Wednesday the first messages appeared about advertisements that appeared on the lock screen of Huawei and Honor smartphones. The company will start an investigation, they say.
Ads on a smartphone; Huawei is not the first manufacturer to have it on its phone, whether or not by accident. On Wednesday the first reports appeared about advertisements on the lock screen of Huawei and Honor smartphones. To be precise, it is about the ‘Magazine’ lockscreen. Normally the screen only changes constantly, but this time ads from Booking.com appeared there. The background changed per destination that Booking.com offers. The Chinese company indicates that it has launched an investigation into the incident, but does not respond to the appearance of the advertisements, or how widespread the problem is.
Magazine lockscreen advertisements
A screenshot of WinFuture shows the advertising problem of the lockscreen. The logo of Booking.com is prominently displayed in the middle. You will also find the text ‘ getaway deals’ at the bottom of the image . Various sources report that the advertisements have appeared on devices from both Huawei and Honor, regardless of the price range. There are 470 million users of EMUI, the operating system of Huawei, worldwide. How many of these users were affected is unknown. We do know that Huawei has strategic partnerships with Booking.com though.
In addition to the advertisements, since 2016 it placed the application of Booking.com on its phones. It is difficult to say where the precise error lies, but there are a number of possibilities. One of these options is a mistake within the team behind the Huawei Mobile Services app. The developers of this service app are also responsible for maintaining the ‘ ScreenMagazine ‘, the app for refreshing the background on your lockscreen. Yet it doesn’t seem like a mistake that you just make, so there is a chance that Huawei was testing ads. For a definitive answer we will have to wait for the Huawei investigation.
“Huawei is not the first”
If the investigation shows that Huawei is indeed testing advertisements on the lockscreen , it would not be the first manufacturer to do this. Xiaomi is known as a manufacturer who places advertisements on his devices ‘to reduce costs’. You can disable the ads there, but basically you get ads in the operating system. HTC is a manufacturer that has had a number of advertising scandals. The main cause at the time was, according to HTC, with the external developer of his keyboard. Finally, Amazon offered smartphones for a short time with advertisements on the lockscreen , often at a reduced rate.