Displaying items by tag: Samsung

US tech giant signs content agreement with Samsung

Written on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:22

US technology behemoth Apple has signed a new agreement with Samsung in relation to its streaming and content services in an effort to offset a decline in iPhone sales. The deal brokered between Apple and the South Korean conglomerate will enable the use of iTunes streaming services on Samsung smart TVs.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Google Fi finally available to other devices

Written on Thursday, 29 November 2018 12:29

Google is set to expand its virtual telecommunication service “Google Fi” to a wider range of devices, including Samsung and iPhones. The service had been previously limited to select Android-powered smartphones, and to newer Pixel handsets made by Google.

"Our plan now works with the majority of Android devices and iPhones," Fi director Simon Arscott said in a blog post, who promises a simple pricing scheme that makes the Fi wireless experience “fast, easy and fair”.

Fi - previously known as Project Fi - works by hopping between carriers; shifting smartphone service between Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Wi-Fi hotspots to provide optimal signals, says Google. Launched in 2015, Fi offers its US users unlimited domestic call and texts, plus texting internationally, for $20.

The service will let users pay based on how much data they use and allow for international roaming in up to 170 countries and territories.

Published in Devices

Xiaomi replaces Samsung as India’s top smartphone supplier

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:16

India’s smartphone market has finally seen a change at the top, with Chinese vendor Xiaomi now leading with shipments close to 8.2 million units in Q4 2017, according to research firm Canalys. Despite annual growth of 17%, South Korea’s Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.

The smartphone market in India grew by a modest 6% overall, in line with Canalys forecasts, following the seasonal dip as vendors and channel partners take stock after a busy Q3. Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo rounded out the top five, while total smartphone shipments were just shy of 30 million units.

“Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst. “Its results are commendable, given it entered the market just three years ago. Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations.”

Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50% of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27% and second-place Samsung at 25%.

“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers, losing market share in the sub-INR15,000 (US$240) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter.”

Despite Samsung’s ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for its devices has been weak, Doshi adds. But it has far superior R&D, and a better hold on the supply chain due to its strong components business.

“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.”

Xiaomi’s success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions. Considerable business in the world’s largest two smartphone markets will build confidence in its partners as well as future investors.

“But growth in 2018 will be hard to come by,” added Doshi. “As Xiaomi’s market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi could become second largest smartphone vendor by 2018

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 08:06

Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in Q3 almost doubled from a year ago, according to research from Strategy Analytics. It’s forecast that Xiaomi could become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor by 2018, overtaking OPPO, Huawei and Apple, if current momentum continues.

Global smartphone shipments grew 5 percent annually to reach 393 million units in Q3 2017. Samsung maintained first position with 21 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Apple held steady at 12 percent and Huawei at 10 percent.

Global smartphone adoption growth in Q3 can be attributed to first-time buyers across emerging markets in Asia and upgrades to flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe, according to Strategy Analytics Director, Linda Sui.

Xiaomi soared 91 percent annually with 27.7 million shipments for a record 7 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 4 percent a year ago. Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi Note 4, is proving wildly popular in India, according to Strategy Analytics, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Reliance Jio.

Samsung shipped 83.4 million smartphones worldwide in Q3, rising 11 percent annually from 75.3 million in Q3 2016. This was the company’s fastest growth rate in almost four years. Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere, according to Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston.

Apple grew a below-average 3 percent annually and shipped 46.7 million smartphones for 12 percent marketshare worldwide in Q3, holding steady from the same level a year ago. Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in many countries, Mawston said, such as Germany and China.

Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 9 percent in Q3 2016. Huawei continues to close in fast on Apple and the battle for second place in the smartphone market, said Strategy Analytics Director, Woody Oh. Huawei is performing well across Asia, Europe and Africa, Oh said, with popular Android models such as the P10 and Nova 2.

Published in Telecom Industry

Could foldable smartphones soon be a reality?

Written on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 13:41

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is working on producing a foldable smartphone, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said in a recent interview. The foldable smartphone could be available as soon as next year, the CEO said. Huawei’s South Korean rival, Samsung, also confirmed that it’s working on a similar foldable product.

Huawei isn’t ready to launch a foldable device just yet, but the company is playing around with the idea, Mr. Yu recently told CNET. “We have two screens,” he said. “But we still have a small gap [between the screens]. That’s not good, and we should get rid of that gap.”

Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh also said in September that the company is planning to launch a foldable Galaxy device in 2018, featuring a bendable display. However, the Samsung executive admitted that Samsung, like Huawei, is facing technical difficulties in manufacturing the device.

"We don't want to just sell a couple of the phones. We want it to be mass-ready and at a technological level where people will say it is a well-made phone,” Koh told ZDNet.

Whether or not there would be strong demand for a foldable smartphone, there’s no denying it would be cool – and useful. That gives Samsung, Huawei, and other companies incentive to try out new foldable smartphone ideas and see whether customers will find them useful.
Published in Devices

Samsung Electronics is launching the Samsung Connect Tag – a new way to keep track of loved ones, valuables and all the matters in life.

