Report claims Apple likely to move to OLED for mobile devices in coming years
Apple may switch away from LCD for its iPhone displays, in favor of organic LED (OLED) panels in the future, according to a report. It is claimed Apple is considering the move in display technology starting in 2018, but while this may give potential display panel suppliers like LG and Samsung time to fine tune their manufacturing processes to cope, there is the suggestion that LCD may still end up being used in a proportion of iPhones made in that year.
Samsung plummets to 11 percent as all other manufacturers continue losses
In the latest report from Canaccord Genuity, Apple is now taking 94 percent of profits in the smartphone sector, with archrival Samsung gaining only 11 percent of the profits (numbers add up to more than 100 due to accounting for losses by the other manufacturers). Although actual final sales to consumers of smartphones are difficult to judge from companies other than Apple, shipments in the September quarter totalled more than 320 million units, of which just 14.5 percent were iPhones.
Samsung falls as local manufacturers compete with Apple
Hours before Apple reveals is fiscal Q4 quarterly results, Counterpoint Research has revealed a new study showing that Apple has retaken the top spot in China's smartphone market, selling seven million units last month to take the title back for the first time since February, and outpacing its previous top monthly sales by more than three million units. Chinese manufacturers Huawei and Xiaomi will keep pressure on, however, though Samsung's presence in the market has plummeted.
Nearly-instant sellout comes as rivals drop prices, issue new versions
Even two new price cuts from Korea-based manufacturers Samsung and LG could not stop the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus from selling out within minutes on Monday as pre-orders opened for the two latest iPhones on all three of the country's major carriers. All three were assumed to have the same allotment -- 50,000 units each -- though Korea Telecom opened up a second round of reservations later in the day after blowing through its first 50,000 units within 10 minutes.
Rumor suggests Samsung may face more criticism for copying 3D Touch
Samsung may be preparing to borrow a feature from Apple for its smartphones, with a rumor claiming it is planning to add pressure sensitivity to its next flagship Galaxy device. It is alleged the electronics giant will be implementing its own version of 3D Touch from the iPhone 6s in the Galaxy S7, something which many may criticize the manufacturer for copying instead of coming up with its own original features, if found to be true.
Company says difference is between two and three percent, disputes Geekbench tests
Apple has opted to comment on unscientific and unrealistic test results floating around that purport to show serious differences between iPhone 6s model phones using chips made by Samsung versus those made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Apple, which uses both companies to make its A9 processor that powers both the 6s and 6s Plus, says that there is very little real-world difference between the two chips, which are slightly different sizes depending on manufacturer.
Payment network not compromised, but data on the system may be stolen
Prior to Samsung Pay's rollout, the technology at its core may have been stolen. LoopPay, the company at the core of the technology, had its corporate network broken into by the Codoso Group, the same hacker collective who penetrated Forbes' security, and hosted malware to its readers. Both Samsung and LoopPay claim that customer information and transaction data was never at risk -- but the hacking collective was after data about the system itself.
Two different A9 suppliers means two different-sized chips, different results
The incredible popularity of Apple's iPhones means that it often has to diversify its supplier base in order to ensure that it has enough components to fulfill tens of millions of orders. For example, Apple might employ one or more display suppliers to deliver enough panels. In most cases, this will typically go unnoticed by users, even if there are inevitably minor differences in performance. Intriguingly, Chipworks has subjected some iPhone 6s models to its yearly teardown of Apple's iPhone SoC package, and determined that not only is the A9 fabricated by two suppliers (TSMC and Samsung), but that Samsung's more advanced fab process has yielded an A9 chip that is 10 percent smaller than the TSMC-fabbed A9. Based on some preliminary testing that MacNN has conducted, there is some evidence that this results in a slight performance differential between the two.
Track record for such meetings not great, may head off damages retrial
Apple and Samsung have agreed to participate in court-supervised mediation to try and finally find a settlement sum satisfactory to both parties over the first of their two US patent trials, which originally ended with a judgement against Samsung for $1.05 billion. Through various legal actions, that sum has been whittled down to half of its original amount, and is about to be re-scrutinized yet again in yet another damages retrial. The two companies will be meeting with a new judge sometime on or before November 15.
