Displaying items by tag: Samsung

US chipmaker sees shares plunge after antitrust ruling

Written on Thursday, 23 May 2019 07:59

The US manufacturer of superchips that powers our smartphones has seen its shares plummet following an antitrust ruling.

Published in Finance

South Korean conglomerate Samsung has announced that they will conduct an investigation into its Galaxy Fold phones following a series of complaints.

The world’s No.1 smartphone vendor confirmed that it will inspect units of its much vaunted foldable smartphone after a number of reviewers reported screen damage.

A handful of US-based reporters were given the flagship Galaxy Fold phones, priced at $1,980, ahead of the model's official release next week. However, they reported screen issues within days of using the devices which set alarms bell ringing in Seoul. Samsung are still scarred by the issues it endured with the Galaxy Note 7. It was forced to recall all of its units after reports the devices were overheating and in some incidents were self-combusting.

Below is a snapshot of what some of the reviewers wrote about Samsung’s new flagship smartphone.

“The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in," Bloomberg's Mark Gunman tweeted. Dieter Bohn of The Verge said: "Something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge. It's broken."

Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, which is part of the South Korean tech giant's strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets.

“We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter," Samsung said in a statement after reports of the screen damage emerged. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers."

Some of the reviewers, including Bloomberg's Gunman, had removed this layer. CNBC's Steve Kovach said he had not, but still faced major problems with the device. Samsung is the world's biggest smartphone maker, and earlier this month launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device.

Published in Devices

Samsung takes the fight to Apple by opening new US stores

Written on Monday, 18 February 2019 12:53

South Korean conglomerate Samsung has unveiled its ambitious strategy to enhance its market share in the US by launching three new retails stores nationwide.

Samsung officially announced that it will open the new retail facilities as it gears up to launch an updated version of its flagship Galaxy handsets in the United States.

Some consumer experts are also claiming that the marketing strategy adopted by Samsung indicates clearly that the Seoul-based behemoth is directly challenging Apple in its domestic market.

Samsung said in a detailed statement that it made the move based on feedback from its customers.

The statement said, "They told us that they love having the ability to walk into a store and experience how the latest technology from Samsung works together to create a unique, immersive experience. Galaxy fans, in particular, mentioned that they were looking for a space to call their own, a place where they can get a feel for Samsung products first-hand."

It was further disclosed that the new stores will be located at the Americana at Brand mall in Los Angeles; Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York; and The Galleria in Houston, Texas.

In addition to this, Samsung is holding a product launch in San Francisco amidst speculation it may launch a folding smartphone, which would make it the first of the major handset makers in the segment.

President of Samsung Electronics America, YH Eom, expressed his delight at the announcements and said the decision would solidify Samsung’s position as the world’s most popular smartphone manufacturer.

He said, “Our new Samsung Experience Stores are spaces to experience and see Samsung technology brought to life, to empower people to do what they never thought was possible before. We want to build a 'playground' for Samsung fans -- a place to learn about and try out all of the amazing new products we have to offer."

Samsung remained the number one global handset maker with a 20.8 percent share in 2018 despite an eight percent sales slump for the year, according to research firm IDC -- which also said last year showed the worst overall decline in sales for the smartphone sector.

Published in Devices

US chipmaker Qualcomm has robustly defended its business practices as the antitrust lawsuit against them draws to a close.

In their closing testimony Qualcomm declared that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had ultimately failed to prove that the chipmaker’s business practices had harmed its competitors during the course of the trial.

FTC have alleged that Qualcomm used its market dominance in its smartphone chip development to force phone suppliers to pay higher patent licensing fees, in other words it claims the company which is headquartered in San Diego had an unfair monopoly.

Both parties now must wait for the ruling from the judiciary, although reports have suggested that the decision is not likely to be delivered any time soon.

In a statement which summarized Qualcomm’s closing argument in court, the company’s EVP and general counsel Don Rosenberg said the FTC hasn’t come close to meeting its burden of proof in this case.

Rosenberg said, “All real-world evidence presented at trial showed how Qualcomm’s years of R&D and innovation fostered competition, and growth for the entire mobile economy to the benefit of consumers around the world.”

In addition to this, Rosenberg highlighted that Qualcomm’s licensing rates were established long before it had set up its lucrative chip business and accurately reflected the value of its comprehensive patent portfolio.

The FTC closed their arguments by stressing to the judiciary that the powerful chipmaker had used its muscle and dominance in the 3G and 4G chip market to force smartphone manufacturers like Apple to sing licensing agreements with excessively high royalties.

Prosecutors on behalf of FTC argued this approach would continue in the 5G era if Qualcomm isn’t stopped.

During the trial, the FTC called witnesses from a number of handset companies including Apple, Samsung, Intel and Huawei to testify that Qualcomm had used unfair practices, harming competition in the industry.

Published in Telecom Vendors

SK Telecom and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) announced they have developed a 5G antenna control technology and have filed for a patent.

SK Telecom is preparing for the rollout of 5G in March in South Korea with compatriots KT and LG uplus.

It is collaborating extensively with ally Samsung Electronics in 5G equipment research, as well as Hyundai and Trimble to develop construction monitoring solutions that improve overall efficiency. The company excluded Huawei equipment from its list of vendors in September 2018.

The call quality is maintained in ultra-high 28GHz spectrum 5G by controlling the electrical characteristic of the antenna. Ultra-high frequency reception sensitivity can be affected by how users hold their smartphones or the angle of their head but the new technology has been developed to offset that. Power consumption of smartphones also decreases due to increased reception sensitivity.

Ultra-high spectrum such as 28GHz requires components to be placed in a smaller area compared to LTE, with SK Telecom and POSTECH.  This was taken into account when finishing testing for commercial launch.

It follows news that SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group will invest $33 million into a joint venture that will develop next-generation broadcasting solutions, will allow faster data transmission for high resolution broadcasting, as well as the combining of broadcasting and telecommunications spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

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
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