samsung's thunder around the last round of foldables, OnePlus refuses to grow up. It likes to act like the upstart underdog it used to be, but that is no longer the case. OnePlus is a major player in the smartphone market, especially in its home country and India. I wouldn't excuse this behavior from Samsung, Xiaomi or Apple (as if that'd ever happen).
And even if OnePlus was still the little phone maker that could, I'd still lambast this behavior. This is very much a short-term gain with long-term consequences situation. OnePlus may enjoy the attention it craves now, but what about the next time it tries to spin up hype? There's only so much people, media or consumer, are willing to tolerate.
So, OnePlus, stick to just announcing the phone. We'll all be better off for it. Thanks.