Samsung rumored to put chips in accessories to curb sales of unofficial products

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 22, 2013

samsung-galaxy-round-unboxing-pic2 UnderKG

Samsung is reportedly going to fit authorization chips into accessories like wireless chargers, battery packs, and smart covers. The move may impact the unofficial accessories market and increase costs for end users.

According to a report in the Korean outlet ETNews, Samsung is considering using identification chips that will prevent unauthorized accessories from working with Samsung devices. Apple has done something similar with its Lightning cables, which contain authorization chips that are serially numbered to prevent tampering.

While the machine-translated source is not very clear, it appears that Samsung wants to prevent the bad press caused by the improper functioning of third-party accessories. Incidents where replacement batteries or chargers cause devices to overheat or catch fire are common, and, in most cases, Samsung is left to deal with the negative publicity.

Of course, there’s some money to be made too. Putting a lid on third-party accessory sales would boost Samsung’s own products, as well as those of accessory makers that are willing to pony up a fee for joining the authorization program.

Having fewer shoddy, barely safe products on the market is great for consumers, but the direct impact of removing unauthorized accessories would likely be a price hike. Already, official Samsung accessories are much more expensive than comparable products coming from unofficial providers.

In a somehow similar move, Samsung is region locking the Galaxy Note 3, ostensibly to stop grey market imports. The Korean company received quite a bit of backlash, but won’t give up on the measure.

For now, this is just one unconfirmed report, so take it with the proverbial salt until any official statement from Samsung arrives.

  • cycad007

    Thanks Samsung!! Another way you’re *SCREWING* your customers over!

  • nebsif

    Gimmi a non samsung – small bezel AMOLED display, removable battery and mSD slot and i’ll happily jump ship, too bad every1 else is going engineer full retard with unibodies and/or bigger bezels than s4.

  • keenmay

    I think it’s a bad move. What make Samsung phones enticing is its customization options available from third party accessories. To name a few, battery options and micro SD, chargers. Once they start to tighten up these options, their phones are no longer any different than other android.

    • johnny mcsite

      The ONLY thing that keeps their phones being different is a removable battery.

      • jjordan

        I disagree the micro sd card capabilities is a big 1 for alot of people…think about it 2 years ago htc, motorola, LG, and samsung all allowed expandable storage now when someone comes into verizon the only option they have to continue to access (on their smartphone) the tons of photos and videos they have accumulated over the last 2 years is samsung…

        • johnny mcsite

          You are speaking two years ago, current models almost all have sd slots now not just samsung models.

          • jjordan

            No they don’t does the HTC one? Does any of the new Motorola smartphone…does the lg g2…no only the HTC one max…I work for Verizon I sell smart phones Samsung is the only manufacturer that gives you SD every time

          • johnny mcsite

            I have no need to assume that you have little knowledge of any other phones outside of the ones that Verizon forces their clients to purchase, since you’ve just shown this to be true. I would recommend however that you step back and do some researching of other phone brands as well as the ones you did mention. Because you don’t seem to fully have the knowledge of which ones actually have sd slots or not.

          • jjordan

            OK dude give me some examples…I work for Verizon because my passion is mobile technology…sorry you don’t approve of the company that gave me a chance to do what I love…so give me some examples of top tier smart phones with SD card slots….educate me sir since I have no idea what I’m talking about…I gave you examples so…

          • johnny mcsite

            You can easily do your own research mr.passion for mobile technology, if were so passionate you would already know of these devices or at least some of them. But I’ll give you one example of a “top tier smart phone” as you put it. Go ahead and google the korean released LG G 2.

          • jjordan

            I am so sorry you surely set me straight the Korean version of the lg g2 does have an SD card and removable battery…I knew that but didn’t think it really mattered because I was talking about the average consumer…yaknow the people that buy their phones from their carriers…whether that be sprint, at&t, T-Mobile, or Verizon…. but your right every manufacturer offers SD cards if your willing to buy foreign

          • jjordan

            By the way the Korean version of the lg g2 has a removable battery so that makes your original comment just ignorant now doesn’t it…since your whole argument was removable batteries are the only thing that separates Samsung from other oems

          • johnny mcsite

            Think what you will :)

          • johnny mcsite

            Again samsung offers this feature on phones in NA, unlike other companies. Just gonna inform you of that since you seem to overlook it ;)

          • jjordan

            Your right so why u brought up the Korean version of the lg g2 seems redundant…

          • johnny mcsite

            You…..asked for examples and I proved a starting point for “you” since you weren’t very informed on your own. I don’t see in the slightest how that is redundant.

          • jjordan

            You are so ignorant…I am done replying to your stupidity

          • jjordan

            By the way dumbass my original reply to your comment I said people that walk in to a Verizon store have no options other than Samsung to continue using their SD cards…do some research before your an asshole for no reason

  • Cotomeo

    The new Apple…

  • APai

    thank goodness for Oppo, Xiaomi, Meizu, coolpad, sony, or pretty much anyone who respects the customers and don’t think of screwing them over. I guess, samsung like apple does not want too much success, and they’d gladly like to share their customers with the lesser fortunate. good on ya samsung!

