OnePlus is known for releasing upgraded "T" versions of its smartphones, even if the original device has been out for only a few months.
This is evidenced by the OnePlus 3T and the more recent OnePlus 5T, and assuming the OnePlus 6 will launch in 2018, the case may or may not be the same for the upcoming handset, depending on the technology by then.
The T Isn't Set In Stone
In the OnePlus forums, the company held an AMA (ask me anything) session, just like the one it did on Reddit for the OnePlus 3T. One user asked whether or not it's safe to expect a T model moving forward, and OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei stepped up the plate to answer.
"We'll make a second T device if there's enough new technology that's useful to our users. As of now, we still haven't decided whether we have enough upgrades next year for a T device," he wrote.
Now the smartphone maker pushes out these T variants to improve their current flagships by adding some features that users want to see.
Between the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, the notable upgrades the latter got include a Snapdragon 821 and a bigger 3,400 mAh battery, not to mention that it also became available in 128 GB model.
Meanwhile, the OnePlus 5T is notably better than the OnePlus 5 because of its new bezel-less design, 18:9 screen, and its capability of taking clearer photos in low-light environments. To top it all off, it also has a Face Unlock feature that's similar to Samsung's facial recognition technology and somewhat comparable with Apple's Face ID on the iPhone X.
In short, OnePlus isn't sure if there would be any good reason to produce another T version for its next smartphone, which is presumably the OnePlus 6.
It's worth mentioning that the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5T weren't even exactly planned from the start of the developments of the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 5 respectively.
The Problem With OnePlus T
Sure, every fan out there will welcome any sort of upgrade with open arms, but the thing is, if the release gap between a standard phone and a T version is too short, then those who purchased the former will be disappointed within good reason.
To put things into perspective, the OnePlus 3 rolled out in June 2016, and the OnePlus 3T followed after five months in November 2016. On the other hand, the OnePlus 5 launched in June 2017, and the OnePlus 5T came out in November 2017.
That leaves users thinking that if only they had waited for a couple of months, then they could have bought the improved model instead. It was only natural for them to ask whether or not a follow-up T model is the new standard for OnePlus's phones since that has happened two times already, especially now that there's a pattern forming — a June release for a smartphone and a November release for the upgraded version.
The takeaway here is that the OnePlus 6T isn't a sure thing, and if the OnePlus 6 does indeed hit the shelves, waiting for a T variant of it may or may not be in vain.