On June 12 some users of Huawei smartphones began to complain on social media that lockscreen ads were popping up randomly on their devices for services like booking.com and other businesses. Huawei now seems to have done away with this practice for gaining revenue following those complaints.
Huawei has even admitted that these advertisements shouldn’t have been showing up on devices in the first place, noting that choosing to implement this idea was a mistake, acknowledging that it was having a negative affect on people’s experiences with using their devices.
The company has since apologized for inconveniencing its users and has stated that it is committed to bringing them a user experience that they will enjoy by continuing to improve the services that it does offer and plans to offer in the future.
The ads, which were showing up for people who had the built-in landscapes set as their lockscreen wallpaper option, have been removed from Huawei’s servers which means they shouldn’t be showing back up for anyone else in the future. With that said there are some users who may have downloaded some or all of those images to their devices.
Huawei has a solution for this as well and it consists of simply deleting those images from the phones that have them downloaded. Huawei notes that if those images happen to pop back up, users will simply need to then drag up on the lockscreen from the bottom edge.
This will cause a delete option to appear followed by a confirmation box confirming that the user wants the image to be deleted from their device, with an option for removing the image that will also need to be selected before the image can be removed from the phone entirely and permanently.
While there’s nothing wrong with putting lockscreen ads on user devices it’s usually frowned upon when something of this nature is done in such a way that it comes up as a surprise to the user of that device, like in Huawei’s case, as it appears the company simply pushed out an update that loaded these wallpapers into phones or had them loaded up from the beginning and simply enabled them just recently.
Huawei wouldn’t be the first company to implement lockscreen ads. Amazon had been employing this tactic for a few years on many of the phones it sold from other brands.
The difference is that these were labeled as Prime model versions of these devices and Amazon was upfront that customers would be getting a significant discount on the retail price of these phones in exchange for dealing with the lockscreen ads that would be present, so customers knew what they were getting before the phone was in their hands.
Huawei has climbed over the years to being one of the top smartphone makers globally, but has recently been experiencing troubles over the US government ban that has seen countless companies either stop selling Huawei’s products or stop providing the company with hardware due to regulations of the ban.