Samsung, IOC Deny Banning iPhones at the Sochi Olympics


A rumour surfaced yesterday claiming that in its push for its Galaxy Note 3, Samsung demanded that athletes cover up the Apple logos on their iPhones during the Opening Ceremony. Since then Samsung has responded to the allegation in an email statement sent to Fast Company.

Iphone back

Some may think that Samsung’s marketing push would actually involve such actions, and they would be right: both parties have imposed restrictions on each other. Just consider the sales ban due to patent infringement.

But this time things looks slightly different. In an email sent to Fast Company, a Samsung representative denied any allegations of the rumour that originates from a Swiss site.

Samsung has not been involved in any decisions related to branding on products used by athletes to the Games. All commercial marketing around the Games is overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

From the IOC’s press office, Rachel Rominger sent the following statement regarding the rumoured iPhone ban:

Thank you for your email. No it is not true. Athletes can use any device they wish during the Opening Ceremony. The normal rules apply just as per previous Games.

Since we are talking about the Olympics, fair play is the key, and Samsung seems to recognize this.


  • FragilityG4

    Now that makes more sense than the rumour. I’m glad this isn’t the continued bickering and Samsung hasn’t sunk to an all time low.

  • Peter Pottinger

    I don’t care. I cared enough to post.

  • Monaro21

    I worked as a police officer at the Vancouver Olympics I can assure you that the IOC takes “branding” very seriously. For example when we were in public view at the Olympics we were told that we were not permitted to hold a coffee cup with the label visible for any brand other than the approved supplier. This was enforced by the IOC and I personally saw other police officers being told to cover the label on their coffee cups.

  • Aaron

    Whats funny is that they did it but too shameful to admit it.