apple olympic ringsImage: Michael Homnick

Taking an iPhone to the Sochi opening ceremonies? Think different

Drop that iPhone, Shaun White. Ixnay on that iPad mini, Julia Mancuso. And when you glide across the ice in your free skate, Ashley Wagner, make sure that your salchows and axels don’t remind anyone of the Apple logo.

Via MacRumors and SlashGear, Swiss website reports that Olympic organizers are requesting that athletes who take their iPhones to the Opening Ceremonies cover up the Apple logo, lest that distinctive image of fruit wind up on any television cameras. (Smartphones are as common as miniature flags at Olympic opening ceremonies, as the athletes like to capture memories with their phones’ built-in cameras.)

It’s not that the folks putting together the Sochi Olympics have anything against Apple, per se. They just happen to like the big bag of sponsorship dollars that Samsung’s providing a wee bit more. Samsung is the official smartphone partner of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games; every athlete headed to Sochi gets a Galaxy Note 3. And with that kind of largesse, Samsung figures it’s not too much to ask to declare the opening ceremonies an Apple-logo-free zone. (Spectators can use whatever phone bearing whatever logo they like, according to reports.)

It’s hardly the greatest inconvenience facing athletes at this year’s Olympics—I expect that someone will launch a horrifying toilets of Sochi Tumblr any second now—but it is another venue for the ongoing smartphone smackdown between Samsung and Apple. Besides, dueling corporate logos is a proud Olympic tradition, highlighted by that time at the 1992 Barcelona games when Michael Jordan used a strategically placed US flag to cover up the Reebok logo on the official awards-ceremony uniform. (Jordan, of course, had a lucrative sponsorship from rival shoemaker Nike.) Samsung likely sees nothing wrong with asking this year’s crop of Olympic athletes to be like Mike.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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