Displaying items by tag: Samsung

Samsung have announced that they have recalled 90% of the faulty smartphones it sold in South Korea. Samsung were forced to have a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 units in September - after batteries in the devices began to catch fire, and in some instances actually self-combusted.

Initially, Samsung said they would replace the phone for a new model with a different battery. However, it quickly emerged that the replacement phones were also overheating and catching fire –which subsequently led to Samsung’s global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 which inevitably had a negative impact on the organization with profits suffering.

However, the company has revealed that it has now recalled 850,000 units out of the 950,000 units sold in South Korea – which represents a figure of 90%. An investigation into what caused the phones to combust and go on fire has been launched, but thus far, it hasn’t been established as to what occurred. The retrieval of fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in Europe and the US also surpassed the 90% mark.

In a statement Samsung revealed that it is considering software upgrades to further limit the battery-charging capability – and in addition to this, it is also weighing up the option of an upgrade of the software patch the firm released in October to limit the maximum charging capability of Note 7 to 60 per cent.

Exchange and refunds of the fire-prone phones will continue in South Korea until next month, but benefits and favours from the replacement are scheduled to end by the end of this month.

The company is keen to establish the design flaw that caused phones to explode, so it can completely avoid making the same mistake on future models like spring's Galaxy S8 and next fall’s Note8. Stakeholders will be hoping Samsung’s new models can wow consumers in an effort to reset buyer’s memories for what happened with the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Samsung launches quantum dot curved gaming monitor

Written on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 07:42

Samsung has announced the launch of its newest industry-leading gaming monitor. The CFG70 curved monitor, designed specifically for professional gamers, includes enhanced picture quality and player-friendly features for a truly immersive gaming experience. The display was first introduced at the Gamescom 2016 and IFA 2016 conferences.

As the industry’s first curved gaming monitor to feature quantum dot technology, the CFG70 monitor (24- and 27-inch models) expresses brilliant and accurate colors across a 125 percent sRGB spectrum. This added luminance produces a 3,000:1 contrast ratio and amplifies previously-hidden gaming details in both light and dark settings. The monitor also employs an environmentally-safe, cadmium-free design.

Fast Speed and Smooth Game Play

By combining Samsung’s advanced motion blur reduction technology with its VA panel, the CFG70 is the first curved monitor to produce a 1 ms moving picture response time (MPRT). The rapid MPRT rate reduces display transitions between moving and animated objects, and in turn eliminates potential visual distractions. The CFG70 also leverages integrated AMD FreeSync Technology over HDMI functionality to synchronize the screen’s 144 Hz refresh rate with users’ AMD graphics cards. This connectivity minimizes image tearing and input latency and stutter that can disrupt game-play and escalate visual fatigue.

Optimized Gaming Experience

Samsung has equipped the CFG70 with a range of user-friendly gaming UX that drives more convenient and easily-accessible game management. The CFG70 includes a dedicated gaming interface with an intuitive settings dashboard to better allow gamers to modify and personalize their game-play settings. Each CFG70 monitor also offers a series of hotkeys on the front and back of the display for users to easily adjust game-play settings. 

To further inspire gamer immersion and bring out the best in even the most complex game designs, including compatibility with the FPS, RTS, RPG and AOS genres, each CFG70 monitor undergoes rigorous pre-shipment factory calibration. This process optimizes various settings, including contrast ratios, black gamma levels for enhanced brightness and white balance levels for temperature management. As a result, gamers can enjoy a sharp and brilliant picture regardless of the game in play.

Comfortable and Immersive Viewing with the Curved Design

The CFG70’s “Super Arena” design, featuring industry-best 1,800R curvature and a 178-degree ultra-wide viewing angle, is formatted to match the natural curve of the human eye. Complementary sound-interactive LED lighting further creates a lifelike presentation and keeps users focused during the most paramount moments.

Published in Gadget

The US Supreme Court have decided to reverse a patent penalty which was imposed on Samsung for copying Apple’s iPhone design - in a case which was labelled as having major implications for technology innovation. Samsung had been ordered by the courts to pay the patent infringement fine of $399 million, but that has been subsequently overturned following an appeal from Samsung – although the case has still not been settled.

It now means that the case will be sent back to a lower court, following the decision by the justices who emphatically ruled 8-0 that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components.

The ruling was vague in relation to specifics in the case, but analysts have observed that it is likely to curb litigation from patent holders expecting to reap big profits from infringement on a component. The eleven-page ruling found that the $399 million penalty was ‘inappropriate’ because it represented ‘Samsung’s entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones’ for copying the iPhone’s rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colourful icons on a black screen.

However, the court stopped short of divulging any further details of how the lower court now tasked with the case should proceed with the trial in terms of determining what the penalty should be. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her opinion that "doing so would require us to set out a test for identifying the relevant article of manufacture and to parse the record to apply that test in this case."

