back to article Huawei: Our fake phone camera pic shame

Huawei is under fire after admitting a photo it supposedly took with one of its phones was actually snapped using an expensive digital camera. The (since deleted) image was posted to Huawei's Google+ page and was presented as having been taken with the P9, an Android-equipped smartphone that carries a pair of on-board 12Mp …

  1. Geoff Johnson

    EXIF

    When will people learn that there's more to a JPEG than a pretty picture.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: EXIF

      I would have thought they would have scrubbed that or edited it out... ;-)

      But still, it pales in comparison to the Lumina 1020. Sure the OS was for shit, but that camera was the best and still not rivaled by today's phones. I have shots taken with the 1020 that rival digital SLR cameras. The only difference is that with a camera phone its easy to get some skew because its harder to keep the phone perpendicular to the subject. I have on my wall a couple of 8x10s taken from the phone. (One of which is a cropped image that was a smaller portion of the original shot.)

      At 12mp, there should be no excuse not to show off the phone's ability to take pictures.

  2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Whoops!

    This doesn't do their image any good, if you'll excuse the pun.

    Remember that time they got caught stealing Cisco code?

    People don't forget that shit in a hurry.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Whoops!

      "Remember that time they got caught stealing Cisco code?"

      Nope!

      1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

        Re: Whoops!

        Just checked. It was 13 years ago. Which proves my point, I reckon.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: Whoops!

          But I still don't remember it...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whoops!

          You what?

          It was thirteen years ago and you're replying to someone who doesn't remember it.

          Bit of a solipsist are we sir?

  3. Charles 9 Silver badge

    There oughta be a law!

    False advertising is IMO bearing false witness before the public: a serious breach of trust. That should be a criminal offense punishable by an outright ban to sell products in the country for a category and period to be determined by the judiciary (say, no phones for 90 days in this case since it's for a product just released, meaning it's an attempt to lie to encourage sales). If it weren't for the fact businesses can bribe legislators, we could have corporate policing laws with teeth: capable of seriously stinging bottom lines and putting even executives in jail for malfeasance under their watch.

    1. JC_

      Re: There oughta be a law!

      I'm a little surprised you got down-voted for promoting truth in advertising. That recent bus-based advertising campaign that had a whopper of a lie deserved a few prison sentences.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There oughta be a law!

        What lie? The UK does send 350m a week to the EU. It gets back 150m or so later.

        1. Alien8n Silver badge

          Re: There oughta be a law!

          @AC actually the rebate is applied *before* we pay the EU. With subsidies that £350m is then further reduced to approx £69m per week. As the UK is one of the richest countries in the EU I actually have no issue with this, for the same reason I have no issues with my taxes paid in Oxfordshire going towards regeneration programs in Liverpool, or Wales.

          1. TheProf
            Mushroom

            Re: There oughta be a law!

            I have no issues with my taxes paid in Oxfordshire going towards regeneration programs in Liverpool, or Wales.

            I have no issue with my taxes paid in Liverpool going towards regeneration programmes in London.

            Enjoy the Olympic legacy. Love from the rest of the country.

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: There oughta be a law!

            @AC actually the rebate is applied *before* we pay the EU.

            Not, it isn't. £55m per day before the rebate, which is £385m/week. With a rebate of £5bn/year, or around £100m/week the net after the rebate is £280-£250m/week.

            There are, of course, other ways that money is returned to the UK via grants, so overall the UK gets back about 2/3 of what it pays in. Those are figures from pro-remain sources.

            1. Alien8n Silver badge

              Re: There oughta be a law!

              @POS No, the rebate is applied immediately so we don't send £350m per week, we send the lower £250m per week and then get subsidies back. This was made very clear in the Remain campaign. Please stop with the misleading figures.

              For more see here https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/ with nice graphics

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: There oughta be a law!

