Apple shows significant year-over-year growth while Samsung drops
On the release of its first set of statistics following last month's report of a two percent drop in Mac sales (that turned out to be a 16 percent gain), IDC has made the term "shipments" more prominent in its latest report on smartphone share worldwide. Although its reports have always been based on shipment data rather than on sales to end-users, the company emphasized the term in its latest set of numbers, and noted that both Apple and Samsung lost share to smaller Chinese smartphone makers.
Bid for sales ban against 23 copying Samsung products had been denied twice
Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.
Software confirms Gear VR modular design, installs three apps for use including manager
On top of getting their hands on a render photo and a name for Samsung's upcoming virtual reality (VR) device earlier this month, Sammobile was able to spend some time with an early version of the software responsible for controlling the Gear VR. Called Gear VR Manager, the software shows off some of the basic usage features of the headset, along with the setup.
Application for 'foldable pouch mobile cradle' uses art from Apple's Smart Cover
A new patent application from Samsung has surfaced, in which the company is seeking to claim a patent on a new type of sleeve for tablets. While that would not be cause for concern in most cases, some of the art in the application makes a direct call to a familiar cover for Apple's iPads. In the filing, Samsung - which has been repeatedly accused by Apple and others of "slavishly copying" the iPhone maker -- introduces prior art in the form of Apple's Smart Cover.
Apple, Samsung give up share to Lenovo, ASUS, others
Although Apple's iPad is still the leading tablet globally, the company is continuing to lose marketshare, according to new IDC shipment data. Year-over-year, Apple's June-quarter tablet share fell from 33 to 26.9 percent, based on shipments of 13.3 million iPads this quarter versus 14.6 million in Q2 2013. The company's next closest competitor, Samsung, saw its share slip from 18.8 percent to 17.2.
Patent lawsuit over notifications asked to be tossed based on Supreme Court ruling
Google has stepped into the ring for another patent dispute in East Texas, this time involving its Android operating system, Samsung and the Rockstar Consortium. Last November, the consortium filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming that Samsung phones using the Android operating system infringed on seven patents that Rockstar holds. The patents in question include messaging and notification systems found on mobile devices, but Google asked to have the case thrown out.
Curved 4K television includes installation by Samsung engineers
Samsung has put the 105-inch Ultra HD television it demonstrated at CES this year up for pre-order in the United States. The UN105S9, a super-sized curved television capable of displaying a 4K-resolution image, is being priced by the electronics giant at $120,000, far higher than any other television in the company's entire S9 television range, including last year's $40,000 set.
Samsung sees big setback
Since April, the shares of North American tablet web traffic from iPads and Kindle Fires has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 points, respectively, according to new data compiled by Chitika Insights. The figures put the iPad at 78 percent of traffic, and the Kindle Fire at 7.3 percent, the latter displacing Samsung tablets in aggregate (down to 6.3 percent). Google and Microsoft -- also generally considered prominent tablet makers -- managed shares of just 2.1 and 1.4 percent.
Meeting between executives concerned Android Wear, Tizen use in smartwatches
Google is unhappy by Samsung's choice to use Tizen for its main smartwatch platform instead of Android Wear, according to a report. CEO Larry Page is said to have spent time earlier this month with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee in a "tense private meeting" over the smartwatch software issue, with Samsung allegedly spending more on devices running Tizen than Google's new Android offshoot.
Four audio devices including Bluetooth speaker and in-ear headphones start at $150
Samsung is jumping into the premium audio market in North America with four new consumer offerings for headphones and Bluetooth speakers. Samsung launched the Level line of audio products today, aiming for high quality sound, portability and style. The Level Over, On and In give consumers options based on the type of style headphone preferred, while the Box speaker allows music to be shared with others.
