Samsung’s vision of an Apple-free Sochi Winter Olympics



As people all over the world tune in tonight to view the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the athletes participating in the event will also be reveling in the celebrations. Many will turn to their smartphones to capture an up close view of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Samsung hopes that when those smartphones are free of Apple branding.

According to members of the Swiss team, when opening the goodie bag provided to all athletes traveling to the Olympic Village in Sochi they found a shiny new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 along with a request that athletes avoid flashing Apple branding during what will be a widely televised event. The note apparently went so far as to ask those planning on using an iPhone to tape over Apple logos.

Samsung chimed in on the matter saying no such demand is being made. The International Olympic Committee says athletes can use any device of their choosing as long as they stay within the same rules applied to previous Games. So what gives?

Did Samsung initially request athletes avoid using Apple products only to change their tune after word got out? Is the Swiss team punking the world?

Regardless, we’re sure that Samsung would never tell athletes NOT to tape over their Apple logos, especially while on the world stage that is the Olympics. Samsung may have visions of an Apple-free Sochi, but it’s not going to get there by subtly bribing athletes with a free Note 3.

[via Guardian]

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  1. This is a normal, standard practice when a particular brand sponsors an event. My rugby club was sponsored by Budweiser, but when we attended an event sponsored by Miller we needed to cover up the logos. I’m not sure why everyone is getting so huffy about it. The Olympians are getting a $700 phone out of the deal. I’m sure it will suffice for picture taking for a couple days. Geez.

    1. Amen.

    2. I didn’t see any Coke logos during the Superbowl

  2. I could be bribed Samsung. :)

  3. Why in the heck would someone use an iphone if they had a Note 3? O.o

    1. TouchWiz.

      1. TouchWiz is highly customizable. You can also install different launchers. What about iOS?

        1. But we as users dont want customization and choices….

          1. It’s just too confusing…

    2. Yeah, that’s the real point of the situation, right? It’s not about branding and advertising practices at the Olympics – it’s about how anyone that uses an iPhone is stupid because Samsung is clearly better!

      Thanks for digging up this obviously buried lede. The world is a better place for you.

      1. I do what i can. LOL

        1. I hope Phandroid gives you a column before 9Gag or SamsungFanBoy hires you first!

          1. I’m afraid that’d be too late my friend.

    3. It’s the size of a house…

      1. I think is more the size of the brain.

        1. Of his ^ brain

    4. Because it’s slow and laggy piece of crap.

      1. Slow laggy piece of crap? You really got me curious now: which smartphone do you consider fast?

        1. Nexus baby no cruft no crap.. Pure Android..

          1. I like stock Android, specially the looks of it…. When it comes to features tho I do miss several ones when using my G-PAD Google Edition instead of my Note 3. I agree Samsung has made some laggy phones but since the GS3 that has been changing. TouchWiz is heavy and does have a thousand air, motion and voice features that are more gimmicky than actually useful. When all of those are turned off I’m pretty sure the Note 3 is faster than any Nexus hardware. Not to mention camera quality, battery life, screen size and quality, pen stylus, resale price and so on. So uh, don’t try me little boy.

          2. First don’t come in hard on a tech blog, just makes you look like an a$$. Second the iteration of Touch Wiz on the S4 and Note 3 is a bloated pile of crap. I completely agree that the Galaxy series has the most features, but that doesn’t mean the best. The media experience on Galaxies is second to none but the overlaying ui is ugly and junks up the experience.

            No smart phone camera is great (except the 1020). Not even the LG G2 or iPhone 5s. Battery life again depends on many many factors location, usage, amount of apps. Quality, many argue the HTC One series are far better in quality. Screen size again a very subjective point. Many are very very happy with the 4 inch form factor of the iPhone 5 and 5x. The stylus was cool on my Note 2 but I found my self using it less over time.

            I found the Note 3 was a laggy and slow (especially after using the S4 for 7 months). If your happy with it as your daily driver, more power to you.

          3. I have both. Note 3 is just as fast but with more features like swipe to call, better notification bar etc etc. Before you rage, I’m not talking about the tw skin, on a pure functionality base, note 3 wins straight.

  4. I simply would not go to an event if I’m going to be inconvenienced by the competition of products I buy. I personally am liking Samsung less these days. Getting more controlling.

    1. Covering up a logo isn’t all that much of an inconvenience. Many did it when VZW put their stamp on the Samsung home button last year…. And if you get a device to can sell off for two thirds of its retail price and come away with half a grand, it might be worth it.

    2. So Where does it say they were forced to take the N3? Ofcourse they would ask people to put their competion product away (and yes i say competitive product, not just iPhone) when they just gave Them a brand New N3. They were bought to be a living commercial. And I am guessing samsung are tired of moron athletes, posting commercials from their iPhones. Don’t take the money, if you wont do the job!

  5. I knew I should have been an Olympian, I’d get a free Note. Damn

  6. Thank god. At least the writer isnt colored in his writing. “caugh”

  7. I bet if it was lg giving out the nexus 5 and asking the same thing everyone would be cool with it, but since it’s Samsung everyone’s has to get all emotional about it.

    1. you’re probably right.

    2. Nah. Even if was a better phone, it would still be cheesy sponsorship.

      1. Cheesy sponsorship? Imagine it was your business and you paid a lot of money to promote it… would you allow that another business was promoted next to yours but without having investing all the money you did? It’s called capitalism my friend, nothing wrong with it.

        1. It can be capitalism and still be cheesy “my friend.” The IOC makes the Olympics look more and more oversold and over-the-top with city it visits.

          I didn’t say it should be illegal. I just think it looks sad and desperate, like a fan boy guarding blog comments to make sure everyone knows how great he thinks his phone is.

        2. Oh I see a fooking worthless troll..

        3. Just using your regular phone is not officially “promoting” it

          1. The problem is not the athlete using the phone, the problem is if that gets shown on tv for millions of people to see, that’s what samsung wants to avoid… Please don’t be so naive, sport is a multi billion dollar industry, the Olympic games only happen because it’s financially viable and it is only financially viable because of the sponsors!!

          2. That’s ludicrous. Capitalism doesn’t give you the right to control the actions of free individuals. If Samsung paid for sponsorship, private individuals using other competing devices still have the right to openly use them apart from control of the sponsor. A contract would be another matter.

    3. ^^This

      1. I don’t know how to take”This”.

  8. Samsung is classless enough to do this

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