                No, the rebate is applied immediately so we don't send £350m per week, we send the lower £250m per week

                That would be a discount, not a rebate. A rebate, by definition, is a later return of excess monies paid.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: There oughta be a law!

                  "That would be a discount, not a rebate. A rebate, by definition, is a later return of excess monies paid."

                  No, actually that's a reFUND. A reBATE is a later payment of monies as incentive for buying the product. Subtle but legal difference.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There oughta be a law!

            Indeed, and to get a general idea of what was actually going on, and which countries were slackers compared to their economy size, try this:-

            http://english.eu.dk/en/faq/faq/net_contribution

            1. Down not across

              Re: There oughta be a law!

              Rather telling that table. Just as an example a small country like Finland is almost twice worse off than UK when looking at %GNI (and their's has kept going up unlike UK which looks to have almost halved from 2014 to 2014) .

              Given the boast of world's nth largest economy it really is paying a pittance.

              So really it looks like its mostly Germany, Sweden and Finland paying up for everyone (proportionally speaking of course).

              Disclaimer: Yes of course this is kind of trolling, but the figures are interesting.

          4. Deltics

            Re: There oughta be a law!

            Except for one thing: The UK government has no say in how the money that comes back from the EU is spent. It is returned by the EU to be spent on what the EU stipulates. Including such worthy causes as supporting the impoverished owners of farmland, paid by the hectare for simply owning that land, regardless of whether it is used to produce any food.

            It was entirely accurate to say that removing the strings attached to how that money is spent then the UK govt. could - potentially - choose instead to spend it on whatever it likes (or more accurately, what it is voted into office to spend it on). It was rash to suggest that it would ALL go onto any one thing since realistically this would then be a matter for the civil service to decide how the money is actually best spent, once they have the power to make such decisions.

            But they could, in theory, then decide to spend it all on the NHS.

            As for your own reconciliation with paying tax, consider that you pay your taxes and then crucially get to vote in electing a government to spends those taxes across the UK.

            Apart, of course, from that part of the tax which is handed over to the EU, the spending of which is entirely removed from any influence of your or anyone else's vote (democratic vote that is - there may be some **internal** voting involved in how the EU apparatchiks reach their policy decisions regarding the distribution of your money).

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: There oughta be a law!

              "Except for one thing: The UK government has no say in how the money that comes back from the EU is spent."

              That's the good part!

              Unless you are best buddies with some influential toff in government.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: There oughta be a law!

                @anonymous boring coward

                You think it's good that our bureaucrats aren't accountable? That we allow somebody's else's unaccountable bureaucrats to spend it instead?

                Great trolling.

          5. John Sanders
            Holmes

            Re: There oughta be a law!

            We invite you to pay more taxes as you seem to love politicians doing whatever they want with your money.

            After all they know what they are doing and you obviously not.

        2. smartypants

          Re: What lie?

          And therein lies the appeal of lies on advertising.

          They still work. People still believe them.

          This is why we need a law to stop this sort of thing, so that those easily swayed by false claims don't end up suffering or inadvertently flushing the country down the toilet.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There oughta be a law!

          "What lie? The UK does send 350m a week to the EU. It gets back 150m or so later."

          Correct.

          The fact you got downvoted 1:15 shows that truth is relative to Guardian readers.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: There oughta be a law!

        Not just truth in advertising: ABSOLUTE truth in advertising: Patrician-style. Everything verifiable, conservative/typical claims only, and so on. It's time to put the Sixth Amendment to advertising: the truth, the WHOLE truth, and NOTHING BUT the truth, so help you (Insert $DEITY here).

  4. Richard Parkin

    I don't know why the author thinks this is no too bad. It's outright crookedness and their excuses are just more lies. They could have just admitted fault and regretted the error and said it should never have happened. It was not just the exif - the reason people looked for the exif was that the image had characteristics of a larger sensor image.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Almost equally criminal would be to be so stupid that you don't remove the exif information..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia did this before:

    http://petapixel.com/2012/09/07/yup-nokia-faked-the-sample-photos-in-its-pureview-promo/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia did this before:

      No, that was Microsoft. The Nokia we know and love would never have done that. The Microsoft we know and hate would do it in an instant.

