Mobile phones have started faking demo pictures. Several reports show that mobile companies have been using edited and DSLR-shot photos as their own. This has become a new trend for quite a few mobile phone brands. Recently, Xiaomi passed Mi clicked images as their new test picture for the latest phone Poco F1.
The incident came to light when one of the employees posted his photograph with Mi watermark but later changed to Poco (to give the phone publicity), some people noticed this change and criticised the employee. He later took off the post from Instagram. Now, Samsung has been caught for putting up a photoshopped image of a Serbian photographer, which she sold online.
The woman, Dunja Djudic, reported the complete incident on social media. She was shocked to see her picture, sold through an application called EyeEm, bought by Samsung for their Galaxy A8 phone advertisement. She found out about the advertisement when she received a notification from EyeEM about the old photograph. She then decided to reverse search her photograph on Google and found out about the Galaxy A8 Star using her photograph.
Using a sold photograph in an ad-campaign is not illegal but this activity is highly unethical. To promote one’s phone and its features by lying, these brands can’t falsify information and broadcast fake data. In a way, it is deceitful towards the consumer.
It’s All Glam And Sham
In 2012, Nokia was caught for a controversy over the Lumia 920. Their advertisement portrayed a girl taking a selfie but several people caught the camera crew in that shot. Nokia soon took that advertisement off-air and also issued a public apology. Many users were upset over this incident.
Huawei is also guilty of using the pro camera to fake a selfie in their advertisement for Egypt. The act was caught when the actor (in the ad) revealed about the camera used to fake the selfie, and how they pretended to hold a phone in their hand, though their hand was empty.
Only a few brands stick to using original photographs in their mobile campaigns, for example, Apple. They usually use pictures taken from their phones and if the pictures are edited; they clearly attribute or give information about the modified version. Their advertisements contain disclaimers with sources of the demo photographs being used. Other phone companies like Moto give warning and disclaimer about the features and content shown in the commercial.
Mobile brands are extremely competitive today. Everyone is trying to add better aesthetics, features or AI features in their product. Most of the brands have similar features. The processors, the memory cards, screen and touch, camera and sound features possess similar efficiency and quality for many brands. To achieve better market sales due to this backdrop is difficult.
Brands like Sony and One Plus have neither been caught nor have given full disclosure of the demo photographs used by them. Brands using fake images under the disguise of their own soon lose customers’ loyalty. After buying the phone, the users get disappointed with the camera and photograph quality and often blame the companies for cheating on customers.
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Jignasa pursued her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and is currently a trainee journalist at IIJNM. Her mind is usually preoccupied with art, music, food and travel.