How many missteps is a startup smartphone manufacturer allowed before everyone decides to move on to the next hot new thing? Fortunately for OnePlus, the ambitious Pete Lau and Carl Pei-co-founded company has managed to build a reputation, even somewhat of a cult following, since 2014, which should help it survive a seemingly endless recent string of scandals.
Of course, the fact that this is no longer a novice tech outfit experimenting with unorthodox publicity stunts may well amplify the disappointment of its hardcore fans and early OnePlus 5 adopters.
But let’s start from the beginning. After controversies stirred by benchmark manipulation accusations, jelly scrolling effect, inverted audio and 911 call-blocking glitches, the latest issue OP5 users encountered all of a sudden this week was a wild push notification they never asked for.
At first glance, this didn’t appear like a premeditated move on the OEM’s part. How could it be when the opportunity to win a OnePlus 5 was offered to existing OP5 owners in exchange for participation in an innocent survey?
As it turns out however, not only did OnePlus mean to send these invitations around, but the company still feels no harm was done even after all the online outrage, thanking “all those who have taken part” in sharing their “personal experiences about the OnePlus 5” to “help with the continuous improvement of our products and to better understand our community of users.”
The thing is the content of the notification wasn’t what sparked indignation in the first place. Instead, it’s how OnePlus chose to request “feedback” from its “community.” Obligatory messages pushed to a phone’s home screen are unacceptable for many users, whether they’re first or third-party promotional efforts.