HTC has confirmed that ads automatically being presented within the keyboard app on certain smartphones is indeed an error.
As spotted over the weekend by Reddit user Azirack on his HTC 10, banner ads were automatically appearing within an updated TouchPal keyboard on phones like the HTC 10. HTC’s newest phones are sold with TouchPal preinstalled and the free version of TouchPal for other devices typically shows ads, but a statement recently issued from HTC says this was not supposed to happen on the company’s proprietary devices. TouchPal developers also responded to several comments on the Google Play Store that complained about the automatic ads, saying, “For the ads issue, it is fixed from the server side.”
HTC has since delivered the following statement to Engadget:
"Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone's keyboard. This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we're working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible."
This is certainly not the first alternative way smartphones have delivered ads: Amazon recently brought the Nokia 6 to the US, which has a few price points, including a subsidized version that allows lock screen ads and offers. There is, however, a big difference between opting in and being served random ads within basic functionalities on your device without warning or agreement.