OnePlus may have thankfully promised to stop preloading Facebook on its phones but it seems to have switched one Big Tech for another Big Tech. The OnePlus 8T, the company’s latest flagship announced just last week, is getting a minor update to OxygenOS 11 but instead of what should have been a trivial event in India has blown up over the Internet. It turns out, the update also adds the Amazon app to the phone but OnePlus apparently has a ready answer for that.
To be clear, the Amazon app is only being installed on Indian models of the OnePlus 8T, an important distinction in this context. It is, after all, Indian users who spotted the OxygenOS 188.8.131.52 changelog that mentions the addition of the Amazon app “for a better shopping experience”.
Given the recent promise from OnePlus not to pre-install Facebook and other bloatware anymore, this almost sneaky addition seems almost insulting. OnePlus’s explanation is that, at least in India, it has always pre-installed the Amazon app anyway so it’s nothing really new. What’s new is that it wasn’t actually able to pre-install the app from the get-go.
Speaking to Android Authority, OnePlus explained that it wasn’t able to install the Android 11 of the Amazon app in time for the OnePlus 8T’s launch. The update simply put back what should have been there in the first place, no harm, no foul. At least for OnePlus, that is.
Of course, the mere idea that OnePlus is still putting in bloatware, even if limited to a single market, is already ruffling a few feathers. Of course, it isn’t unusual for smartphone makers to partner with companies that get their apps preloaded, like Samsung and Microsoft, but OnePlus is often held to a higher standard than most OEMs.