Navigating Backlash After Misleading Statements

2021-07-21 by Jim Crickell
Gear OnePlus 8T front and back SOURCE OnePlus

The computer hardware magazine recently figured out that the smartphone company, OnePlus, had started doing something unexpected. The company had started throttling the performance of his brand new, flagship smartphone. According to the publication, one of its journalists noticed an inexplicable slow down of the new OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone, and the journalist quickly realized that the smartphone was diverting a list of very popular apps away from the phone’s CPU.

The company had implemented the Snapdragon 888, which has a very high performance for a central processing unit (CPU), but was diverting these apps away from the CPU to try and save the phone’s battery life.

When the journalist realized what was happening, after extensive tests of the phone’s performance, the magazine published those findings. When the issue was made public, the company admitted and confirmed that the reduction in the phone’s performance was a deliberate attempt to improve the battery life.

The journalist concluded from the research that the company was trying to blacklist some of the most popular applications from the Google Play Store, away from the fastest cores in the processor, which ended up slowing down many simple tasks in terms of workload for the phone.

Other phone manufacturers have also been caught doing similar things in the past, having artificially improved the speed on their devices to make consumers believe that those devices are incredibly fast in benchmark tests. However, this is a different case with OnePlus, because the benchmark apps are running as normal, and it’s actually the performance of any other popular and regular apps that has been reduced.

After releasing the original statement, the company later doubled down with a longer statement, and with an argument that sounded a lot better. In the statement, the company said that in the last few years the company’s smartphone performance ended up reaching a point where the smartphone’s power tends to be too much in certain situations. That’s why the company decided to change direction. Instead of simply providing smartphones with high performance, OnePlus would still provide great performance on the devices while reducing the spread of the phone’s power consumption and heating.

While that is a great argument, there are several downsides. One of them is that for many years, this has been a company that sold smartphones based on their speed because it’s been promising a smooth and fast experience to the users. Another issue is that according to the magazine, in other smartphone benchmark tests of similar devices, the OnePlus smartphones were less responsive compared to similar smartphones from other companies.

Finally, the biggest issue with this decision by OnePlus is that the company decided not to tell anyone about the change in operations. Although the company is currently trying to make things sound like they are going well, plenty of users are critiquing this approach.

For many years, there have been conspiracy theories online about how certain smartphone companies were actually slowing down or finding other ways to cripple their devices and force the user base to upgrade to new phones.

This was only a conspiracy theory until a few years ago when it was revealed the Apple actually did something along those lines. However, back then, the company ended up settling twice in lawsuits due to misleading statements. That’s why the best time for OnePlus to have made the announcement that it would be shifting its focus with the latest devices would have been when the phone was initially launched, instead of months later.