OnePlus is just a week away from unveiling its next phone. The company announced today that it’ll be holding a launch event for the OnePlus 5T — a rumored revamped, larger version of this year’s OnePlus 5 — on Thursday, November 16th.
We’re getting some launch details early, too. OnePlus says the 5T will go on sale in North American and Europe just a week later, on November 21st. It’ll be widely available in India starting November 28th, and it’ll come to China December 1st.
Launch events are usually held for members of the media only, so that press can report on and get impressions of new devices. But OnePlus is doing something a little differently: it’s holding the event in Brooklyn and will allow fans to come, so long as they buy a $40 ticket. The event will also be available to stream for free online.
The ticket sales are an unusual way to make money off of fans — they’ll likely get to try out the OnePlus 5T, but ultimately they’re paying to watch an advertising event — while simultaneously filling the room with supportive voices who’ll deliver applause at the right moments during the announcement. That’s not a new technique, but companies typically fill out crowds with their own partners and employees, not paying customers.
The whole thing feels like another example of OnePlus putting branding, marketing, and hype ahead of pretty much everything else. The company sells phones that are only somewhat modified from those that Oppo makes (they share a parent company), and it’s largely distinguished itself through its marketing prowess. It’s pretty clear that’s happening again here. If anyone can tell me what the OnePlus 5T has to do with this robot, I’m all ears: