OnePlus has already managed to attract a lot of criticism for the way it’s introduced its first smartphone, the OnePlus One. From the invitation system, to that smash-your-phones contest, to issues with scalpers, or even botched run-ins with regulatory agencies, it sometimes feels that this company is making every mistake it can – but then again, as an upstart, it has some growing pains to work through. The latest OnePlus controversy has just landed, and this one is drawing Cyanogen Inc. into the conflict.
It all started with the announcement of a new OnePlus One invite giveaway, this time only open to women. The company asks ladies to send in a pic of themselves displaying a OnePlus logo, for forum members to vote upon, with the 50 top submissions getting invite codes and t-shirts. Right there, OnePlus was treading on extremely thin ice (if not breaking it outright), risking turning this into a beauty pageant. But then it had to go and push things one step further, dropping a “ladies, no nudity please” warning.
The contest is already being called sexist, demeaning, and objectifying, and has managed to catch the attention of Cyanogen, OnePlus’s software partner on the One. In no uncertain terms, the company tweeted that “we value all of our users and do not support any contest that objectifies people.”
Just now, as we go to post this news, OnePlus has finally taken the contest thread down. Prior to that, it was urging commenters to stay on topic and not derail the thread with their complaints.