OnePlus seems to love, nay, thrive in controversy. From its “Never Settle” battle cry, to its exclusive invite system, to its premature retirement of last year’s flagship, OnePlus seems to live out the phrase “bad publicity is still publicity”. Just when you thought it was over, with a more or less “normal” launch of the OnePlus 5, here comes another one. Apparently, OnePlus has started sending OnePlus owners, most of them on the OnePlus 3 or 3T, ads and promos to upgrade to the latest model. And said owners aren’t taking to kindly to the intrusion.
This promotion is so wrong on many levels. Never mind that it paints an image of a company that’s desperate to meet sales targets. Never mind that the technical capability isn’t really new nor is it exclusive to OnePlus. OEMs are, in a way, capable of pushing out such ads but few do so. Even Samsung, notorious for its intrusive and bloated out of the box experience, barely goes down that road.
OnePlus perhaps thinks it’s above reproach. Or whatever its reason, it’s obviously not something that users appreciate at all. Especially considering these are the very users that OnePlus has abandoned by discontinuing the OnePlus 3 and 3T on such short notice and well before their time, all for the sake of the OnePlus 5. Receiving unsolicited notifications to get that very same new model is rubbing salt on their wounds even before they’ve healed.
Worse is the fact that users don’t have anyway to opt out of receiving these ads. They popup up any time and on any model, regardless of what region you are in. The latter should give OnePlus pause, as it is treading dangerously close to violating some laws.
There is actually one way of stopping the ads, but it only works if you’re on the latest Beta 9 for the OnePlus 3T. You can go to the Apps section of the Settings app, look for the Push system app, and block all notifications. That, however, would also mean you might block out actually critical notifications that OnePlus does push out. If it ever will.