Gaming news summary for September 24, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, we take a look at what's coming out of the VR-focused Oculus Connect 2 gathering, voice actors threaten to strike over game-related pay and conditions, and EA reveals when the Star Wars Battlefront beta will take place.
Final judgement order already appealed by Samsung
Judge Lucy Koh, overseer of the Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trials, has decreed that Samsung must now pay $548 million from the first patent trial between the pair, as ordered by the Federal Court of Appeals. Samsung, as expected, is appealing the decision based on a lengthy and ongoing patent invalidation process, saying that because of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examination, the order isn't being performed as required by federal procedure.
Patent trial loss should have forced embargo of now obsolete smartphones
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC has ruled that Apple should have been awarded an injunction against Samsung during the second smartphone patent trial. In its ruling affirming the embargo, and pointing out errors by the lower court, the appeals court declared that "Apple does not seek to enjoin the sale of lifesaving drugs, but to prevent Samsung from profiting from the unauthorized use of infringing features in its cellphones and tablets."
We look at past high and low points as we prepare for tomorrow's show
This week on the show, Charles and Mike (with a cameo from William) talk about, yes, the latest predictions for the Wednesday event (which is handy, since Labor Day knocked the show's debut into Tuesday!). We also discuss our recent articles "Bad Apples" and "Good Apples," which respectively talk about the so-called "failures" of Apple hardware and how the critical "fails" often turn out to be the biggest sellers; defend the iPhone 5c on every level; the latest court cases for Apple; a recent Pointers column, and William pops by with his App of the Week, which this week isn't an app, but a thing. Read on to find out what!
Music app rises to 14th place in top smartphone apps, Maps in 11th place
New analytics data from ComScore has good news for Apple on two fronts: the research firm believes far more users in the US are giving Apple Music a tryout than has been previously reported, and that even in the quarter before the expected new model rollout, Apple's iPhone 6 line is still gaining share in the US, now largely taking it from drops in chief rival and Android flagship company Samsung rather than from smaller rivals as it had previously.
More powerful hub capable of buffered video recording, sensor integration
At today's Samsung press event at the IFA conference, the company released a new new SmartThings Hub. The new hub is equipped with a more powerful processor that enables video monitoring, and a battery backup that lasts up to 10 hours in case of a power outage. The Hub is also able to process some automations locally without an Internet connection. Alongside the release is also a new iOS and Android app for organization and control of the system.
Third jury trial between sparring companies may finally force Samsung to pay
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over both of the previous Apple vs Samsung juried trials (and one prior damages retrial), has set a date in either March or April of next year for the second damages retrial stemming from the first patent trial, brought on by a decision from the Federal Court of Appeals. That first patent trial's original $1.05 billion judgement against Samsung has been steadily whittled down through appeals, and is now approximately half its original amount.
Free Google Play credit, $100 cash offered if iPhone users switch to Samsung
Samsung, in an attempt to make its current "switcher" promotion more attractive, is offering iPhone users who switch to its smartphones extra bonuses. On top of what participants of the existing Ultimate Test Drive receive, Samsung is offering $100 in Google Play credit if the user actually purchases a Samsung device after the trial period -- with an extra $100 check awarded if they trade in their iPhone with their carrier or a retailer.
Engineer hired by Korean company revealed FinFET fabrication process
A senior engineer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) who left the company after nearly 20 years, has been found guilty of illegally passing on the firm's trade secrets, specifically the FinFET fabrication process, to Samsung -- which then copied the process in order to win a majority of the orders of Apple's A-series processor manufacturing, a Taiwanese court has found.
Same technology found in the high end R6, R7 speaker in new models
Samsung Electronics announced three additions to its Wireless Audio 360 speaker range – the R5, R3 and R1 models. The three new models, supplementing the extant R6 and R7 will be displayed at the upcoming IFA 2015 trade show. The omni-directional speakers feature a new built-in tap-and-swipe user interface and an improved iOS and Android Multiroom app for customers' smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
Google re-opens Map Maker tool in 45 countries
Google is making its Map Maker tool available to more countries with an increased level of oversight, as part of a second wave of its reopening to the public. Temporarily shut down in May due to cartographical mischief by some users, the tool can now be used in 45 countries, including the United States, with participants able to submit local mapping changes that could be added to the main Google Maps listings at a later time.
