The global chip shortage is claiming another victim.
Android Police reports that OnePlus is canceling the base model of the OnePlus 9 Pro for the US. During the phone’s March 2021 announcement, OnePlus said the device would start at $969 for a version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but that model is not coming out. Instead, the phone is effectively getting a price increase in the US, as only the $1,069 version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will be sold in the US.
OnePlus started selling the $1,069 SKU on time in April, but the $969 version was never for sale in the US and never went up for preorder. OnePlus gave Android Police the following statement:
The OnePlus 9 Pro 8×128 GB variant was originally set to be sold in North America for $969. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen supply constraints specific to North American devices, we recently concluded it is no longer possible to bring this configuration to the United States and Canada. In North America, we are prioritizing the 12×256 GB version to ensure our users have access to the highest spec device.
OnePlus’ statement that it is “prioritizing” the more expensive OnePlus 9 Pro indicates that this is a choice by the company. OnePlus promised a $969 phone and now is choosing not to deliver it. The company certainly could source the correctly sized RAM and storage chips and sell both models in short supply, but instead, it seems to be using the chip shortage as an excuse to push customers to a more expensive phone.
This is the second time OnePlus has negatively altered the deal it promised during the OnePlus 9 launch. After launch, the company was caught throttling devices while they ran popular apps, such as Chrome. The company said it was trying to preserve battery life, a worthy goal, but it did that by blocking some apps from accessing the four biggest CPU cores. A report by Anandtech showed that Chrome scored 85 to 75 percent lower than normal in some tests. On the plus side, OnePlus increased the 9 Pro support window to three years of OS updates and four years of security updates.
Listing image by Ron Amadeo