The Samsung Connect Tag is the world’s first consumer mobile product to use narrowband network technology (NB-IoT, Cat.M1), a specially designed cellular communication standard for small data utilization, low power consumption and the ability to securely connect to the internet for optimal location services.

The Samsung Connect Tag offers smart location notifications based on a NB-IoT or Cat.M1 network, leveraging full internet services to identify location information for increased family security and peace of mind.

The Samsung Connect Tag will work with GPS, Wi-Fi-based positioning (WPS) and Cell ID, so it can receive accurate location information both indoors and outdoors for effortless location tracking. It can be attached to a young child’s backpack so his or her whereabouts can be tracked, clipped to a dog’s collar so it won’t go missing, and secured the keys so they are never lost.

These tracking and notification abilities will minimize anxiety about the user’s favorite items or loved ones, offering an exciting way to use technology for increased family security and an enhanced lifestyle.

Furthering Samsung’s commitment to a seamless IoT experience across devices, the Samsung Connect Tag will be tied to the SmartThings ecosystem, working in conjunction with the user’s smart home appliances through Works with SmartThings.

The geo-fence feature on the Samsung Connect Tag will notify the user’s chosen smart devices when he or she approaches – so if the user wants lights and TV to turn on while getting home from a nightly run, the Samsung Connect Tag can trigger these products as the user enters the pre-define zone, so the user will get a notification when the child enters the schoolyard or a dog jumps the backyard fence.

The Samsung Connect Tag also offers several key features to minimize anxiety and increase usability. If the user loses car in a large outdoor parking lot, the on-demand function will allow requesting any Connect Tag’s location when desired, simply by pressing a button on the smartphone.

The send my location function will send their current location to their guardian, so even a young child can let you know exactly where he or she is and can go pick him/her up safely. Additionally, periodic location notifications will show a trace of the loved ones location record.

Connect Tag features a compact size, measuring just 4.21 centimeters wide and 1.19 centimeters thick, as well as IP68 water and dustproof rating for durability. The battery can last for up to seven days on a single charge, minimizing the need to constantly swap out or plug in the device.

Published in Gadget

Premium smartphones generate 80 percent of profit worldwide

Written on Sunday, 22 October 2017 11:51

Premium segment smartphones (US$400 wholesale price) generated almost 80 percent of the global handset profit during Q2 2017, according to Counterpoint Research. Apple dominated the premium segment where profit margins are high as most of its profits come from above US$400 models.

Counterpoint Research estimates that the latest Apple iPhone X will further increase profits for the California-based iPhone maker in the premium segment and overall to record levels. Within its individual portfolio, for Samsung, the US$400+ segment contributed almost two-thirds of the total Samsung profits.

Samsung has a mix of products across different price bands that help the brand maintain an average selling point (ASP) around the world that does not hugely vary from the regional ASP. This in-turn helps the brand move more units or revenues due to the various price differentials but not profits, Counterpoint said.

By comparison, the average selling price for iPhones in developed regions is approximately 150 percent higher as compared to the regional industry ASP whereas in developing regions it can go as high as 650 percent compared to the overall industry ASP in that region.

According to Counterpoint Research Market Monitor tracker, the global mobile handset profit pool declined 10 percent year-on-year during Q2 2017. The main reasons were an increase in the mix of cheaper iPhone models, growth of less profitable mid-tier models in prepaid markets from vendors like Xiaomi as well as sales mix shift for Samsung to mid-tier J and Grand series portfolio.

Published in Devices

Samsung Electronics CEO announces resignation

Written on Monday, 16 October 2017 10:46

Samsung Electronics announced that Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon plans to resign as the company’s head of the Device Solutions Business and will not seek re-election as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Board when his term ends in March, 2018. Vice Chairman Kwon will also resign as the Chief Executive Officer of Samsung Display.

In an emotional letter sent to all employees, Vice Chairman Kwon said that announcing his retirement was the most difficult thing for him to do, but now was the right time and that he believes his decision is in the best interest of the company.

“It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off,” Vice Chairman Kwon said. “As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry.”

Vice Chairman Kwon stated that during the past 32 years when he served as both a researcher and CEO, he has witnessed the company emerge as a global leader in the semiconductor business and that he harbors a “deep sense of pride and honor to have taken part in the company’s incredible journey to success.”

“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world,” he said. “We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other.”

“But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life.” He ended his remarks to employees by saying, “I would like to share my sense of pride and honor with you, and thank each one of you for your dedication and commitment to the company.”

Vice Chairman Kwon joined the company in 1985 as a researcher of the company’s Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States. He also served as president and head of the System LSI Division and as president and head of the Semiconductor Business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012. He also has served as the CEO of Samsung Display since 2016.

Published in Devices

GCC mobile market poised for recovery in 2018

Written on Sunday, 24 September 2017 12:41

The GCC mobile phone market is expected to recover next year, following a stagnant 2016 and 2017, according to IDC’s newly released Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker results. IDC predicts the mobile market to close 2017 relatively flat and forecasts that 2018 will see recovery of 9 percent growth year-on-year.

