A collaboration is when two brands with established domains come together to produce new results. By crossing industry boundaries collaborations can aid in the discovery of new combinations and areas of preference as the strengths of the individual participants are maximized. From movie and animation franchises to celebrities and luxury brands, the technology industry fosters collaborations with a broad range of parties.
Since 1988, Samsung’s mobile business has made a legacy of taking on new challenges by establishing a host of innovative collaborations. Below, Samsung Newsroom explores some of the company’s most notable collaborations and the extraordinary products that have been realized because of them.
Where Mobile Meets Culture
Samsung has created unprecedented products by collaborating with cultural icons from prominent musicians to popular movie characters. Below, we list some of the collaboration partners that have helped Samsung provide countless numbers of fans from all around the world with remarkable experiences that will last a lifetime.
Beyoncé (2007) – ‘B Phone’: The Music Phone Inspired by the Queen of Pop
Music is a hugely important part of our lives. Thus, in 2007, Samsung equipped users to enjoy music anytime, anywhere with its ‘ultra-music phone’, which features a dual-face design with an MP3 player on one side and a phone on the other. The icing on the cake for this special edition phone is that it was made in collaboration with the musician Beyoncé, also known as the Queen of Pop.
The ‘B Phone’ – which drew on both the musician’s nickname ‘B’ and her mascot the bee – gained a lot of popularity for its ability to allow people to multitask with their music at all times. Moreover, the special edition phone came with special content for fans loaded onto it, including a video showcasing just how Beyoncé became the Queen of Pop.
Iron Man (2015) – ‘Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man Edition’: Keep Your Hero With You
What if you could keep your favorite superhero by your side everywhere you went? In 2015 Samsung made this dream a reality for fans around the world by partnering with Marvel to release 1,000 limited edition ‘Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man Edition’ devices.
To ensure that the smartphone embodied the iconic aspects of Iron Man, the front and rear sides of the phone feature a deep red color, while the edges are accented with gold. The back of the phone features the Iron Man mask symbol in gold and is engraved with the limited edition smartphone’s serial number from 0001 to 1000.
Batman (2016) – ‘Galaxy S7 Edge Injustice Edition’: Your Smartphone Dons the Black Cowl
In 2016 the Galaxy S7 became one with Batman. The ‘Galaxy S7 Edge Injustice Edition’ package, inspired by the Batman character from the popular mobile game ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’, was released in a limited quantity of 1,000 units worldwide.
The device features a luxurious black color and gold Batman emblem in the center of the back to bring the iconic hero to life in your pocket. What’s more, users are treated to an Injustice-themed background every time they use their phones. The special package included the Galaxy S7 Edge, Gear VR, a Batman emblem badge, and a special case designed to resemble Batman’s iconic suit, and was a big hit with users all over the world.
BLACKPINK (2019) – ‘Galaxy A80 Blackpink Edition’: Capturing the Blackpink Sensation
In 2019 Blackpink, a girl group loved by fans all over the world for their trendy persona, was brought together with the Galaxy A80, the first Galaxy phone with a rotating camera. Their collaboration resulted in the ‘Galaxy A80 Blackpink Edition’, which features an intuitive, modern design brought to life with the group’s two namesake colors – black and pink.
The package, which was released as a limited edition in countries including Thailand and Malaysia, captured the hearts of Blackpink fans in Southeast Asia. In addition, Samsung created exclusive themes to bring Blackpink’s unique style to the software as well as the hardware. Samsung created a custom Blackpink lock screen and home screen, as well as emojis for each member, allowing users to see a range of aspects of their daily lives complemented by their favorite group.
Star Wars (2020) – ‘Galaxy Note10+ 5G Star Wars Edition’: The Star Wars Universe on Your Smartphone
The sci-fi movie series ‘Star Wars,’ which released its first film in 1977, has established itself as an icon of popular culture and built a huge fandom after releasing more than 10 installments. Starting from the movies and moving on to their variety of derivatives – from TV series to video games, and much more – Star Wars remains an icon for people all over the world.
In 2020 Samsung Electronics released a special edition device to coincide with the release of the franchise’s 9th episode, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’, and thus brought the Star Wars universe to its phones. Made out in black and red colors that are inspired by the dark side of the force, both the device itself and the S Pen were redesigned for this special product. The package comes with Galaxy Buds in the same colors and features a preinstalled Sith theme, which makes you feel the dark side of the force from the moment you turn on the phone.
BTS (2020) – ‘Galaxy S20+ BTS Edition’: I Purple You
What if global superstars BTS collaborated with Samsung Electronics? This partnership was realized in 2020 with the ‘Galaxy S20+ BTS Edition’, which comes in matte purple and features a haze effect that makes the tones shift depending on what angle the phone is viewed at.
