The South Korean company has removed the ‘Z’ branding from its foldable smartphones, apparently in response to the war in Ukraine
South Korean tech giant Samsung has removed the letter ‘Z’ from the branding of its foldable smartphones in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are now listed as the Galaxy Fold 3 and Galaxy Flip 3 on the company’s official website in the Baltic countries.
Samsung has not commented on the move, but some media outlets have suggested that the change is meant to show solidarity with Kiev, since ‘Z’ is perceived by some as a symbol of support for Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine.
“The Korean brand is probably dropping the letter Z in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, considering the markets where the name change is in effect,” the outlet Android Headlines wrote, which was among the first to report on the company’s move. “This likely isn’t a permanent change,” it said.
So far, however, the phones are still marketed with the ‘Z’ branding in the Ukrainian market.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba urged the global community to ban the letter ‘Z’, since from Kiev’s point of view, it represents “Russia’s war of aggression.”
Following Kuleba’s request, Lithuanian officials proposed criminalizing the Latin letter along with the St. George ribbon, which is a Russian symbol of victory in the Great Patriotic War (World War II). The legislators want to equate them with the Nazi swastika and punish the display of Russian symbols with a €500 fine.