Samsung Test Drive promotion for iPhone users runs out of smartphones
Samsung has temporarily put its smartphone test drive promotion for US-based iPhone users on hold, after running out of devices. Launched on Friday, the scheme offered iPhone owners the ability to try out the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with cellular service for a 30-day period at a cost of $1. Cult of Android reports the South Korean electronics producer ran out of smartphones within a few hours due to "overwhelming demand," though since the program will be run until the end of this year, Samsung asks interested parties to keep checking back for when it can make more Galaxy smartphones available.
Free use of Samsung smartphone, data plan for month offered to iPhone users
Samsung is offering a trial of its smartphones to owners of the iPhone, in an attempt to acquire more sales by convincing iOS users to switch. Open to only iPhone owners in the United States, the "Ultimate Test Drive" promotion provides access to the user's choice of either a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or a Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphone for a 30-day period, with Samsung claiming there to be "no obligation" to acquire the borrowed device after the trial.
China iPhone sales continuing to skyrocket amid contracting market
A new report from industry analyst Gartner claims that Apple's iPhone sales are continuing to grow, and that Samsung's sales are continuing to fall, particularly in China. Overall, the report says that Apple's worldwide smartphone share increased 36 percent, rising 2.4 percentage points to 14.6 percent, while Samsung's sales have dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year. In China, Apple's sales grew by 68 percent, while the overall Chinese smartphone market fell four percent compared to the same quarter last year.
At stake is $400 million of $548 million damages award
Samsung has made its intention known to appeal the ruling on the its first trial with Apple before the US Supreme Court. In papers filed today, the Korean manufacturer petitioned that the continuing battle with Apple in the California courts be suspended until the matter could be heard before the Supreme Court, following the refusal last week at the US Federal Court of Appeals.
Process far from over, and still not yet certain
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has advanced the process to invalidate one of Apple's original iPhone design patents. The decision, which moves the process along a bit farther was made on August 5, twice for obviousness, once for obviousness in connection with a different patent application, and once for lack of novelty.
Korean rival again on the hook for around $900M in infringement damages
Samsung has been given the cold shoulder in a bid to yet again re-try the original patent infringement case that found the Korean company guilty of copying Apple patents and other infringements, and originally awarded Apple some $1 billion in damages (later reduced to $930 million). Barring a Supreme Court review, Samsung has now exhausted its appeals on the first trial verdict, and still owes Apple some $548 million from the first trial.
Galaxy S6 edge+, Note 5 have similar specification, payment capabilities
Samsung has unveiled two new Android smartphones at its Unpacked event today, as well as when it will be launching its own payment system competing against Apple Pay. The Galaxy Note 5 is the latest in the manufacturer's phablet range, while the Galaxy S6 edge+ is a supersized version of its existing smartphone with the curved edge display, and Samsung Pay will start to be used by members of the public in the United States by the end of next month.
New fab technology improves data density, efficiency of manufacturing
Samsung Electronics announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 256-gigabit (Gb), three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory based on 48 layers of 3-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) arrays for use in solid state drives (SSDs). The new technology will boost data density in future offerings, and an improvement in efficiency will help to keep future costs down.
Strong semiconductor results countered by poor Samsung Galaxy S6 sales
Samsung has endured yet another poor showing in its latest quarterly financial results, confirming warnings the manufacturer issued earlier this month. The Korean electronics giant achieved sales of 48.54 trillion won ($4.1 billion) in the second quarter, up from the previous quarter by 1.42 trillion won or 3 percent, but a drop from the 52.35 trillion won brought in for the same period last year, a fact reflected in other areas of the results.
Amicus curae brief claims verdict will stifle innovation, hurt consumer choice
Silicon Valley powerhouses are giving opinions on the ongoing Apple-versus-Samsung court battles. In an amicus curae filing, Dell, Ebay, Facebook, Google, and HP are asking the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that Samsung turning over full profits of some phones found in violation of Apple patents would set a dangerous trend, and threaten the entire industry with waves of patent-infringement lawsuits which would stifle innovation, and limit choices for consumers.