The court sent the case back to the appellate court in Washington to resolve the details. The case is one element of the $548 million penalty - knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award -Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents.

The general consensus among many in the tech sector is that both sides will be left disappointed by the decision because it sets no real precedent. Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation.

Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics who said they had no financial interest in the case filed an amicus brief arguing on the basis of "fundamental principles of visual design," citing precedents like Coca-Cola's iconic soda bottle.

It is not known how the district court will settle the case with some predicting they may well end up allowing the entire amount to stand, while others feel it is much more likely that the penalty will be substantially reduced.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Samsung Electronics is reportedly considering splitting the company into two. The South Korean company is facing growing pressure as it seeks to ensure a smooth succession to Lee Jae-Yong, Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman and scion of Samsung Group’s founding Lee family. Samsung’s electronics arm is also struggling after globally recalling its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device after reports of exploding batteries, as well as a political scandal in South Korea.

Samsung Electronics said in a statement that it would consider breaking into a holding firm and a producing and operating unit. According to the company, it would take about six months to study the option and fork out a way forward. It also mentioned that it would increase its dividend payout to shareholders to over 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion) this year, up more than 30 percent from 2015.

The suggestion for Samsung Electronics to split was made by U.S. hedge fund Elliott who urged the company to divide into listed holding and operating firms to streamline a byzantine ownership structure, according to AFP. The firm also advised for an increase in share dividends, as well as the addition of new independent board members with “global corporate experience”, and a listing in New York.

The vast Samsung Group is controlled by the lee family, through a web of complicated cross shareholdings among its units including the flagship Samsung Electronics. Lee Sang-Hun, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities, suggests that Samsung has expressed a “strong determination to overhaul its governance structure.” He continued that the company’s recent announcement implies that it could eventually split up “in May or June next year.”

But Sang-Hun warns that Samsung’s recent political scandal involving President Park Geun-Hye, which has engulfed the company, could overshadow any moves to evolve Samsung. The President has been accused, as well as her confidante Choi Soon-Sil, of coercing the major firms in the country into donating tens of millions of dollars to non-profit foundations. These donations were going straight to Choi’s pocket.

Samsung was dragged into the scandal because it made the biggest contribution of 20 billion won, and has been accused of separately offering millions of euros to Choi to fund her daughter’s equestrian training in Germany. Samsung’s headquarters were raided as a result of the scandal multiple times, and several top managers including Lee Jae-Yong were interviewed by prosecutors.

Published in Telecom Vendors

To complement the Gear VR, Samsung’s Gear 360 camera, with its ability to capture one’s entire surroundings, provides an entirely new way to film and share life’s memorable moments, says the South Korean tech giant. Studies indicate that augmented and virtual reality market will grow strongly over the next five years. The Gear 360 is the only such device that enables users to shoot with a real-time view, stitch and trim their videos on their smartphones, and to edit what they recorded on PCs using a single tool.

What makes the Gear 360 so special is that it is making VR affordable and putting this content creation within this technology in the public realm, just like how traditional cameras started out. Serious design considerations were at play for the Gear 360 to do what it does. Traditional cameras allow you to capture an image within a limited angle of view through the lens. In typical lenses, there is a central area and a peripheral area. Because we naturally focus on the center of a photograph, camera lenses, in general, produce the best picture quality at the center and relatively lower quality on the sides.

But 360-degree cameras are different. They shoot in all directions and don’t distinguish between the central and peripheral areas. When using Gear VR, for example, the “center” of an image or video changes as you turn your head in different directions. If there were a drastic difference in picture quality between central and peripheral areas, it wouldn’t feel very lifelike. Therefore, Samsung engineers had to minimize this difference on the Gear 360, and placed a great emphasis on designing and manufacturing the lens to ensure consistency in picture quality.

A typical camera design might incorporate multiple lenses into a single lens module to allow for more sophisticated functions. To do this, it is critical to align the optic axis of each lens accurately. But developing the Gear 360 was even more challenging, as designers had to square each lens module perfectly with the other.

Another key element in manufacturing a camera is to set a perfect locational relation between the lens and sensor, says Samsung. While the tilt of the sensor is typically the top priority in smartphone cameras, the designers’ focus with the Gear 360 was on both three-directional motion components (x, y and z) as well as spin components (yaw, pitch and roll). Since users need to shoot everything in a full field of view of 360 degrees with two lenses, each lens has to capture more than 180 degrees. Also, one might need some overlap of the two images or videos for stitching.

Videos and images taken with a fish-eye lens are displayed in a sphere-like form. When seen in 2D, such as on a smartphone, they look flattened and distorted. Considering a 360-degree camera needs to shoot and record everything around you, a fish-eye lens is favorable because it captures things more accurately. To put this into perspective, imagine a globe in a classroom. Thanks to its spherical shape, it represents scale and size more accurately than a flat world map.

