Overall smartphone market shows growth, but top two leaders lose share
According to new quarterly figures from industry analysts Gartner, enormous growth by Apple's iPhone has eroded worldwide mobile phone share -- including both smartphones and feature phones -- from top seller Samsung and second-place Nokia, with Apple potentially taking the second spot from Nokia after this quarter's expected record-breaking iPhone sales are announced. For the most recent quarter, Apple was within one percentage point of matching Nokia in a market seeing strong overall growth.
Tech appears aimed directly at competing with Apple Pay
Samsung is in talks with a Massachusetts-based startup, LoopPay, with the hope of launching a mobile payment platform in 2015, sources say. Whether or not Samsung has reached a deal is uncertain, and indeed one source says that talks could still break down. A second source claims that a prototype version of the platform is already working on a Samsung phone.
Roadmap for processors unclear
Samsung has already started manufacturing Apple A9 processors at its factory in Austin, Texas, claims South Korea's Electronic Times. Production is fact said to have started just this Thursday, using the company's latest 14nm manufacturing process. The story is consistent with other recent reports suggesting A9 production would begin by the end of the year, and statements from within Samsung that it would be supplying Apple with 14nm hardware.
Virtual reality headset ships via Samsung, AT&T for $199, requires Note 4
Samsung has started to sell its virtual reality headset in the United States. The Innovator Edition of the Gear VR, a headset which requires the use of a Galaxy Note 4 as a display panel and for processing visuals, is the company's first virtual reality device being sold directly to consumers, alongside some demonstration programs and resources for coding VR content.
Lawyers say $930M award overblown compared to actual damages
The lower court -- and the jury -- "made a mistake" when it said that Samsung infringed design and trade dress patents with its smartphones, lawyers for the Galaxy maker argued during the first day of appealing Apple's $930 million trial win. One attorney, Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, noted that that the targeted Samsung phones didn't carry Apple logos, didn't have Home buttons similar to an iPhone, and also had speaker slots in different locations than Apple products. "Apple was awarded Samsung's total profits on those phones, which was absurd," she added, though Samsung's claims on "total profits" from the phones is considered highly suspect.
Apple, Samsung, HTC among identified parties
Taiwan's National Communications Commission has found 12 cellphone makers to be violating the country's Personal Information Protection Act, according to the Wall Street Journal. PIPA covers the "collection, processing and use of personal information"; the NCC has yet to say exactly how the companies broke regulations, but does explain that it discovered the issue while investigating charges that Chinese firm Xiaomi was collecting and transmitting user data without permission.
Both sides call on experts, supporters
Samsung's appeal of a 2013 US patent trial verdict - which, after more legal wrangling, finally awarded Apple $930 million -- is going to court today. Lawyers for Samsung are arguing that those damages were excessive, and that most or all of them should be tossed out, contrary to the jury's carefully-considered determination. A brief has been filed by 27 law professors in support of the company's position.
Overall, consumers still prefer smartphones under five inches in size
In less than eight weeks, Apple's iPhone 6 Plus has already grabbed a 41 percent share of all US "phablet" (5.5 inches or larger in display size) sales, and is continuing to struggle to meet demand. A new study published by Kantar World Panel reveals that, despite much more publicity, phablets continue to make up only a small minority of smartphone sales -- but the category is growing fast. The finding is another blow for the struggling Samsung, whose Galaxy Note phablets now account for only five percent of such sales in the US, and only eight percent of phablets in China.
Metal-clad Samsung smartphone shown with octa-core 64-bit Snapdragon processor
Samsung is preparing to launch another device in its Galaxy A-series, following the A5, A3, and the original Galaxy Alpha. A filing at the Chinese regulator TENAA shows the Galaxy A7 as a device which weighs 133 grams (4.7 ounces) and measures just 6.3 millimeters thin, just 0.4 millimeters thinner than the Galaxy A5, making it the thinnest mobile device the company has ever produced.