Galaxy Tab S2 has same size, resolution display as iPad Air 2
Samsung is seemingly trying to take on Apple's iPad Air 2, by launching a similar-looking Android tablet. The Galaxy Tab S2 follows on from last year's Tab S in being a high-resolution tablet, but while Samsung manages to put in a similar-sized 9.7-inch AMOLED display to the iPad Air 2 with a 2048x1536 resolution, along with an eight-inch variant, Samsung has also made it 5.6mm thick, thinner than the Air 2 by half a millimeter.
New e-SIM cards lets users switch carriers without changing SIMs
A new form of SIM card may be used in a future iPhone, if reports Apple is working with a mobile telecoms industry association are correct. Apple is reportedly working with the GSMA and a group of other companies in the mobile device market, including Samsung, in adopting electronic SIM cards (e-SIMs), which could allow for users to switch between carriers quickly and easily, without resorting to changing the physical SIM card.
Galaxy S6 Edge supply issues said to have affected Samsung finances
Samsung has warned it is highly likely to miss expectations in its upcoming quarterly financial report, expected to be issued towards the end of this month. The South Korean electronics giant is expecting to report that its consolidated operating profit for the quarter will be down four percent compared to the same quarter, bringing it down to 6.9 trillion won ($6.1 billion), and continuing a trend of bad luck for the manufacturer.
New models double capacity of previous versions, boast same speeds
Samsung Electronics today expanded its retail SSD line, and has introduced the 2TB versions of its 850 Pro and 850 Evo solid state drives (SSDs). Samsung guarantees the 2TB 850 Pro for 10 years or 300TB written, and the 2TB 850 Evo for five years or 150TB written to the drive.
Latest OS X version offers preliminary support for third-party drives
Although many are celebrating the long-awaited arrival of Trim support for third-party SSD storage that can be enabled by users, Apple's implementation of it should be considered preliminary, and comes with an unusual and strongly-worded warning that offers no support if the user should experience problems. In addition, some popular SSD models, notably Samsung's 840 and 850 lines, may be subject to a data-destroying bug if Trim is activated.
New Samsung notebooks have Windows Update-disabling software installed
Samsung is preventing some of its customers from performing Windows Updates automatically, it has been discovered. A small app going by the name of Disable_Windowsupdate.exe has been found to be installed on some new Samsung notebooks, with the app's sole purpose being denying the computer from downloading any important security updates or drivers from Microsoft's service, so that Samsung's own driver-updating software can work instead.
Partnership will build developer resources, materials for mobile migration
Linux provider Red Hat and Samsung Electronics America today announced a strategic alliance to deliver the next generation of mobile solutions for the enterprise. The partnership will fuse Samsung's mobile device portfolio with Red Hat's open source middleware, mobile and cloud technologies to deliver mobile solutions that enable rapid development and integration of enterprise applications for organizations.
Samsung Knox being used to force the update to affected smartphones
Samsung is issuing a patch to close a vulnerability in its smartphones caused through an insecure updating system for its software keyboard. The manufacturer is pushing the fix to affected smartphones over the next few days via a security policy update via Samsung Knox, its own security platform meant for enterprise use, though it is also working on a more standard firmware update for non-Knox devices that will pass through carriers.
Issue with insecure updates for Samsung smartphone keyboard discovered last fall
A recently-demonstrated vulnerability in Samsung smartphones could put as many as 600 million devices at risk of being misused. Demonstrated at the Blackhat security conference by NowSecure researcher Ryan Welton, the vulnerability relates to the way the update system for the software keyboard operates, allowing a malicious user the opportunity to access data, install apps, and take control of the smartphone's microphone and camera for surveillance purposes.
Single drive solution packed into a .78-inch thick case
Seagate Technology and Samsung today announced 4TB capacities of the M3 Portable and the P3 Portable external hard drives. At 0.78 inches thick, the new models are the first 4TB USB-powered single drive solutions to come in 2.5-inch cases.