Since people shoot with two 195-degree lenses that face opposite directions, the excess parts of the images (from 180 to 195 degrees) tend to overlap each other. The software processes this overlap to seamlessly connect the two images on the sides. For optimal results, Samsung designers have attempted to make colors and other elements in the two stitched images appear as natural as possible even before being processed by the software. To this end, Samsung has made diverse efforts, including minimizing the difference in colors and exposure of the two lenses by adjusting ISO/AWB, and fine-tuning the optics in the engineering process.

These factors contribute to the camera’s ability to capture immersive content makes viewers feel as if they, too, are experiencing the sights and sounds in the same way the camera user might when capturing the subjects and settings in view. With its universal tripod hole, the Gear 360 can be attached by various third-party accessories, such as selfie sticks, drones and helmet mounts, depending on users’ needs. Users can take the Gear 360 for a spin on a car or a bicycle using a camera dock, and attach the device to guitars or other instruments with a clamp. With the Gear 360, users can shoot and edit UHD-grade videos in addition to features such as Time-lapse and Looping Video.


Published in Gadget

Samsung has extended its reach into the ‘connected car’ space by purchasing U.S auto parts manufacturer Harman International Industries for a whopping $8 billion. It is the largest deal in Samsung’s history, and could help the Korean tech giant move past the exploding Galaxy Note 7 smartphone fiasco that has hurt Samsung’s reputation and is expected to cost billions of dollars.

Samsung said in a statement that its board had approved the all-cash purchase of the Connecticut-based auto firm for $112 a share. The deal will give Samsung – currently the world’s largest producer of smartphones – a “significant presence” in the global market for online connected auto parts, the company said. Samsung is hoping to complete the deal by the third quarter of 2017 after getting approvals from Harman shareholders and regulators.

“Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time," Samsung vice chairman Kwon Oh-Hyun said in a statement. "Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform."

With Harman’s expertise in high-end audio systems and other internet-enabled entertainment features for global automakers such as General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, Samsung Electronics will be able to combine it with its own expertise in mobile, home appliances and semiconductors. Samsung is making clear moves outside of its key business of mobile handsets as the market slows.

“Samsung is trying to fill what it lacks by tapping into a new growth engine,” said HMC Investment Securities analyst Greg Roh, AFP reported. “We can say that Samsung took a big step in gaining a competitive edge in the car infotainment sector.”

Roh said the search for a new growth engine for Samsung would also likely be aimed at giving the company a boost amid a power transfer to the scion Lee Jae-Yong. The 48-year-old Lee, who is already vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and has seen his influence grow since his father, Samsung patriarch Lee Kun-Hee, suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in 2014, joined the board last month during an extraordinary shareholders' meeting.

Samsung last year established a new automotive electronics business team, which will work closely with Harman. The company says the market for smart, connected electric vehicles including self-driving cars will grow by an average of 13 percent each year to 186.4 billion dollars by 2025. The Samsung group dabbled in the car manufacturing business in the 1990s but was soon forced to sell the business to the French carmaker Renault in the wake of the crippling 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Published in Finance

With 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4K TVs can show much greater detail than even before, but the key to the ideal 4K resolution is to address the all-important issues of contrast ratio, says Samsung. That’s where HDR technology steps in. HDR an acronym for ‘High Dynamic Range’ is all about the expression of images and is a result of the depth of contrast between light and dark colors that a TV can produce.

Producing images at up to 1000 nits brightness, Samsung’s HDR 1000 feature harnesses the available brightening and dimming technology’s power to make blacks look really dark and whites vibrantly bright.  At the same time, not all 4K TVs in the market can process HDR videos.

Organizations that create their own content are adopting the technology necessary to create and distribute content that is compatible with 4K HDR TVs, says Samsung. At the current rate, it looks certain that HDR is something that the industry will be increasingly embracing. Even for older films and TV series that may not be 4K or HDR ready, Samsung SUHD TV will upscale content to the extent possible in order to maximize image quality.

The newly introduced HDR+ Mode (available as an automatic update) will improve picture quality even further by adjusting the color and brightness range, ensuring that standard dynamic range (SDR) content will look like HDR content.

It not only enhances SDR, but the new HDR+ algorithm also enhances standard HDR content increasing the level of contrast ratio to differentiate objects from the background, while still depicting more image details on the screen for an overall better picture. With HDR native contents, HDR+ also uncovers previously hidden images from darker content scenes, supplementing the level of brightness to express objects hidden in darker shadows.

Features designed specifically for picture quality experts have also been enhanced with HDR+. In “Expert Mode,” picture quality experts can customize HDR effects to suit individual users by calibrating brightness, contrast ratio and gradation to the finest degree.

