Commentator Warns of Samsung Losing Profit Due to Smartphone Spat

Games organisers had refused on Wednesday to give athletes from Iran and North Korea the Galaxy Note 8 devices from sponsor Samsung, loaded with essential logistical and competition information, due to international sanctions.

Also, Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri ordered his deputy to summon Samsung representatives in Tehran to protest at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizers' move against Iranian athletes.

Just in time for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to get started in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Samsung offered me a look at the special version of the Note 8 being handed out to the participants this year.

Iran had summoned South Korea's ambassador to the Foreign Ministry over the apparent snub and demanded an apology from Samsung 005930.KS , saying that its trade relations with Iran would otherwise be "greatly affected".

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After the apology on Friday, Iranian Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar indicated that Iran was satisfied.

It's still not clear exactly why the Iranians were denied their phones.

Iran is a key market for Samsung products in the Middle East, including smartphones and home appliances.

The senior judicial official further emphasized that in case the Samsung Electronics Co. pledges to compensate for "the spiritual damage" it has caused to Iran, a date should be determined and announced to the head office of the company.

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In a press release to the Tehran Times, the ambassador said, "The Embassy of the Republic of Korea confirms that the unwise decision yesterday (Feb. 7) did come from neither the Korean government nor the Korean company in question".

Although this was not confirmed, the report appeared to trigger a series of "No to Samsung" protests on Twitter.

The press service of the 2018 Olympics' Organizing Committee, for its part, told Sputnik that "the issue of Samsung phones is the prerogative of the IOC [International Olympic Committee] because neither the Organizing Committee nor Samsung has such rights".

The source of the misunderstanding was not explained.

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