There are some rather concerning reports going around today, suggesting that Samsung might put ads on the lock screen in One UI 2.5. Lock screen ads have long been used by manufacturers that sell really cheap devices. That’s how they make up the margins that they give up on selling the actual hardware.
Samsung does make a lot of entry-level devices, even ones that cost around $100, but it has never resorted to putting ads on the lock screen. For starters, doing that wouldn’t befit a company of Samsung’s stature, and given the incredible volumes that it ships, it can probably make the numbers work even on devices that it doesn’t have a high profit margin on.
A joke that got lost in translation
So would the company really start doing this with One UI 2.5? For those who haven’t been keeping track, One UI 2.5 is going to arrive in the second half of this year. The Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Fold 2 will likely be the first devices to ship with it out of the box.
All of the hype around Samsung introducing lock screen ads with One UI 2.5 can be traced back to this post on its official forums for South Korea. Dig a little deeper and you find that this was most likely a satirical take on something else that happened today. Samsung does seem to have pushed an ad to users in South Korea inside the native Weather app which has caused a lot of backlash on the forum.
“I feel like I was invading my personal space without my permission,” said one user about the Weather app ad, “Is this courtesy of someone who bought a 1.3 million won phone?” said another. Excuse the wonky machine translations, but you get the idea. There are dozens of posts on the forum expressing displeasure about the banner ad in the Weather app.
Some members have even discussed that perhaps it wasn’t Samsung had pushed this ad in the first place. Since Weather News, the company that provides weather data for the app in South Korea, parses everything from images to weather information, it’s possible that the ad was inserted in that particular spot by Weather News.
Since this was a very hot topic on the forum today, it’s understandable why someone might take a more satirical view on One UI 2.5, going so far as to suggest that users would need to see ads on the lock screen and even wait for 15 seconds to watch a video ad before they can unlock their phone. The post itself where this image was shared as a One UI 2.5 “leak” says (예시) at the end, which literally means “Example.” This joke clearly got lost in translation.
Samsung does have a habit of pushing ads for its products and services in the notifications shade. It has been doing this since 2015 and there’s a very simple way of blocking these ads. However, it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that ads are coming to the lock screen on One UI 2.5. That’s not something we think is going to happen, even on the most affordable of Samsung phones.