SUHD TVs also employ a technology called Ultra Black that channels light in a manner that reduces glare on the display surface. So even when you’re watching TV in a room drenched in sunlight, you can still savor every tiny detail because you won’t be distracted by the reflection of your surroundings on the screen.

Published in Gadget

Samsung Electronics is in full repair mode after the damage caused by the mass recall of its latest flagship Galaxy Note 7. In a move to improve its reputation, Samsung recently announced details about its next flagship device, the Galaxy S8, which it says will feature an artificial intelligence (A.I.) assistant service. The A.I. service will also be available in Samsung’s other consumer electronics.

In a statement, Samsung said its S8 device will enable users to order food or perform other tasks without going through a third-party application, simply by using the phone’s virtual assistant. However, the company was not specific about exactly what tasks the S8 will be able to perform through its A.I. feature.

Samsung recently acquired a company called Viv Labs Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up which launched the same entrepreneurs who sold Siri to Apple, ABC News reported, which has allowed the South Korean company to venture into its own digital assistant project. In the past, Samsung has offered a voice assistant service called ‘S Voice’ which was developed internally, but it didn’t take off.

Viv Labs and Samsung have said that the main difference between the existing digital assistant and the one they are developing together is that the latter will be an “open A.I. platform”, which means the third-party developers will be able to provide their services through Samsung’s A.I. platform.

“Our Galaxy smartphones don't provide services that enable consumers to order pizza or coffee, but does provide third party applications. But the new A.I. platform will enable consumers to do things that they would usually do through a separate third party application," Samsung's statement read.

Spring is when Samsung typically releases its new devices, which is expected to be when the Galaxy S8 will be released next year. It will be crucial time for Samsung as it attempts to make a comeback from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, where the company received dangerous reports from users who experienced their phone’s battery exploding. Samsung estimates that it has lost at least $5.3 billion as a result of the discontinued model.

Published in Devices

South Korean smartphone maker Samsung Electronics released its quarterly earnings on Thursday, October 27, revealing an expected fall in profits due to the highly damaging recall of the Galaxy Note 7 that hammered the company’s reputation. Samsung said its operating profit for the July-September period was at 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion), down 30 percent from last year.

Samsung was prepared for its drop in profits after it killed its flagship device due to overheating batteries that burst into flames. The Galaxy Note 7 was built with the intention of competing against Apple’s iPhone, and the fact that Samsung’s flagship device was faulty, devastated the company that prides itself on the quality of production of cutting-edge technology.

The company is currently in the midst of big changes to its management. Samsung’s earnings were announced just before its annual shareholder meeting which was set to approve the latest step in a complex generational change of leadership at the family-run conglomerate. Ending production of the Galaxy Note 7 has seen Samsung’s core mobile business fall, with the mobile division’s operating profit for the third quarter down almost 98 percent from the previous quarter.

Samsung has tried to remain optimistic, saying in a statement that its mobile unit would focus on “expanding sales of new flagship products… as well as regaining consumers’ confidence.” But the company has predicted a further $3 billion-plus in lost profits over the next two quarters.

As an illustration of the loss of prestige suffered by a company used to being treated as corporate royalty in South Korea, thousands of domestic Note 7 customers are expected to join a class action lawsuit seeking compensation over the recall fiasco, AFP reported. One South Korean investment advisory firm went so far as to recommend shareholders vote against the nomination to the Samsung board of vice chairman J.Y. Lee -- the family-run firm's heir apparent.

Published in Finance

In the midst of a chaotic period for Samsung Electronics, on October 18, the South Korean company said it would compensate suppliers hit by the decision to scrap its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because of safety concerns with exploding batteries. Samsung announced that it was discontinuing the Note 7 after a chaotic recall that saw replacement phones also catching fire.

The Galaxy Note 7 recall and discontinuation of the product won’t come cheap. Samsung estimates that the cost of the affair will cost it $5.3 billion in lost profits over the three quarters beginning July. But Samsung’s suppliers will also be hit by the move – those who produce everything from camera modules to casings. Samsung’s suppliers will reportedly lose an estimated $1.7 billion because of the affair.

"We will offer full compensation for remaining inventories of Note 7 components among our suppliers," Samsung said in a statement. "We feel sorry for causing concern among our suppliers due to discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7...we will complete the compensation quickly to minimize difficulty faced by them," it said.

Samsung’s statement didn’t offer specific figures about its compensation, but said the payout would be calculated to the different suppliers’ inventory volumes. Given the Samsung Group's stature within Asia's fourth-largest economy -- it accounts for around 17 percent of GDP -- the Note 7 debacle has had a national impact, AFP reported. The central Bank of Korea said it had taken the crisis into consideration when it trimmed South Korea's 2017 growth outlook to 2.8 percent last week from its previous 2.9 percent forecast.

Published in Devices
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