  • TournaFlyer

    It IS very dangerous to charge Lithium ion cells at anything more than 1C. Many 2 amp chargers out there with many < 2,000 mah batteries in phones. Also, if the correct charge profile is not followed (especially on a "fast charge"), it is even more dangerous. As long as this only applies to power accessories, I can't really blame them.

    • matt_helm

      Um, there is a charge controller chip IN the phone, it controls the current to the battery, not the external power supply. More current just means you CAN supply more current, not that the extra current gets to the battery.

      Now if it supplies to much voltage… boom.

      • TournaFlyer

        Thanks. Searched for that kind of info before I posted but couldn’t find it. It was my guess that maybe they did.
        Gotta’ link that discusses this?

        • matt_helm

          Here is a link to a sample circuit:

          And here is a link talking about whether to use a custom IC, or the CPU.

          I don’t see any direct links for popular cell phones, but the second link explains the whole issue.

          Basically, because of the way Li-Ion batteries work, you have to have a controller. Lead acid is about the only one that can do without an IC, and it even needs some circuity, unless the charge current is VERY small (or a LARGE battery), as it’ll dry out the cell otherwise. Short term over voltage/current really don’t phase them, that’s why they are still used in ICE cars. NiCd and NiMh can make do with a simple transistor circuit. but Li-Ion needs a IC. Too many things to check to do it otherwise.

          • TournaFlyer

            Thanks. I regularly charge LiPoly packs in my other pursuit, so I knew there needed to be a CC/CV circuit somewhere. I didn’t know if it was in the phone or the charger. Come to think of it, car chargers being so small shoulda’ been a clue. lol.

          • matt_helm

            Plus all the “normal” chargers are USB, which is ~5V, and the batteries are 3.6V so you have to do something to the power in. Plus a good changer also looks at the cell temperature. I know all of our Li-Ion products have a temperature sensor on them. I really don’t know if they use the CPU or a custom chip. The way my phone (droid bionic) works, I’m betting the CPU. (because it won’t charge while booting/shutting down, only when off, sleep or on)

            I sure wish one of the new techs for Li-Ion would come out so we could get more power out of them. ;-) I want 1 week moderate use!!!!

            BTW, I just ordered one of those super cheap USB wall warts, interesting to see how well it works. (lots of colors for Christmas!!!)

  • michael sanchez

    Like I said a year ago they now think they are apple. Good riddance samsung, others will step up and take your place.

  • Ryanjayce

    ZeroLemon :(

  • fredphoesh

    If they do that, in my mind they will be in the same bracket as the control freakish apple corporation, greedily using their position to leverage your money… yuk samsung, SGS4 will be my last if that happens.

    • alleyway

      They should make it optional, not mandatory.
      Otherwise I’ll switch to other phone maker. seriously Samsung.

  • Looks like it’s about time to move to LG?

    • Rice30

      TIZEN OS, remember that name.

    • mikhail

      LG is almost as bad as Samsung with anti-consumer behaviors

  • Nian

    Well heres a question, What happens to my Samsung Audio Dock that cost $100’s? Does that mean that all old samsung chargers and accesories that would normally have worked, will also be useless.

    • jjordan

      Good question…probably not just like apple…if u upgraded to the iphone 5 just go ahead and throw out all you chargers in the process

  • This would make a lot of sense with some accessories, perhaps not all, and it would also depend on how much control they exhibit over third party vendors. Remember those cheap S-View knockoffs everyone was buying…yeah guess who got blamed for them not working right.

  • Chuck ra

    Even though I love my s4, if they forced me buy, my chargers and spare, batteries from them. This will
    Be my first and last Samsung phone.

  • Balraj

    I like what Samsung is doing
    Only if 3rd party ppl team up with Samsung
    But they should not take it to extreme level but obv there will always be a way around ;-)

  • jdt1986

    Samsung are getting a bit too
    big for their boots… In a big way, they OWE their success to Android,
    yet they seem to be trying with all their might to create their own
    closed ecosystem, away from mainstream Android. Samsung are no better
    than Apple, they are just cheaper, that’s all. I have never owned a
    non-Nexus Samsung smartphone/tablet, and never will.

  • stephend61

    If they make their products reasonably priced I would buy them over third party anyway. In fact I already have samsung accessories.
    Look after your customer and don’t rip them off and they will buy from you over cheap junk.

  • raj


  • M3D1T8R

    Been done with Samsung for a while now. This is just another nail in the coffin.

  • Mav

    The apple-isation of Samsung. Another reason why this is my last Samsung phone.

  • randod

    Well like i stated before. I will not buy the note 3. All iot is, is an upgraded version of the note 2. I went to sprint and looked at one. Not Impressed. Now if they go and make accessories proprietary. That would suck. Lots of companies have went thos route. Making it so you have to use their accessories because 3rd party accesseries will not work. I agree with everyone else. They should write a disclaimer stating, if you choose to use Non approved smamsung accessories, The burden shall be placed on the buyer if injury or personal damage should occur. And not that of samsung. What do you think.