In a lengthy statement posted to the OnePlus community forums, CEO Pete Lau said that the company's communications with technology journalists led it to believe that its event would be "overshadowed." But the company said that its fans were a more important consideration:
We talked to some of our most loyal users, knowing we could not make a decision of this magnitude without your input. For we know you would be most affected by this change. Flight tickets have been booked, hotel rooms reserved, and plans rescheduled. Internally, we were incredibly divided on this decision. We agonized for hours before we came to one of the most painful decisions we have ever made.
Ultimately, the company knows that it was in a bit of a no-win situation and didn't want "to let one of the most important products in our history be affected by another great product launch." In a pretty generous gesture, however, the company says it'll refund tickets for anyone unable to attend and will even pay the cost for people who need to change airfare or other accommodations:
If you're still committed to joining our event, first of all: Thank you! We will cover any costs you might incur to change your plans. If you need to pay to move your flight, we've got your back. Same goes for those of you who booked a hotel or made other arrangements. Our team will be getting in touch with all ticket owners individually to help you out.
Despite the difficulties the company had in changing its plans, this isn't a shocking development. No tech company wants a competitor to overshadow their big moment, and Apple probably wasn't going to move its event (whether or not it could). Not that you're likely to complain if you're looking forward to OnePlus' big news. You'll learn that much sooner whether there's more to the story than an under-the-display fingerprint reader and the death of the headphone jack.