The purple heart on the device’s rear camera and the BTS logo on the bottom of the handset round out the device’s exuberant design. The special edition smartphone also comes with unique themes featuring images of BTS members, decorative stickers for the smartphone, and photo cards for fans to keep, allowing fans to further personalize their devices. Moreover, the ‘Galaxy Buds+ BTS Edition’ have become a must-have for fans who want to express their own style and taste with specialty earbuds.
When Mobile and Fashion Unite
Your mobile phone stays by your side for the majority of the day. Our smartphones are no longer just communication devices, but have evolved into fashion accessories that express our identities.
Thus, Samsung has teamed up with a number of luxury fashion brands that express themselves with distinct aesthetics. Let’s take a look at Samsung’s fashion industry collaborations, which have helped the company establish a new area of synergy and products with combined brand value.
Versace (2006) – ‘VERSUS Phone’: Inspired by the Birth of Venus
In 2006 luxury fashion brand Versace and Samsung came together to design the premium ‘VERSUS’ fashion phone. Created in collaboration with Versace’s sister brand Versus, the front of the phone features luxurious leather material inspired by ‘the birth of Venus.’ The Versus logo was engraved on the lower part of the phone and accentuated with smooth curves, and a luxurious line pattern was incorporated to bring out the brand’s unique sensuality and refined image. In addition to its premium design, the VERSUS phone is equipped with a 1.3-megapixel camera, music player and Bluetooth, and targets younger consumers who pursue urban and experimental design.
Giorgio·Emporio Armani (2007-2009) – ‘Armani Phone’: Where Premium Begins
Users who consider their choice of mobile phone to be a form of fashion statement are in pursuit of the harmony provided by sophisticated design and performance. To cater to these users, Samsung Electronics has created a range of products with Armani, a brand with exquisite design aesthetics.
The first product launched as part of the collaboration with Armani was the 2007 ‘Giorgio Armani Phone’, which featured a touch screen on its front side, a compact size and the refined Armani style. In 2008, ‘Night Effect,’ a premium music phone tailored for those who love the nightlife, was released in collaboration with Emporio Armani. In addition to its luxurious aesthetics, it features LED lights in a range of colors that turn on when you’re talking on the phone to complement your nightlife experience.
But Samsung’s collaboration with Armani really blossomed in 2009 when the companies debuted a new design with gold coloring, sapphire glass, and the Giorgio Armani UI, which enabled the full-touch slide format and added another layer of exclusivity. This phone was the first product to be released both in Korea and overseas, which led to a range of unique marketing activities such as applying differentiated designs in overseas models and selling the phones at Armani stores. Such novel initiatives sparked a new luxury phone craze among consumers.
De GRISOGONO (2016) – ‘Samsung Gear S2 by de GRISOGONO’: Adorn Your Wrist with Elegance
In 2016 the Samsung Gear smartwatch became an even more luxurious accessory. Samsung released the boldly designed, special edition ‘Samsung Gear S2 by de GRISOGONO’ in collaboration with high-end watch brand de GRISOGONO.
Channeling inspiration from traditional watchmaking, the smartwatch is transformed into ‘smart fashion’ after being fitted with over 100 black and white diamonds and an embellished leather strap, a symbol of de GRISOGONO’s luxury. The product was praised for maintaining the convenience delivered by the Gear series, providing intuitive access to various applications and notifications, and realizing a profoundly and uniquely beautiful accessory.
Thom Browne (2020) – ‘Thom Browne Edition’: Launching a New Era of Collaboration
The coming together of the distinct Thom Browne style and Samsung’s innovative foldable phone technology was a truly remarkable combination. Naturally, the partnership aroused the curiosity of users regarding how each brand’s distinct identity would be integrated into a single product.
The first product produced, the ‘Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition’, received an enthusiastic response with the company’s servers being crashed by an influx of eager customers immediately upon its release. The product proved such a success because of the way that Thom Browne’s iconic design elements were beautifully harmonized with the smartphone to create a distinguished technological work of art.
This innovative encounter took another step forward with the development of the ‘Galaxy Z Fold2 Thom Browne Edition’. From the design approach and the materials used, to the manufacturing techniques and the overall production process, each step of the development was closely coordinated to ensure that both companies’ philosophies and identities were delivered by the product. The phone utilizes the actual textile materials used by the fashion brand on its exterior to enhance the three-dimensional effect. It also delivers a truly premium range of products in the package, including the Galaxy Z Fold2 smartphone, Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy Buds Live, in addition to cables, charger, case and dust bag.
Samsung’s premium collaborative product packages, which provide exclusivity to consumers and give them something to truly treasure, are expected to continue expanding in the future. Going forward, Samsung Electronics will continue striving to provide new experiences to users by breaking down boundaries while seeking out the optimal collaborative combinations to create synergy and provide novel mobile experiences.
Keep your eyes open for Samsung’s next eagerly-anticipated collaboration.