  6. zb

    I would think that the people involved would know about EXIF data and be clever enough to edit it if they were trying anything dodgy. So my verdict is they are guilty of sloppiness rather than dishonesty

    1. Richard Boyce

      Sloppiness and dishonesty are not mutually exclusive. When people are caught, it's often because of the combination.

      1. Down not across

        Sloppiness and dishonesty are not mutually exclusive. When people are caught, it's often because of the combination.

        You forgot the most important one: plausible deniability. Ok, not exactly deniability more like believable (kind of) excuse.

    2. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      To be fair, the people involved in posting to their social media accounts are probably either too young, too coked, too technologically imparied (or a combination of all three) to have intentionally misled.

      Another company comes a cropper for not having proper social media controls in place. Too caught up in the coolness of it all.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        too young, too coked, too technologically imparied (or a combination of all three

        Neither. Most likely the daughter of the party secretary in the marketing department. Nepotism combined with communepotism. You cannot beat that as far as the stupidity of the results it provides.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And that's the price of a three years old model...

    ... which will be replaced by a new one at Photokina next September. The price will get back around $3000 or more... while raising the bar of image quality. Next Huawei promo with a 5D mk IV? But maybe they'll got an EXIF editor by then.

  8. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Well, at least it's good PR for Canon SLRs.

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      "Pictures so good people will think it was taken with a phone"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Picture so good no phone can take them?

  9. Magani
    FAIL

    Corrections and Clarifications Column

    In our previous press release, the comment:

    "The photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to inspire our community,"

    should have read:

    "The photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to deceive our community into thinking it was taken with our phone,"

    1. Bob H

      Re: Corrections and Clarifications Column

      As someone spotted elsewhere the copyright notice in the EXIF says 2015, knowing the timescales of phone development I am not sure that 2015 is even the right answer. But perhaps the photographer forgot to change his template?

  10. C. P. Cosgrove
    FAIL

    Oh dear !

    Maybe next time they will follow the example of the BBC and strip the meta-data off the image before they use it.

    Chris Cosgrove

  11. Tromos

    Easily fixed

    Just make them give the necessary add-on equipment to every purchaser of a P9. I'm sure they won't get any complaints after that.

  12. cortland

    Scale of what?

    For unabashed failure to know what one is doing, this is not nearly as bad as losing a Mars Orbiter in 1999 when someone didn't convert pounds to Newtons for every system on the spacecraft. Not even close

    But it'll do for just plumb dumb.

  13. DerekCurrie
    FAIL

    If It's Chinese, It Must Be A Scam <--Come On China! Grow Up!

    Why is China: Criminal Nation, still a scam hole? I know perfectly well there are great, brilliant and creative people in China. Then this scam garbage happens day after day, wrecking the country's reputation all over again, day after day. It's ridiculous. When will this country cast off the self-destructive garbage of its culture, grow up and join those of us who know how to be honest, positive and self-constructive? I'm sick of expecting the worst from China! Stop enabling my low opinion!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If It's Chinese, It Must Be A Scam <--Come On China! Grow Up!

      I think every country is a scam hole, it's just they just have over a billion people to choose from.

      How many ad's in the UK have been pulled because their lies were just to much to put up with?

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: If It's Chinese, It Must Be A Scam <--Come On China! Grow Up!

      You actually think western advertising companies would be more honest?

    3. John Sanders
      Facepalm

      Re: If It's Chinese, It Must Be A Scam <--Come On China! Grow Up!

      What are you talking about? that would mean they have to spend more money upping the quality of their products meaning they can't undercut their western competition anymore for free.

  14. Mark Stronge

    Poor reporting

    What a rubbish article. Lacking on details and misleading as week as having another jibe at google+.

