The concept of ads on a smartphone is not new. Quite a number of phone manufacturers have implemented it on their devices. What is new is ads on a $1,400 premium phone – Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip phone.
CNBC’s Tod Haselton reports that Samsung has ads displaying in the Z Flip’s phone dialer app, AKA phone app – that’s the app you make calls with.
Here is the originating tweet by Tod:
As said earlier, other mobile phone brands have done it, but they are brands known for making budget devices. Brands like TECNO, Infinix, and Xiaomi come to mind. What makes this news striking is that this is happening on a top dollar smartphone. Ads on a premium device is something that should never happen.
Some will argue that since there is a way to disable the ads, all is well and this is no big deal. But it is a big deal. There are things that should not be seen in a BMW or a Mecedes Benz. Being premium items, there is an expectation of an exclusive experience. That is what users expect from a premium smartphone.
Why On Earth Should The $1400 Galaxy Z flip Phone Have Ads On It?
It is arguable that ads on entry-level and budget smartphones can be overlooked and accomodated. But on a premium device like the Galaxy Z Flip phone? A $1,400 smartphone!
Is it that Samsung is selling the phone at cost. Or perhaps even lower than cost? If that were the case, why? Anyone who has $1400 to splurge on a smartphone should be able to spend $1,500 or even $1700 to cover any margins that the manufacturer could have added to the cost price.
There is no point of view that I can imagine in which this is acceptable. Perhaps it can even be excusable on a cheap Android phone to cover cost. But on a smartphone as expensive as the Galaxy Z flip phone, it is an absurdity and should be condemned.
Could it be that the world as we know it is changing and someday we might see ads on an Apple iPhone as well? Even if that were to happen, the only appropriate response would still be, “Hell no!”
June 2020 Update: This new phenomenon of ads on an expensive phone is not limited to the Galaxy Z flip phone. Max Weinbach of XDA Developers has also complained of ads on his $1,980 Samsung smartphone. That would be the Galaxy Fold. In his words, ads show up in Samsung’s own apps, including: Phone, Music, Weather, Galaxy Apps, Bixby, Samsung Health, and Samsung Pay.
Apps with ads: Phone, Music, Weather, Galaxy Apps, Bixby, Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, and probably more I'm missing. How many ads should there be in any app on a $1980 phone? 0. There should be 0 ads in any stock apps.
Fucking Samsung, man.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) June 8, 2020
It gets even worse. Another user has complained about ads showing up in his Samsung Galaxy S20:
You mean like this s20 ad inside an s20…?
Samsung is unbelievable. How much more should I spend so that they could shut the f*** up with these 'excessive' ads. pic.twitter.com/Efx9iLZzvz
— Alvin (@sondesix) June 8, 2020
So we have seen Samsung users complain about ads on the Galaxy Z flip phone, the Galaxy Fold, as well as the Galaxy S20. All of these are super expensive smartphones – the very last kind of devices on which a user should ever have to suffer ads.
Digging around a bit to explore the phenomenon, it appears that this new fad of ads on premium smartphones appears to be a regional thing, similar to what obtains with Xiaomi. So Samsung users in some regions around the world get this annoying experience, while users in other regions do not.
One can only hope that Samsung users who are experiencing it kick against it as loud as possible and get the idea killed completely before it becomes the new normal globally.
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Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.