Reasons for possible reversal unclear
TSMC will probably lose chip production orders from Apple and Qualcomm to Samsung in the second half of 2015, says KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, quoted by Reuters. Liu made the comments in a memo issued after a TSMC investor conference. The Commercial Times and the Economic Daily News both suggest that Qualcomm has in fact already started working with Samsung, a claim which has hurt TSMC shares in trading.
NT4600 chipset in partners' hands for testing, evaluation; 2015 ship date
Chip manufacturer Nitero, in conjunction with the Samsung Foundry, has announced the first Wi-Gig chipset for mobile. The NT4600 is the an 802.11ad chipset, based on 28nm HKMG LPP technology. Nitero is currently demonstrating the NT4600 to select partners and customers, and will start production shipments in 2015.
SmartThings purchase would bolster Samsung Internet of Things efforts
Samsung may be looking to acquire a home automation company, in order to bolster its home automation efforts. Shortly after joining up with the Thread Group to work on a wireless networking protocol for the "Internet of Things," the electronics giant is said to be in the process of purchasing SmartThings, with the deal said to be worth around $200 million.
Companies could work together to combat Apple-Nike relationship
Samsung could partner up with sports clothing producer Under Armour in order to take on the wearables market, according to a report. Lee Jae Yong, son of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun Hee and heir to the Samsung Group, is said to have talked to Under Armour Founder and Chief Executive Kevin Plank earlier this month, with Apple's relationship with Nike apparently central to discussions.
4K monitors, cameras, PCs and more
This week at NCIX.com, get the Samsung 28-inch 4K LED monitor on sale for the reduced price of $530 with free shipping. That's $170 off their regular price of $700, and about $90 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This monitor features 28 inches of 4K resolution (3840x2160) with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, 1ms response time and a brightness of 370cd/m. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac, with HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity options.
New batteries thinner, more flexible than Samsung or LG offerings
Apple has allegedly solved battery problems for the iPhone 6 by turning to a new supplier, Taiwan's Simplo Technologies, says the Taiwan-based Economic Daily News. The company was reportedly having trouble finding batteries that were both thin and flexible enough from previous suppliers Samsung and LG Chemical. It's not clear whether EDN is referring to the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone -- most commonly labeled the iPhone 6 -- or the supposed 5.5-inch model as well, which was already said to have had battery problems fixed, despite a lack of evidence of either the alleged problem or its resolution.
Big names team to build on existing 802.15.4 wireless networking protocol
Samsung Electronics, Nest Labs, and Freescale Semiconductor have teamed to form the Thread Group. The seven company-strong group has been formed to generate and develop Thread, another IP-based wireless networking protocol for home automation and control of the burgeoning "Internet of Things" market.
Dongguan Shinyang Electronics investigation causes company to temporarily halt business
Samsung announced today that it has suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics after an investigation into child labor practices. Samsung launched an investigation after a July 10 accusation by watchdog group China Labor Watch that it found evidence of child labor at the factory, which supplies Samsung.
New offering attempts curated approach at apps for Galaxy-series devices
Samsung is rebranding its mostly quiescent app store. The Korean manufacturing giant has announced "Galaxy Apps," a new version of its app store for Android devices. The refreshed offering will be available to all users of Samsung smart devices, and will be divided into three major divisions -- best picks, top, and "For Galaxy."
Internet camera looks good on paper, runs into problems in everyday use
Keeping an eye on the home while out and about these days is common practice. Internet cameras have become popular due to the ease of scanning for intruders or checking on the welfare of a child. Selecting the right model can be challenging, based on the number of cameras on the market. Brands like Dropcam and Foscam are generally trusted, but larger companies like Samsung offer alternative solutions. Attempting to bring a Dropcam competitor to consumers, Samsung released the SmartCam HD Pro. But does it offer the features a user needs without hiccups? Find out in our review.
Samsung Z release postponed pending possible app portfolio issues
Samsung has postponed the release of its first smartphone running the Tizen operating system. The Samsung Z was originally intended to go on sale in Russia in the third quarter of this year, timed to coincide with a Tizen developer event in Moscow, but it has been delayed by the smartphone manufacturer with no exact date for when the company will try the launch again.