    For one thing, the post by huawei was posted to Google+, Facebook and Twitter but Google+ is the only social media network that doesn't compress photos and retains the ability of its users to view the exif info.

    Secondly, the text in the post doesn't specifically say that the photo was taken using a P9, but it is implied. Why did you not include what Huawei actually said in the post?

    Thirdly, it wasn't Android police that uncovered it, but a couple of saavy Google+ users (we are legion) including myself that tagged a few people in the media to alert them of the deception. If you had have included a screenshot, it would have shown that.

    Fourthly, if you really were wanting to grow your audience, targeted posting to Google+ would be the way to do it.

    Fifthly, as Mike Elgan points out, the same post on Facebook and Twitter was met with a positive response, and concludes that Google+ are the most intelligent, saavy people in the world. Google+ is somewhere that intelligent people can have intellectual conversations without resorting to the hate and mud slinging of twitter, and there is the ability to speak to each other in long form.

    Seventhly, thanks for reading to the end, this article appeared in my Google Now feed, you'll see me over on Google+.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Poor reporting

      "Google+ are the most intelligent, saavy people in the world"

      Assuming that correct use of spellings and an ability to accurately count to six aren't considered measures of intelligence...

      1. Mark Stronge

        Re: Poor reporting

        LOL, it was early and I had another point that I didn't fill in :-) looks like there are lots of thumbs down but no explanation or discussion as to why. Typical non communication, probably all twitter users

    2. Mark Stronge

      Re: Poor reporting

      So i get 8 thumbs down for what exactly? The article by the register is just as misleading as huawei's advert.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Poor reporting

        It wouldn't be a true El Reg article if it didn't bite a little - Google+ was the victim (as a less followed marketing vector) this time (beyond Huawei).

        While Huawei may have avoided to tell explicitly the photo was taken with a P9, the wording was carefully crafted to make people believe it. Which makes you think they were fully aware of the photo true source.

        They were caught with their pants down, and marketdroids newspeak ("The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure. Reinvent smartphone photography and share your sunrise pictures with us") was easily available following the link.

        Moreover it already appeared in News Bytes (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/05/huawei_promo_photo_goof/)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh, it's only one little lie

    in a milion of lies fed by "captains of the industry" every day. Every industry.

    (it's sarcasm, people)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not as bad as nokrosoft of course

    At least huawei didn't actually claim, only imply.

    The Microsoft Nokia scumbags actually claimed.

    And yes, I use Google+ most days. The writer seems incredibly out of touch

    1. Mark Stronge

      Re: Not as bad as nokrosoft of course

      True, Nokia was caught out when they did state it was from their phone. See, proves my point, mike elgan is right. Google+ users like to discuss things.

  17. Haku

    The gaming industry has been doing this sort of thing for years.

    Companies regularly advertise their newest game by using cinema quality CGI 'game footage' but at least they put these words at the bottom:

    Not actual gameplay

    The food industry too, bright colourful pictures of perfectly presented food on the box but when you actually open up the box... IMHO the person who takes the photograph of the food should be forced to eat it afterwards, that way they won't use all sort of tricks like hairspray to make the food look good.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The gaming industry has been doing this sort of thing for years.

      Ever since Forza Motorsport started intruding into Gran Turismo's territory, there's been a push for more honest gameplay advertising in order to influence buyers looking for the best actual in-game experience (or they end up returning the game). The latest Forza installments generally display "Actual Gameplay Footage" captions for their ads.

      PS. Some of they tricks food advertisers use are food-safe (certain oils, different recipes, and so on), meaning ad models could safely eat many models. What you need is a way to verify the product is actual product from the line, probably brought in by an unknown source to reduce the odds of tampering.

  18. NanoMeter

    Well...

    that was embarrassing. Do these companies ever learn?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silver lining

    Hopefully more will be permanent turned away from advertising.

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