Samsung Changes Name Of Smartphones After Ukraine Called For Letter ‘Z’ To Be “Criminalized”
South Korean tech company Samsung has quietly dropped the letter ‘Z’ from its newest range of folding smart phones in several Eastern European countries, presumably for fear of being associated with Russian military forces.
Samsung had branded its newest phones as the ‘Galaxy Z Fold 3’ and ‘Galaxy Z Flip 3’, and had released a raft of promotional material with the letter ‘Z’ emblazoned on the devices.
— 刘翔熙 (@liuxiangxi) March 30, 2022
However, the products are now simply listed as the ‘Galaxy Fold 3’ and ‘Galaxy Flip 3’ on the company’s official website in the Baltic countries.
Samsung has removed the ‘Z’ from its phones in certain European countries.
Z Fold/Flip3 are being sold as just Galaxy Fold3/Flip3.
Change could be due to symbol ‘Z’ representing Russian Army during the ongoing invasion in Ukraine. New retail boxes have been printed as well. pic.twitter.com/RvadGYN0Xi
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) March 29, 2022
No official statement has been made by the company, however “The Korean brand is probably dropping the letter Z in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, considering the markets where the name change is in effect,” the outlet Android Headlines noted.
Bizarrely, the symbol still appears on marketing within Ukraine at time of writing. One would think, however, that market is not so hot right now for sales of gimmicky folding phones.
The letter ‘Z’ has been spotted on Russian military hardware and for some has come to symbolise support for the Kremlin, although ‘Z’ hasn’t been adopted officially by the Russian military.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the world to “criminalize” the letter ‘Z’, saying that it represents “Russia’s war of aggression.” Ironically he spelled the word ‘criminalise’ with a ‘z’, rather than use the correct English spelling with an ‘s’.
I call on all states to criminalize the use of the ‘Z’ symbol as a way to publicly support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. ’Z’ means Russian war crimes, bombed out cities, thousands of murdered Ukrainians. Public support of this barbarism must be forbidden.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 29, 2022
And the German Embassy tweeted that security forces are “keeping an eye on the use of the symbol” and that “anyone publicly approving the war may be liable to prosecution in Germany.”
Russia’s war of aggression against #Ukraine is a criminal offense. Anyone publicly approving the war may be liable to prosecution in Germany. This applies to using the “Z” symbol, too. German security authorities are keeping an eye on the use of the symbol. – Ministry of Interior https://t.co/diQEgGwR7a
— German Embassy (@GermanyinUSA) March 28, 2022
As we previously noted, Switzerland’s largest insurer Zurich dropped ‘Z’ as their main logo, saying it was “temporarily removing the use of the letter ‘Z’ from social channels where it appears in isolation and could be misinterpreted.”
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Thu, 03/31/2022 – 09:05