On May 24, 2013 Novethic published an article entitled “Samsung se fait certifier en Suède,” in which it analyzed Samsung’s announcement that the Swedish company TOC Development would certify Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone. The article raised questions about Samsung’s claim to produce and offer consumers the first certified smartphone, asking whether Samsung’s efforts to differentiate itself from Apple were mere “social washing.”
Since then, the controversy over the certification continues.
On June 6, 2013 Sustainable Industries published an article entitled, “Samsung Galaxy pinged by certification controversy.” According to the article, “on June 5, TCO Development made an abrupt turnabout, saying it was now launching an investigation into whether or not labor group claims against Samsung and the Galaxy S4 held validity.”
In turn, TCO Development announced that “an initial discussion was held today the 20th of June 2013 with health and working rights groups from the USA, Europe and Asia to discuss TCO Certified in general and the certification of Samsung Galazy S4 specifically.”
The ongoing controversy demonstrates the complex stakeholder engagement fair phone assurance and verification requires.