OnePlus is a company that I have a lot of respect for. They have been able to fill a niche in the smartphone market while others companies have fallen away by listening to their users and serving them well. They make good quality hardware that works well with Android, and they have a devoted following because of it. Their market share is small and they really aren’t known anywhere outside of the tech bubble, but they have passionate fans within it for good reason.
It is really unfortunate that they picked October 30th to announce their upcoming OnePlus 6T smartphone. By the wording of this post from their executives, they had to do a lot of thinking about their next move when they heard that Apple would be holding their iPad and Mac event the same day, in the same city, no less. There really wasn’t any other choice for them. They made a smart and very self-aware decision and moved their event to October 29. This will give the 6T a day to itself before Apple takes over the news cycle again.
Now if any of you OnePlus fans out there have conspiracies theories in mind, then you need to take a step back and think about who’s who and what’s what. I am not sure why Apple chose October 30 in New York City for its upcoming event, but I can guarantee you it had nothing to do with OnePlus. I wouldn’t put trying to upstage Samsung past Apple. I think they would go out of their way to do that if given the opportunity. Maybe would do the same to Google. Anyone else is going to be too small to merit them caring about. As such, I can tell you with certainty that Apple didn’t choose the date and time of the iPad and Mac event to somehow dampen the sales of a device that doesn’t compete at the same level as the iPhone. Again, I like OnePlus, but they just aren’t in the conversation with Apple, Samsung, and Google.
While Apple is the bigger company and can do what they want, I also can’t say that OnePlus being forced to move their event is a good thing. It is a reminder that all of the biggest companies in tech today wield enormous power and influence over the entire sector. Any of them can suck the air out of another company’s room with the snap of their fingers. This time it was Apple, but Samsung, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Facebook could do the same thing to a smaller company with a similar scheduling conflict.
Whether you think it is good or bad, the truth is that Apple has an enormous amount of influence over all other companies in the tech sector, especially those that are much smaller. OnePlus moving their event up a day is just another example of how Apple, whether intentionally or by coincidence, can affect other companies by their actions. Even small and seemingly arbitrary decisions, like the date and time of an event, can have an outsized impact on other companies. They cast a very long shadow over a large portion of Silicon Valley.