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Is Samsung demanding an Apple-free Olympics?

10 Feb 14

Olympic Games chief sponsor Samsung has issued a blanket ban on all Apple related products through out the games, according to reports coming out of the Olympic Village.

Reported by Swiss website Bluewin, the media outlet claims Swiss athletes received a host of gifts before the event, including a Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

Yet according to the reports, “the gifts came linked with demands.”

“As an Olympic sponsor, Samsung had said that there should be no rivals’ brands in TV pictures - and so those who attended the Opening Ceremony should cover logos on iPhones,” the website claims.

As an Olympic sponsor, Samsung is unsurprisingly sensitive when it comes to rival brands, such as Apple, gaining exposure during the Games, but despite the reports, and rumours of a cover-up to hide the news, a spokesperson for the tech giant strongly denied the speculation.

“Samsung did not request any action of this nature from athletes attending the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. All commercial marketing around the games is overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Samsung has not been involved in any decisions relating to branding of products used by athletes at the games,” Samsung told UK newspaper The Guardian.

Billed as the “official Olympic phone”, the Galaxy Note 3 has been provided to all athletes, “to enjoy, capture and share” their experience at the games.

Yet the IOC, when quizzed by The Guardian, adopted Samsung’s stance, denying any notion of a coverup.

“it is not true,” a spokesperson said. “Athletes can use any device they wish during the Opening Ceremony. The normal rules apply just as per previous games.

“The Samsung Note 3 that were distributed are a gift to the athletes, so they can capture and share their experiences at the games, and the phones also contain important competition and logistical information for competing athletes.“

Is Samsung right to demand a blanket ban on all rival products? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below

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