One UI 2.5 will not add lockscreen ads, but Samsung already has an ads problem
Samsung is scheduled to roll out the One UI 2.5 update this year with a couple of new features, including support for Google’s gesture navigation in third-party apps. We expect the company to release the update alongside the upcoming Galaxy Note 20 series, which may be unveiled on August 5th. While we’re looking forward to seeing everything new in the next major One UI update, a recent report has raised concerns that Samsung might add lock screen ads in One UI 2.5.
The report in question comes from TizenHelp, and it claims that One UI 2.5 might include lock screen ads that will force users to wait 15seconds to watch a video ad, after which they’ll be allowed to unlock their Galaxy smartphones. The report cites a screenshot recently shared on Samsung Korea’s community forums, which clearly shows an ad on the lock screen with a 15s timer right below the fingerprint scanner. However, both Mishaal Rahman and Max Weinbach from our team believe that the information provided in the report is incorrect.
A recent report from SamMobile sheds more light on the issue and provides a possible explanation as to why the screenshot might have been misconstrued by TizenHelp. As per SamMobile’s report, Samsung recently pushed an ad within the native Weather app to users in South Korea, which led to a significant backlash against the company on the community forums, with several users voicing their displeasure about the banner ad. This displeasure led to a user creating a mockup screenshot, and posted as a satirical take on ads in One UI 2.5. This hypothesis can be proven by taking a closer look at the post itself, which says (예시) at the end, which translates to “Example”. The screenshot was intended as a joke, but the humor and light intentions got lost in translation.
While One UI 2.5 won’t have lock screen ads, the current version of Samsung’s software already has an ad problem. As you can see in the attached screenshots, a number of stock One UI apps, including Phone, Music, Weather, Galaxy Apps, Bixby, Samsung Health, and Samsung Pay, already show banner ads, even on flagship devices.
On top of that, the company also sends out push notifications on One UI asking users to buy other Samsung products.
You mean like this s20 ad inside an s20…?
Samsung is unbelievable. How much more should I spend so that they could shut the f*** up with these ‘excessive’ ads. pic.twitter.com/Efx9iLZzvz
— Alvin (@Alvinzhrnm) June 8, 2020
The situation is even worse on low and mid-range Samsung devices, especially in regions like India, where ads within the UI are seen as an effective monetization strategy to offset the lower margins on the device.
Even though Samsung isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer to include ads in its software, it’s probably the only one that displays ads on its flagship devices. While one can argue that it makes some sense for OEMs to display ads on entry-level and mid-range devices to recoup the margins that they give up on the hardware, pushing ads on $1,000 flagships is just unacceptable. For now, we can only hope that Samsung addresses this issue in a future One UI update.