Shin keeps position as mobile division CEO, other mobile executives leaving roles
Samsung is taking a different path than previously thought during its yearly management shuffle, as the South Korean electronics manufacturer is keeping Head of Mobile Communications and Co-CEO Jong-kyun Shin in his post for the time being. However, during the company's yearly management change, at least three other executives in the mobile division will be removed from their positions.
Walmart deals on electronics available now
Black Friday sales have gone live at Walmart.com; however, if you plan on getting a head start on the deals at your local store, keep in mind it will be opening its doors tonight at 6PM. The company is offering three different door-buster events, which are outlined below. If you don't want to wait for the door-busters, or would just prefer to shop from the safety and comfort of your own home, we have highlighted a selection of deals that are available now.
iPhone's RAM, storage, and batteries could come from one supplier
Apple may be turning to Samsung for more parts in future production runs of the iPhone 6, sources tell Business Korea. Beginning this week, new runs will reportedly use batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI. More significantly, though, Apple is said to be considering replacing Toshiba TLC NAND flash storage with a Samsung equivalent. Toshiba NAND is currently believed to be the only kind used in 128GB iPhones, and some reports have linked it to occasional device crashes. Toshiba, SanDisk, and SK Hynix are allegedly producing the storage for 64GB models.
Restructuring of subsidiaries, share acquisition announced by Samsung
Samsung is preparing to buy back $2 billion in shares, the first scheme of its kind since 2007, the electronics manufacturer has announced. At the same time, reports claim the company has also revealed it will be drastically changing its holdings, selling stakes in its defense and chemical subsidiaries to raise funds for new investments, among other costs.
Apple not given what it wanted; Samsung appeals, Apple filing shortly
Judge Lucy Koh, overseeing the myriad Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trials, has partially granted a motion by Apple. The ruling would allow the Cupertino manufacturer to collect post-judgement royalties on ongoing sales of some Samsung devices -- but the amount received will be less than Apple wanted. The motion, filed for the second Apple versus Samsung trial, covers two patents -- data detectors and "slide to unlock" -- and specifically covers 10 products and other devices that infringe on the patent or are not "demonstrably different" than the infringing products.
Home appliance, television Co-CEO could take over mobile, Shin might lose CEO role
The sharp decline in smartphone sales appears to be taking its toll on Samsung, as sources say the South Korean company is considering a management shake-up at the very top. A plan under consideration would see current head of the mobile division Jong-Kyun Shin replaced, and possibly losing his co-CEO role within Samsung.
Samsung NX1 with 28.2-megapixel sensor available to pre-order.
Samsung is finally releasing the NX1 mirrorless camera in the United States, one which is capable of recording 4K-resolution content. Launched in September, the NX1 has a 28.2-megapixel BSI APS-C sensor, with the updated NX AF System III's autofocus capabilities offering 205 phase-detection points and 209 contrast AF points, and a focusing speed of 0.055 of a second.
CEO Lei believes Xiaomi can make the jump from third place, trades jabs with Apple
Last week, Xiaomi CEO Jun Lei said that he expects the smartphone manufacturer to take the number one sales spot in smartphones over the next decade. Lei had a chance to emphasize his belief at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen China, taking to a panel to accentuate the company's growth in smart devices. To do so, the Chinese company will need to overtake the number one and two companies Samsung and Apple, something that Apple Senior Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Bruce Sewell believes won't be so "easy."
Latest move by Samsung mirrors earlier Nvidia action
Samsung has racheted up its legal battles with Nvidia, bringing US regulators into the battle. Yesterday, the Korean manufacturer filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), attempting to block GPUs manufactured by Nvidia from being imported and sold in the US market. The complaint mirrors one that Nvidia filed against Samsung earlier this year, with Nvidia calling it "a predictable tactic."
Technology based on open standard coming to in 4K monitors up to 31.5 inches
During the Future of Compute event in Singapore, AMD announced that it's working with Samsung to put the first monitors on the market that support its FreeSync technology in ultra high-definition (UHD) 4K monitors. To go along with the gaming-focused monitor technology, it was also announced that AMD is working with well-known game developer Capcom to implement Mantle support in the future.
