Samsung says Galaxy S7 is NOT a telephone

Samsung says Galaxy S7 is NOT a telephone

Is technology becoming so advanced that the telephone lines are becoming even more blurry?

Samsung
iStock

It's the year 2021 and phones are now so much more than just a device used for calling.

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Your phone can be everything you want it to be like a camera, a book, an alarm clock, a diary, a friend (Siri) or even a laptop.

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And that is exactly the argument Samsung used when they ended up in court.

While it might be a lot smaller than your average laptop, it is understandable why Samsung would try to convince people that their Galaxy S7 is like a laptop. These days there is only a small list of things a laptop can do that a smartphone can't.

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At the end of the day though, at the core of its creation, it isn't the same thing.

The Samsung phone drama started when SARS had initially catergorised the S7 and the Apple iPhone 6S as "machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data." This means that it was put into a tax class that is reserved for telecommunications equipment that does not operate in the same way as telephones.

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And so Samsung started building their case that states that the S7 is indeed a laptop. 

Samsung South Africa took SARS to the high court in Pretoria in the hopes that it would force them to acknowledge the categorisation of the equipment as something other than a telephone, which will be important when calculating import tariffs.

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Samsung argued that although the device could make phone calls, connecting to the internet is now its primary function, which includes the use of social media, playing games, music, and more.

SARS countered this by stating that making a call over WhatsApp or Skype still qualifies as using a telephone and the court had agreed that just because a phone includes the same functions as a laptop or desktop doesn't mean it stops being a phone.

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In the end the court ruled that it was disingenuous and their efforts were dismissed with costs.

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Main image courtesy of iStock

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