I just learnt today that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has ads. I’m generally not that interested in Samsung phones, but the idea of putting ads on a device that costs up to $US 2,000.00 offends me so much that I had to comment.

If I shell out that amount of money for a device, I expect an experience that is worthy of that price. Having that experienced degraded with crappy banner ads, and a built-in app1 which hijacks the lock screen, really brings down the intrinsic worth of the whole device to a point that doesn’t justify the price they’re asking for. It shows contempt for the customer — you know, the person that, by right, is the owner of the phone they paid for — and it’s just overall dishonorable.

I know how difficult it can be for Android OEMs to compete given the current race to the bottom. But my understanding is that Samsung is actually second to Apple in terms of revenue per device, so I see absolutely no reason why they would consider a move like this.

Yeah, I know it’s a first world problem, but I’m seeing more and more phone vendors thinking that the device that they sell, supposably at a profit, is also a vector for which they can push marketing messages through without regard, and I really don’t want that to happen.

  1. The built in app, called “Samsung Global Goals”, is designed to promote charitable causes through the use of promotions. I appreciate the motivation of funding these causes, but not the approach they use to do so. ↩︎