Let me just start by saying that the source of this rumor has a less than completely stellar track record and that we're dealing with a Korean translation here. The reason we're reporting on this rumor, though, is that it sounds highly plausible. Alright, expectations set? Good.

According to ETNews, Samsung may start locking accessories down with ID chips in order to prevent the usage of unauthorized products with its smartphones and tablets. Given the amount of coverage Samsung battery combustions get - even when Samsung's not at fault - it's very easy to see why the company would consider such a strategy.

The ETNews article seems to only make explicit mention of smart covers and wireless charging pads, but the logical next step there would be things like batteries and wired chargers. In the case of smart covers, features dependent on the cover - like answering a call while the cover is closed - simply wouldn't work. That is, unless the chip is detected (probably doable through the contacts on the replacement cover for wireless charging), the phone will disable all features related to use of the cover. Given the sketchy nature of the translation, though, the mechanism for action isn't completely clear. It's not obvious whether wireless charging pad would have to be genuine Samsung, or if the cover on the device would have to be genuine Samsung (and work with any charger), or if both would be necessary.

The general notion of Samsung restricting accessory usage on its phones and tablets, though, is just all too believable a story to ignore. Given the continued controversy around its region-locking of new devices as a way to crack down on gray market device sales, the accessory market is the next obvious target. Batteries in particular have proven troublesome for Samsung, with counterfeits readily available almost anywhere in the world. That has to be a major thorn in the side not only of Samsung's accessories division, but its marketing department - catastrophic battery failures make for devastatingly bad press, as it's an open-ended question of fault until Samsung proves otherwise (as it has generally done, to the company's credit).

Were Samsung to pursue such a strategy with its accessories, doubtless it would go the route Apple has to date - licensing its tech to third-party accessory makers who meet the company's standards. And, likely, are willing to pay a fee for the privilege of selling Samsung-approved products.

We've reached out to Samsung for comment on this story, and will update if we hear back.

ETNews via SamMobile