First 8K-resolution video posted to YouTube
YouTube is starting to show videos filmed in 8K-resolution, five years after it added support for 4K content. Appearing in the YouTube resolution settings as 4320p, 9to5google reports the label was added only recently, though Google claims the 8K video support has been available as long as 4K. The first 8K video, "Ghost Towns," was filmed on a Red Epic Dragon 6K instead of an 8K-capable device, with After Effects used to stitch together multiple videos to reach the resolution, instead of losing quality by scaling up the 6K content.
Ruggedized version of Samsung Galaxy S6 shipping June 12
The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a ruggedized stablemate, exclusive to AT&T. The Galaxy S6 Active, following the same pattern as the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy S5 Active, is a heavy-duty version of the flagship smartphone, one which is IP68 certified, dust proof, water resistant to a depth of 1.5 meters (five feet) for 30 minutes, and shock resistant, making it more suitable for use outside or in sporting activities.
Galaxy Note 4 tops iPhone 6, 6 Plus among 14,000 buyers
The American Customer Satisfaction Index ranking for the Telecommunications and Information industry sector this year is now available, and shows Apple and Samsung tied with equal customer satisfaction scores of 80 out of 100. Samsung's Galaxy Note 4, however, beat out the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on individual model satisfaction, scoring 86 compared to the iPhone 6 line, the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5, all of which scored 82.
Patent infringement damages upheld, but trade dress conviction tossed
A US Court of Appeals has "split the baby" in a decision that preserves Apple's victory against Samsung in its first patent-infringement trial, but will also result in a likely significant reduction of damages due from the Korean company. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in California has upheld the jury's finding that Samsung copied design and utility patents from Apple, but has tossed the same jury's finding of guilt regarding "trade dress" violations.
Developer kit provides some specifications, bezel-based functions for Samsung smartwatch
Samsung has revealed more details about its upcoming round-faced smartwatch, as part of its Gear software development kit. The SDK includes screenshots showing what to expect when using the smartwatch, as well as functionality being included in the device, and the fact that Samsung will be implementing a system similar to the Apple Watch's digital crown, by using a rotating bezel.
Pro Plus capable of 4K workflows, Evo Plus moves up to 80MB/s
Samsung today introduced its latest memory card lineups the Pro Plus and Evo Plus. The new Pro Plus is equipped to handle storing and transferring professional-grade photos and 4K UHD video. The Evo Plus is tailored towards content creation and storage demands of smartphone, tablet, compact camera and Full HD camcorder users.
Mobile plummet may be halted by Galaxy S6 launch
Samsung has posted its quarterly earnings statement, missing analysts' and Wall Street estimates by nearly eight percent. The company reported income of 4.63 trillion won ($4.35 billion), notably lower than its 7.49 trillion won ($7.04 billion) it posted the same time last year, and the 5.35 trillion won ($5.03 billion) it posted last quarter. The vast majority of the declining profits came from what appears to be a struggling mobile division of the company pre-Galaxy S6 release, posting 2.74 trillion won ($2.58 billion) in profit, down from 6.43 trillion ($6.04 billion) won this time in 2014.
Software development kit announcement includes round watch face imagery
The next smartwatch from Samsung is likely to have a round face, if a teaser image in a press release is to be believed. A release inviting developers to sign up for early access to a software development kit (SDK) for the manufacturer's "Next generation of the Gear device" has a supplementary image accompanying it, depicting a variety of round faces, strongly suggesting the watch will have one as well.
Claims attackers can acquire fingerprint data before it is secured
The fingerprints of owners of some Android smartphones could be acquired by hackers, researchers claim. A flaw, said to affect the Samsung Galaxy S5 and other unnamed Android devices, allegedly allows an attacker to copy the biometric data on the device itself, suggesting that fingerprint-based security on Android is not as secure as first thought.
Snapdragon 820 chip could be produced by Samsung
Qualcomm is looking to switch producer of its Snapdragon mobile processors, a report claims. The Snapdragon 820, a 64-bit chip expected to be provided in samples to manufacturers before the end of the year for use in devices in early 2016, will allegedly be made by Samsung's processor production lines instead of its long-term partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).