Milk Video aggregates clips from Vice, Red Bull, Funny or Die
Samsung is adding to the list of apps exclusive to Galaxy smartphones, and taking on established video hosting services like YouTube, with its own video streaming app. Milk Video, following after the Milk Music service, aims to provide access to curated and automatically created playlists aggregated from various content partners.
Which fashion-forward recipient will you gift with a smart watch?
Wearable devices have become an important part of the technology industry this year, with almost every manufacturer producing a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or some other form of technology designed to be worn, not carried. If you feel the need to buy a present for someone you know who wants a wearable item, here is Electronista and MacNN's first gift guide of the season, covering the newest expansion of mobile technology.
Reduction in Samsung smartphone launches an attempt to reverse drop in profit
Samsung plans to release fewer models of smartphone next year, in an attempt to improve its profit margin following its most recent quarterly financial results. The electronics giant's head of investor relations Robert Yi advised it will be reducing the number of device variants released in 2015 down by between 25 and 30 percent compared to 2014.
Current production thought to be handled mostly by TSMC
Samsung has signed a deal to become the "primary supplier" of Apple's A-series processors starting in 2015, claims the Korea Times. Last year, TSMC is believed to have taken over the majority of production, possibly around 60 percent. Under the new scheme, Samsung is expected to churn out chips at its Austin, Texas plant -- the original home of the A series -- and at another facility in New York. Samsung's share of the work is forecast to grow to 80 percent by 2016.
Move makes DirecTV the first video provider with 4k
This weekend, satellite television provider DirecTV will become the first multi-channel video provider to offer 4K Ultra HD programming direct to customers. At launch, the company will begin offering 19 movies and documentaries from both Paramount Pictures and Havoc, with more titles to be announced soon. Customers will need an Internet-connected Genie HD DVR model HR34 and above, and a Samsung UHD TV that is DirecTV 4K ready. Pricing for 4K movies will range from $4 to $16, and will be on a per-movie basis.
Combination of Samsung Knox and BES12 said to provide end-to-end security
BlackBerry is working with Samsung to make its Android devices more secure for corporate users, the manufacturer has revealed. The partnership, which will be offered to enterprise customers from early next year, will see Samsung's Knox working in tandem with Blackberry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12), in order to provide a "tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution" for communications.
Bluetooth LE-based Samsung Proximity pushes marketing, information to mobile devices
Samsung is taking on Apple's iBeacon, with its own location awareness system. Dubbed Proximity, Samsung's system is billed as a context-aware "mobile marketing platform," allowing retailers and other companies to push marketing messages and other content to a customer's smartphone or tablet whenever they are within range of one of the beacons.
Flow shares notifications, app data between collection of networked devices
Samsung used its Developer Conference to reveal a system for allowing notifications and data to be shared between a collection of different devices. Similar to Apple's Continuity, Samsung Flow will allow users to move relevant information between smartphones, tablets, computers, smart televisions, and other network-connected devices with displays.
Computer builder 'caught off guard,' believes fallout will affect employees, community
Custom computer builder Velocity Micro is stuck in a legal battle between two computing powerhouses after Samsung lumped the company in with Nvidia over a patent dispute. The Virginia-based company issued an open letter today admitting it is confused by the whole situation, adding that it intends to fight the suit that will drain company resources.
Camera to accompany Gear VR, captures and streams full high-resolution 3D video
To go along with a release date announcement of the Gear VR Innovator Edition virtual reality (VR) headset, Samsung teased a new ambitious camera project during its developer conference. Project Beyond is a 360-degree camera that captures a true 3D environment, using stereo cameras to mimic the type of view a human would have if they witnessed the scene themselves.
