This weekend saw an online retailer publish a store listing for the as-yet unreleased OnePlus 7. The list also included specifications for the handset, including a SnapDragon 855 system-on-chip, 6.5 inch AMOLED screen, retailing at $569.
Many industry watchers believe that the listing served its purpose… to boost the visibility of the ‘not-named here’ retailer. Alastair Stevenson echoes the view of many at TechRadar:
Putting up an early listing for a popular, but unconfirmed device, like the OnePlus 7 is a common tactic for smaller online retailers. The companies do it to get attention and people visiting the storefront in a bid to raise brand awareness. The specs are usually speculated and don’t have any actual backing.
…A source familiar with the matter has suggested to Trusted Reviews the listing is “complete BS”.
What the story does say reflects well on OnePlus’ increasing visibility in the mainstream. If online retailers are using your upcoming handset to increase their SEO, that means people are searching in sufficient numbers that a listing can make a difference.
It also helps that OnePlus is both open with many of the next steps it will be making – such as the inclusion of the SnapDragon 855 – but the six-month production cycle means that each handset is only a small iteration ahead of the previous handset so a look at the supply chain leads to an educated guess that is good enough for a listing page.
At the launch of the OnePlus 6 last summer, I talked about OnePlus looking to make “ the jump from a boutique handset maker to a mainstream manufacturer.” The 6T certainly backed up that ambition, and the visibility of OnePlus at last month’s Mobile World Congress in promoting it’s 5G handset and acting as thought leaders on a number of panels showed that progress to the industry.
Seeing the OnePlus 7 used as an SEO hack to gather consumers is probably the icing on the cake.