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

October 22, 2013
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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.

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