Olympics sponsor Samsung is reportedly dropping Galaxy Note 3 smartphones in athletes’ goodie-bags, though the gift comes with a catch: a supposed ban on any other device branding, iPhone or otherwise, during the opening ceremony. Details of the clamp-down, which is said to require the Apple logo on an iPhone be physically covered so that it’s not caught on camera during the televised ceremony in Sochi, were spilled by the Swiss Olympic team.
They were pleased to discover the Note 3 in among the other promotional kit sponsors have been offering, Bluewin reports, but the phone came with guidelines on what Samsung is said to be requiring in return for its financial support. The rule only appears to apply to athletes, rather than anybody else attending the opening ceremony.
Samsung is pushing the Note 3 hard at the Olympics, equipping what it’s describing as its “Galaxy Team” athletes with the pen-enabled smartphone to demonstrate how their training and their trip abroad can be better documented.
Managing media isn’t unusual – look, for instance, at the sheer number of Windows Phones and the distinct absence of other devices in Microsoft’s recent CEO photos – but a blanket ban seems somewhat heavy-handed. Whether Samsung will get its wish or if the public eye will be distracted from its role in the event remains to be seen; although the Swiss delegation is apparently happy with its accommodations, others visiting Sochi have been less impressed by the new hotels there, and quick to report their dissatisfaction with part-finished hotels and no running water.
Camera performance has become one of the key battlegrounds in smartphones in recent years, with companies taking different approaches to how to snap the best photo on the go: some have opted for higher megapixels, like the 13MP shooter on the Note 3, while others take a different route like larger individual pixels or improved lenses. Samsung is expected to add optical image stabilization to its 2014 flagship phones, with chatter of a 16-megapixel upgrade for the Galaxy S5 tipped to debut later this month.