Shinyang Electronics audit finds 15 violations of child labor laws
Samsung has come under fire for use of underage employees at one of its Chinese supplier factories. Watchdog group China Labor Watch alleges that it has found children and underage students at Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan, China -- contrary to a June 30 report by the company which found no violations by the Korean hardware giant.
Samsung, TSMC splitting orders
TSMC has begun shipping Apple A-series processors out for assembly, according to the Wall Street Journal. Production is said to have begun on 20nm fabrication lines in the first quarter, but shipments have only started happening more recently. Despite TSMC's involvement, the firm is expected to split orders with Samsung, which has traditionally produced every A-series chip.
Samsung's foray into virtual reality named 'Gear VR,' to be announced with Note 4
New information on Samsung's virtual reality (VR) headset was leaked today, according to Sammobile. The company claims that a new photo of the device was found, indicating that it's closer to the Google cardboard VR accessory rather than a full headset like the Oculus Rift. The publication says that the Gear VR should be announced during Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2014 in September.
Samsung operating income estimated to be below analyst expectations
Samsung has issued yet another warning to analysts that its earnings for the current quarter will miss expectations. The company is now predicting a drop of 24 percent year-over-year, missing pundit predictions by nearly $1 billion. The company is blaming the poor earnings forecast on currency fluctuations and a slowdown in overall smartphone market growth in the quarter. A statement following Monday's results guidance attempts to explain away the company's operating income reduction, just as warned in late June, with increased competition in the Chinese and some European markets leading to lower sales of its medium and entry-level smartphones.
Open Interconnect Consortium fourth major IoT protocol to pop up
Possibly complicating the nascent "Internet of Things" market, chipmakers Intel, Broadcom, and Atmel along with Samsung and Dell have partnered on the Open Interconnect Consortium -- an organization intended to generate yet another standard for home automation gadgetry. The initiative joins efforts from Apple, Google and Qualcomm to try and consolidate the market under one banner.
Robbers leave with seven trucks full of electronic goods from Campinas factory
A group of bandits robbed a Samsung Electronics factory in Brazil last night, escaping with seven trucks filled of goods from the smartphone and notebook computer manufacturer. Reuters reports the factory in Campinas was robbed just before midnight, with 20 robbers, some armed, posing as employees.
Still below chief rival Samsung
Apple has risen from 19th to 15th place in Fortune's annual Global 500 rankings, which chart corporations according to revenue. "Apple, the maker of the globally popular iPhone and iPad devices, posted sales of almost $171 billion in 2013, 9% higher than the prior year," the magazine writes. "But the company has come under pressure in the competitive smartphone business, and its profit shrank 11% to $37 billion from 2012 to 2013. Even so, Apple has a huge amount of cash on hand, and CEO Tim Cook recently deployed some of that cash pile by announcing $30 billion in stock buybacks."
Apple, Samsung smartphones singled out in TSA device power rules
Passengers of some international flights terminating in the United States will face a greater scrutiny of their electronics before being allowed on the airplane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is putting into force new security rules that requires electronic devices to be able to switch on at the time of the security screening, with devices containing flat batteries unable to be let onboard.
Highlights disparities in battery life
Samsung has released a new TV ad (below) for the Galaxy S5, comparing it against the iPhone in terms of battery life. iPhone owners are depicted as "wall huggers," forced to constantly hunt for outlets at spaces like airports due to only being able to go a few hours on a charge. On the other side of the coin the ad touts the S5's removable battery, and its "ultra power saving mode," which disables non-essential functions and can allow the phone to run for a full day with just 10 percent power left.
