Samsung’s honest mistake and Huawei’s mighty blunder leads to controversies

The term ‘selfie’ was not coined by any one person. It is quite interesting to how it was there and used even before the world knew about it. Even before Facebook, MySpace was as popular and was used widely by people mostly from the United States. It was since then that a self-taken photo was popular among its users.

However, it was not until iPhone 4’s camera changed it all. After all, it is all about the camera, isn’t it? iPhone, still offering the best cameras in a smartphone, made people take more selfies and applications like Instagram and Snapchat made it even more popular. However, nowadays, the amount of smartphones offering features in a front camera is just unbelievable.

Having a good camera on a smartphone is a must nowadays. It can be a deal breaker for almost all the consumers of all type. This has urged all the smartphone makers to concentrate more and more on the cameras of the smartphone and the software that goes into it. Some of the flagship phones have cameras that can shame a DSLR.

That said, the mid-budget phones, where companies are looking to offer an eye-popping specs sheet at an eye-dazzling price, struggle to offer the same quality. They look to hide it by a software tweak or by adding a feature that is unique in its own way. With that, there are some aggressive marketing strategies which follow.

There are companies that try and go one step further. Samsung recently has found itself in trouble. Trying to market its phone Galaxy A8 star’s camera it made a blunder. We all see images that make us go wow and we wonder how we are getting that phone at such a low price. Well, Samsung had a way around or maybe it just made an honest mistake.

On Samsung Malaysia’s website, there was a photo that it used to market its phone Galaxy A8 Star. It used an image to promote the phone’s camera. However, it seems like the image was taken by a DSLR. The photographer who took the photo, Dunja Djudjic, was told that her image was sold via Getty. When curiosity got better of her she tracked her photograph by using reverse image search to know who purchased it.

Dunja Djudjic, who took her own photo was amazed and shocked to see that her photo was being used to market a Samsung’s phone on Samsung’s Malaysian website. She tried contacting the Korean based company and also its Malaysian branch but she was ignored. To Samsung’s argument, it was nowhere mentioned that the photo was taken by Galaxy A8 Star.

A similar controversy was sparked a month or so ago when Huawei was under fire. A commercial for one of its phone Nova 3 was shot. It was about how the phone brings out images by automatically applying makeup when one forgets to do so. The actress in the commercial, Sarah Elshamy, uploaded a photo on Instagram captioning it as “behind the scenes”. There it was clearly seen the photo portrayed as a selfie was in reality shot by a DSLR.

Huawei came out in its defense saying that the advertisement doesn’t claim that the photo is taken from the actual phone. However, the Chinese smartphone company fell on its face after this controversy. The photo was later on taken down by the actress assuring that it was not a mistake from Huawei’s part. Such kind of incidents might put doubts in people’s mind about all the other ads.

These controversies are unhealthy not only for the culprits but also to all the other smartphone companies. This might take a hit on the level of faith of all the consumers where they would question every photo taken by every smartphone company. That said, it is downright wrong to fool the customers in any state of mind. May it be an honest mistake or a mighty blunder?

– Unmesh Phule

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