Virtual reality headset releasing in December, SDK available now for developers
During the Samsung Developer Conference today, the South Korean electronics company officially announced that the first wave of Gear VR headsets are coming to the market. Consumers looking forward to getting their hands on the smartphone-powered virtual reality (VR) device can look forward to a sale day in early December.
Nvidia responds to benchmark criticism with multi-benchmark graph
Samsung has filed a lawsuit against chip producer Nvidia, accusing it of infringing its patents and faking benchmark results for its processors. Nvidia has since spoken up about the suit, filed last week, claiming Samsung's accusations of benchmark deception is false, by comparing its Tegra K1-powered Shield Tablet against Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and its Exynos 5433 processor.
Samsung Professional Audio required for Android version of iRig
IK Multimedia has made a version of its iOS-based iRig HD for Android Devices, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 being the first compatible device. The iRig HD-A digital guitar interface is also accompanied by an Android version of the AmpliTube app, the guitar processing app, which will also only work with Samsung mobile devices.
Still down slightly from record high; Amazon tablets more popular than Samsung tablets
New data from ad network and analytics firm Chitika saw the iPad regaining nearly two full points of North American web traffic among tablets in September, finishing the month with 79.9 percent share. Even at its lower July reading of 78 percent, the iPad line still completely dominated its rivals, all of whom reported single-digit web presence. The next nearest rival was Amazon, with 6.7 percent share for its entire Kindle Fire line. Samsung followed in third place, with six percent.
Bluetooth earphones, standalone Samsung Gear S smartwatch head to market this week
Samsung has confirmed it is bringing its Gear Circle wireless earphones to the United States this month, ready for the holiday shopping period. At the same time, it has been revealed the manufacturer's standalone Gear S smartwatch will be making its way to the United Kingdom, with the first units set to go on sale later this week.
Dual-display clamshell from Samsung shows notifications on external display
Samsung is continuing to make dual-screen flip phones, with the latest model being aimed at older mobile users. The Master Dual boasts a 3-inch internal QVGA display above a basic keypad, while on the back of the top section is a secondary 2.2-inch QVGA display, which is able to show the time and notifications, saving the user from having to open the phone for basic updates.
Court filing calls Microsoft direct hardware competitors after Nokia acquisition
Samsung is petitioning a court to allow it to invalidate its contract with Microsoft, an agreement that it has only belatedly paid patent license fees on for the last year. A late Thursday court filing declares that once Microsoft acquired Nokia, it became a significant competitor with Samsung. The Korean manufacturer claims that the buy puts the two companies on equal footing in the smartphone market, and continuing the contract thus would induce some problems with US laws. Samsung pays royalties to Microsoft on patents it owns that are used in Android and other software.
Mid-range metal Samsung Galaxy smartphones based on earlier Galaxy Alpha
Samsung has unveiled two smartphones with metal unibody construction, following in the footsteps of the Galaxy Alpha. The Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 are mid-range offerings, with the A5 packing a 720p 5-inch Super AMOLED display into a case measuring 6.7mm thick, while the A3 opts for a 4.5-inch qHD screen in a 6.9mm-thick body.
Curved face Android Wear smartwatch gets $5 price plan on T-Mobile
Samsung's Gear S will be going on sale in the United States at the start of next month, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all carrying the Android Wear smartwatch. The carriers are also varying the way they host the standalone smartwatch on their network, with T-Mobile introducing a new plan specifically for wearable devices.
Sales of Samsung smartphones, televisions expected to pick up over holidays
Samsung has recorded an operating profit of 4.06 trillion won ($3.84 billion) in its latest quarterly financial results. Just as the manufacturer warned at the start of this month, the operating profit represents a decrease of 3.13 trillion won ($2.96 billion) from the previous quarter, with other parts of the financial report offering similar dismal and disappointing figures.
Unknown author calls Knox compromised, unsafe for use
Reports have begun to circulate about a pervasive flaw in Samsung's Knox security software for Android phones. The technology, which is the foundation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's enhanced protections, has come under fire by a lone, previously-unknown researcher, who calls the effort merely "security by obscurity."
