Feb 9, 2018

Winter Olympics 2018: Samsung giveaway phone snub sparks Iran fury

Lee Hee-beom intervened after Iranians reacted with fury to news their team, along with the North Koreans, would not receive the special "Olympic Edition" Samsung Galaxy Note 8 handsets being given to all other competitors at the Games in South Korea. The Iranian prosecutor-general has also ordered that Samsung's boss in Iran be summoned for questioning, and on social media many tech-loving Iranians are now calling for a boycott of Samsung products. The International Olympic Committee has since clarified that Iranian athletes will receive the Samsung phones. According to the Iranian app store, Café Bazaar, some 51% of Android phones in Iran are made by Samsung, underlying the country's importance for the electronics giant. Possibly sensing a business opportunity, Samsung's South Korean rival, LG, was quick to intervene in the row, announcing it would give every Iranian athlete competing in the Winter Olympics a top-end smartphone as well as a 55-inch TV. It's still not clear exactly why the Iranians were denied their phones.

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