HUAWEI PHONE USERS aren't exactly having the best time at the moment, what with the whole not-knowing-if-they'll-ever-get-upgraded-again issue, and now it appears that Huawei has set about rubbing salt into the wound.
Users of multiple handsets from the beleaguered tech giant have started to see adverts displayed on their phone lock screens - something that has hitherto neither happened nor been announced.
The ads are for Booking.com, a company with whom Huawei has long collaborated. Most Huawei and some Honor handsets have the app preinstalled at purchase.
You'd think that this would only apply to budget handsets, but it's far more widespread and includes all the recent flagships - users of the P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, Honor 10 and P20 Pro are all complaining, according to Android Police.
The scheme is also not a respecter of national boundaries - reports have come in from the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa, Norway and Germany.
It appears that the adverts take the form of wallpapers and are being automatically triggered for anyone who hasn't personalised their phone. Where pastoral images were before, now they're pastoral images with a Booking.com logo over them.
What's really troubling about this is that nobody (as far as we know) agreed to this. If there's something buried in the terms and conditions, it's not been found yet, and if there's not, this is a massive liberty for a company already battling to save its reputation (with a little help from a certain bit-part actor we could mention).
Lock screen adverts are nothing new; Amazon offers a £10 discount on Fire and Kindle devices if they are allowed to show adverts, whilst the now erstwhile Wileyfox was also dabbling in handsets subsidised by advertising.
The difference here is the fact it has come completely out of the left field, with no announcement (and so far no reaction from Huawei) and is most definitely not welcome on a £1,000 handset.
Affected users can opt out simply by changing their lock screen in settings. The issue is they shouldn't ruddy well have to. μ
And it'll even undo the damage
Affected employees have 60 days to find a new home at the company
Doesn't inspire confidence in HongMeng's appeal
But don't get too excited if you've already got one