Larger screen size not causing many to defect from Apple, study finds
A new study done by Kantar Worldpanel, covering the big five European markets on the occasion of the Samsung Galaxy S5's first full month of sales, and found that it was unable to surpass Apple's 10-month-old iPhone 5s or even the iPhone 5c in sales. It did, however, come in third place -- with further survey results suggesting that the larger screen size of the S5 has had some modest success in attracting Apple users. In the US, the Galaxy S5 displaced the iPhone 5c to become the second best-selling smartphone in May.
Small-scale production to take place at New York factory
Samsung and Globalfoundries are planning small-scale production of 14nm chips at a New York plant in early 2015, says Digitimes. The firms have reportedly landed deals with two major clients, Apple and Qualcomm. In particular, it's believed that Samsung is aiming to build A9 processors for Apple, but two other companies -- Intel and TSMC -- are also said to be competing for orders.
New drive promises better speed, less power use than predecessor
Samsung Electronics today launched the 850 Pro, a new solid state drive (SSD) line-up featuring Samsung's three-dimensional vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology. The new Samsung 850 Pro, unveiled at the 2014 Samsung SSD Global Summit in Seoul, offers better performance over previous models of Samsung's solid state drives, and will be available globally across 53 markets from this month.
Miniature version of Galaxy S5 to retain heart rate monitor from original
[Updated with confirmation] Samsung could launch the mini version of the Galaxy S5 next month, potentially at the same time as entry-level devices launched earlier today, according to a report. The rumored Galaxy S5 mini will allegedly go on sale in markets worldwide in mid-July, with the launch apparently falling in line with the initial shipments of the Galaxy S4 mini from last year.
New collection of entry-level Android smartphones have similar specifications
Samsung has unveiled a group of four new smartphones destined for the entry-level mobile device market. All four devices, the Galaxy Core II, Galaxy Star 2, Galaxy Ace 4, and Galaxy Young 2, use Samsung's Touchwiz interface on Android 4.4 and have relatively similar, if basic specifications, though there are still some slight differences between the smartphones.
Analysts fear a drop in profit of up to 16 percent year-over-year
On top of an early warning in April that profits would be down from the year-ago quarter in fiscal Q2, a rare public statement from Samsung's CFO has sent the Galaxy maker's stock tumbling on a warning that the balance sheet "doesn't look too good." The statement was later confirmed by Samsung, amounting to a full-throated warning on earnings that sent the company's stock tumbling nearly two percent, on top of a month-long 8.5 percent decline. Initial blame for the disappointment is centering on sales of the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone.
Rumored Android Wear device from Samsung has similar specifications to Gear 2 Neo
Samsung's rumored Android Wear smartwatch, expected to be unveiled at Google I/O today, is reportedly called the Samsung Gear Live. The same report also claims the device will have a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display and a resolution of 320x320, along with a list of specifications relatively similar to that of Samsung's existing smartwatches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Free subscription to MapMyFitness MVP included with Galaxy S5 Sport
Sprint has unveiled its own version of Samsung's hard-wearing Galaxy S5 Active it launched last month. The Galaxy S5 Sport is an outdoor-friendly variant of the Galaxy S5, with a textured body to aid grip, hardware keys on the front, and IP67 water and dust resistance, with Sprint loading the Spark LTE-enabled smartphone with a number of apps aimed at helping the user keep fit.
Lawyers for Samsung ordered to pay all legal costs spent investigating malfeasance
Apple has won another legal victory over its rival Samsung, this time against both the Galaxy phone maker and its legal team, Quinn Emanuel, led by John Quinn. A $2 million penalty has been levied against both QE and Samsung, related to the former's mishandling and leaking of confidential patent-licensing data between Apple and Nokia. Samsung executives later abused the leak to leverage knowledge of the Apple-Nokia licensing terms to strongarm Nokia in similar negotiations.
European Galaxy Note 4 may use 64-bit Exynos processor instead of Snapdragon 805
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may ship with two different 64-bit processors in regional variants, according to recently-released benchmarks. The phablet is believed to be using Samsung's Exynos 5433 64-bit processor for its European release, while the markets in North America and Asia will apparently use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset instead.