Second Nook-branded Samsung tablet goes on sale in time for holiday shopping
Samsung is continuing to produce devices under its Nook agreement with Barnes & Noble, by launching its second co-branded tablet in time for the holidays. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 follows the same pattern as laid out by the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, in using effectively the same hardware as the standard Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, but combined with Nook software.
Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM inside 11.6-inch Chromebook 2
Samsung has added an extra option to its Chromebook 2 line of budget notebooks. The new addition with an 11.6-inch 1366x768-resolution display replaces the Exynos 5 Octa processors from the original two notebooks with a 2.58GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor and Intel HD graphics, while at the same time downgrading the amount of RAM from 4GB to just 2GB.
Stock Android device collection image shows Galaxy S5 three times
A version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 with a stock installation of Android could be on the way, according to reports. Following the launch of Android Lollipop, version 5.0 of the mobile operating system, Android.com has been updated with new images and information, with one image seemingly showing the Galaxy S5 amid other Google Play Edition and Nexus devices.
High-speed 60GHz Wi-Fi promises 4.6Gbps maximum transmission speed
Samsung may be releasing devices with 60GHz Wi-Fi technology as soon as next year, the manufacturer has revealed. The technology, which uses a completely separate section of spectrum than the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands in current Wi-Fi standards, allows for data to be transmitted at 4.6Gb/s, or 575MB/s, five times the current 866Mb/s or 108MB/s capable with existing wireless networking technologies.
New chip increases data density, will lower costs and power consumption
Samsung today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 3-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) three-dimensional Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory, for use in solid state drives (SSD). The 3-bit V-NAND is Samsung's latest second generation V-NAND device, which utilizes 32 vertically stacked cell layers per NAND memory chip. Each chip provides 128Gb of memory storage, at a lower cost per die than older technologies.
Nvidia alleges that Qualcomm, Samsung violate seven graphics patents in devices
Video card maker Nvidia has cleared its first hurdle in a patent dispute with Samsung and Qualcomm, as the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to investigate complaints the GPU manufacturer filed over infringement. The ITC will evaluate if a number of possibly-infringing devices, such as the recently announced Galaxy Note 4, should be barred from entering the country. The decision stems from complaints Nvidia filed last month with the ITC and US District Court in Delaware.
Samsung Gear S will have Opera Mini browser available at release
The Samsung Gear S, a smartwatch with its own 3G data connection due to go on sale in the near future, will be able to access the Internet via its own browser, Opera has revealed. Owners of the standalone smartwatch will be able to download Opera Mini for the device via the Samsung Gear Apps store, with the browser said to be made more user friendly for the small screen by making website shortcuts into larger buttons, and by including a single Smart Page collecting together various social updates onto a single screen.
Estimated operating profit 60-percent lower than same period in 2013
Investors in Samsung are being warned profits for the quarter are far below its estimates, in its earnings guidance before its expected third-quarter financial results release. The manufacturer's consolidated operating profit for the period is estimated at 4.1 trillion won ($3.8 billion), down from the 7.19 trillion won in the previous quarter, and down significantly from the 10.2 trillion won reported in the same period last year.
Alleged internal document claims December Gear VR launch, $187 price
Samsung will start shipping its Gear VR peripheral at the start of December, a report claims. The virtual reality headset, officially unveiled during September's Unpacked event, is said to be heading to retail in South Korea from December 1st, with an allegedly leaked internal document claiming it will cost consumers 200,000 won ($187).
Microsoft seeking $6.9 million in interest over Samsung refusal to pay
Microsoft's smartphone patent lawsuit from August was unsealed, showing that Samsung has paid the company over $1 billion in royalties on patents used in Android for just the second year of the agreement, but still owes $6.9 million in unpaid interest. Microsoft claims that Samsung initially ceased making royalty payments, then paid late and refused to pay interest, with Samsung claiming that the buy of Nokia invalidated patent licensing agreements that the pair had signed.