Not sure if what I'm about to say is why Samsung is now doing it, but frankly I think it's smart. Apple uses their users as walking advertisements for the brand.
White earbuds/cables: see white earbuds or connection cable and you automatically assume they have an iPhone or iPod in their pocket
Ringtones: Cannot be customized beyond the pre-installed options. This allows people to "get familiar" with certain sounds. So, when in public, you hear an iPhone sound and automatically know it's an iPhone. Do people really think the iPhone isn't capable of being able to use music files as ringtones or that Apple has neglected this? It's marketing. It's smart marketing too.
Samsung may possibly be trying to downplay the significance of "white" products by Apple. If they can get enough people using the white Samsung earbuds then eventually people won't always assume iPhone when they see them. They might also wonder if it's a Samsung product.
Apple may be the dickiest company in the world, but they are smart. Their customers are walking advertisements in every way because of certain features (or lack thereof) that help identify the product even when you can't see it. Other companies would love to be able to get away with what Apple does, but if anyone else tried to limit ringtone customizations and the like they'd be pitchforked.