New devices to feature Android Wear, possibly other Google services
Reports are circulating that Samsung is poised to release a new smart watch at Google's I/O conference, scheduled for June 25 and 26. The new gadget, and similar devices from Motorola and LG will use Google's Android Wear operating system, and are said to either use processors from Qualcomm or one from its own chip manufacturing division.
Trademark hints at dedicated app store for Gear smartwatches, wearable devices
New trademark filings suggest Samsung may be launching an app store for its Gear wearable device collection in the future. A listing for the 'Gear Store' has surfaced in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, along with the back-up 'Samsung Gear Store' registration, seemingly showing the Korean manufacturer is looking to create a unified app store, one that may not stop with smartwatches.
First 64-bit Samsung release could be entry-level smartphone
A Samsung smartphone with a 64-bit processor has been spotted in benchmarks. GFXBench 3.0 benchmarks for a device with the model number SM-G510F show it as running Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 processor, a low-powered 64-bit chip launched late last year, and suggests the company could be preparing for a more formal launch of 64-bit devices in the future.
Samsung closing Hub Music service at start of July
Samsung is shutting down its Hub Music service on July 1st. In an e-mail to users, Samsung advises music downloads from the Samsung Music Library will no longer be available to download from that date, and warns to download any DRM-free music and use remaining Samsung Music vouchers before it closes. As a replacement, the e-mail suggests the use of its Milk Music service, and is also offering three free months of Google Play Music.
Samsung may remain core Apple supplier
Apple and Samsung are negotiating towards "common ground" and looking to trim down the number of legal issues they're in conflict over, according to sources for the Korea Times. The two companies have been engaged in lawsuits for years over various smartphone and tablet patents. While Apple has been victorious overall, collecting significantly more in damages, it hasn't collected as much as expected, and its actions have done little or nothing to slow the advance of Android-based devices while costing millions in legal fees.
Resolution increase, faster processor in South Korean Galaxy S5 update
Samsung has unveiled an updated version of the Galaxy S5 smartphone in its native home country, South Korea. The Galaxy S5 LTE-A edition borrows a large number of upgrades rumored to exist in the "Prime" Samsung Galaxy F version of the handset, with the main change being compatibility with LTE-A, allowing it to have a top connection speed of 225Mbps.
Could have ramifications for Apple's Siri platform
Voice recognition company Nuance is in talks about possibly selling itself to Samsung, says the Wall Street Journal. Discussions reportedly began this year, but other than that it's unknown whether the two sides are making progress or even if/when a takeover might happen. If it does, however, it could potentially have a significant impact on the high-tech world.
Shipping records, User Agent Profiles hint at upcoming Galaxy Note 4 display
The successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will have a Quad HD display, according to a number of recent leaks and rumors. The Galaxy Note 4 will apparently follow the lead of the rumored Galaxy F and the LG G3 in having a 1440x2560-resolution screen, with one shipping records website hinting that it will have stylus-friendly screen size measuring 5.7 inches.
Report claims T-Mobile Galaxy Avant can be unlocked using onboard app
A smartphone heading to T-Mobile could have an app for carrier unlocking pre-installed as part of a new T-Mobile initiative, according to a report. The Samsung Galaxy Avant, an Android device believed to be heading to the carrier in the near future, will apparently unlock itself after following a number of prompts in the app, resulting in a completely unlocked smartphone which can be used on other carrier networks.
Samsung gives up appeal of import ban, Apple drops infringed-but-invalid patent
While the move should not be interpreted as the beginning of the end of the intractable Apple-Samsung patent disputes, the two companies have mutually agreed to drop their differing cross-appeals of aspects of last year's ITC decision on an Apple complaint against Samsung. While Apple won the overall ruling in that particular case, the headset-related patent it was pursing an appeal of has since been reaffirmed to be infringing but invalid. Meanwhile, Samsung has given up on appealing a moot import ban.