Overall shipments to the GCC in Q2 2017 totaled 6.4 million units, representing a minor decline of -1 percent quarter-on-quarter and -1.3 percent year-on-year. This contrasts starkly with the steep -10.2 percent decline seen in Q1 2016, suggesting the market is beginning to show some welcome signs of recovery.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the GCC’s largest mobile markets. The UAE saw 1.6 percent growth quarter-on-quarter while Saudi Arabia suffered the region’s largest decline at -4.2 percent.

IDC MEA and Turkey research analyst Kafil Merchant said Saudi Arabia “continued to face major challenges with its macroeconomic situation, while the Saudization of the kingdom’s mobile phone industry continues to negatively impact the market.”

This policy change, according to Merchant, has caused a “shift away from independent retail, with consumers gradually moving to the organized retail channel, which is heavily engaging with vendors to provide more attractive prices and offers.”

The independent retail channel, Merchant said, is experiencing a “major slowdown as a result of restrictive credit limits and lower marketing support from vendors.”

The recent declines in the Saudi market, however, are expected to turnaround by the end of the year, Merchant predicts, as the market gradually adjusts to these changes.

Despite the recent political issues surrounding Qatar, shipments of mobile phones to the GCC nation have not declined as many would have expected, according to IDC, growing instead by 2.7 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Nabila Popal, senior research manager for mobile phones, AR/VR and displays at IDC MEA and Turkey, said as a result of the embargo against Qatar led by Saudi Arabia, gray shipments into the country have actually decreased.

Gray market is the trade of a commodity through distribution channels that are legal but unintended by the original manufacturer. Popal said official distributors have been able to profit from this by increasing official shipments to Qatar coming directly from non-embargo countries.

Samsung in the lead

In terms of the vendor landscape, Samsung continued to lead the GCC smartphone market in Q2 2017 with 38.1 percent unit share, posting a 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in shipments.

The regional launch of the vendor's flagship S8 and S8+ models did not live up to expectations with the average selling price (ASP) falling sharply over a short period. Apple remained in second place with 20.9 percent share but saw its shipments decline -20.2 percent quarter-on-quarter.

"This downturn experienced by Apple is partly a seasonality issue and partly due to anticipation around the launch of the new iPhone in Q4 2017," says Ms. Popal. "Additionally, it is worth noting that after focusing for a long time on the volume game, brands in the region are now shifting to a value-driven strategy and paying closer attention to their bottom lines instead of their top lines."

iOS shipments were up, however, compared to Android shipments which declined -5.5 percent year-on-year in Q2 2017, according to IDC. This has seen the Android/iOS split of the GCC smartphone market shift from 80.4 percent/19.1 percent in Q2 2016 to 79.1 percent/20.9 percent in Q2 2017.

Looking ahead, IDC expects the GCC market to close 2017 relatively flat. The market's long-awaited recovery is tipped for next year with IDC forecasting year-on-year growth of 9 percent. The market will then stabilize further in 2019 and beyond with average annual growth of 5 percent forecast for each year through to 2021.

Major worldwide events like Expo 2020 in the UAE and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will likely cause spikes in growth around their respective timeframes.

Published in Telecom Vendors

South Korean smartphone colossus Samsung has announced that its pre-orders for its Galaxy Note 8 have surpassed the highest-ever for the Note Series. Samsung believes its latest premium smartphone which exceeded the pre-orders enjoyed by the Note 7 – will protect the market dominance it currently assumes as it faces a stiff battle with Apple to remain on the top spot.

Apple has aggressively marketed its latest iPhone - as it focuses on the tenth anniversary of the inception of the inaugural iPhone, which was first launched in 2007. Apple’s newest iPhone will be formally unveiled to much media hype later this week.

Samsung have announced that sales of its Note 8 devices will hit markets in the US and South Korea on Friday – and management within the South Korean conglomerate buoyed by impressive pre-order numbers have expressed their confidence that the Note 8 will be a bug hit amongst consumers.

The smartphone incumbent claimed that it had 650,00 pre-order for the Note 8 handsets over a five day period, with orders coming from over 40 countries. President of Samsung Electronics mobile communications business DJ Koh said the initial response to the new smartphone was ‘very encouraging’.

Samsung suffered a mitigated and well-documented disaster with its Note 7. Reports of the devices catching fires and in some cases self-combusting due to faulty batteries forced the company to recall all of its Note 7 units from the market just a short few months into its life-cycle. Samsung lost billions of dollars due to the Note 7 fiasco, but it also more significantly tarnished its reputation amongst many of its customers.

However, the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer by market share took the decision to retain the Note brand after Samsung conducted a survey of 5,000 Galaxy Note users. 85% of respondents expressed brand loyalty, so executives decided to continue the Note brand. Samsung launched a lengthy investigation into the Note 7 scandal and discovered the root cause of the issues before embarking on the development of Note 8 handsets.

The Note 8 will retail at between $930-960 in the US, and that will include a number of attractive call and data packages incorporated in that deal. When US smartphone giant Apple introduce its new iPhone to the market it will squeeze the Note 8. However, many analysts have claimed that the excessive cost of the iPhone which will reportedly retail at around $1,000 has drained the enthusiasm amongst a lot of consumers worldwide.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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