OnePlus fans in North America hoping to pick up a 9 Pro on Friday may have been upset to see that the $969 8GB/128GB base model wasn't available. In fact, you couldn't pick one up during the pre-order period either, and they never even went on sale. While we're told there's no schedule for when you can actually buy one, OnePlus tells us it's still coming.
Only the $1,069 version is available right now.
At launch, OnePlus highlighted that the 9 Pro would start at $969, but when pre-orders began the day of the announcement, only the more expensive version was available. Later that week on Friday, when pre-orders ostensibly "started" (having been available already), the base model was unavailable. Again, when "pre-order" changed to "buy" a week later, OnePlus only sold the more expensive $1,069 model.
This also affected other retailers. Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H also sell the unlocked versions of the phone, but none has the cheaper base model, and T-Mobile is also only selling the 12/256GB version.
We reached out to OnePlus regarding this apparent omission, and we're told that the company does still plan to sell the $969 base model. Although it isn't currently available in North America, a representative tells us it will be here in the future, but no timeline for that availability was offered.
An explanation for the delay wasn't offered either. There is an ongoing chip shortage, which could be affecting supplies for 9 Pro components, potentially including the Snapdragon chipset inside it. However, it isn't clear why the more expensive model would be unaffected.
In the meantime, folks in the US hoping to pick up a OnePlus 9 Pro have no choice but to shell out $1,069 for the more expensive 12GB/256GB model, inviting further comparisons with the (better) Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is just $130 more if you can't pick it up on sale or discounted, which happens pretty often.