Samsung managers apologize for poor results, handing back 25 percent of their bonuses

Students walk out of a showroom at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul

Reuters reports that almost 200 Samsung managers have “voluntarily” handed back a quarter of their first-half bonuses in anticipation of what is expected to be the company’s worst quarterly profit for two years.

The decision to return some of the bonus was partly a gesture to demonstrate that managers are taking responsibility for the earnings decline, and partly a way to show that management will work harder, the source told Reuters on Friday, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

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Samsung misses analyst estimates, reports $7.1 billion in operating profit for Q2

Photo: ibtimes.com

Photo: ibtimes.com

After warning earlier this month that Q2 didn’t “look too good,” Samsung today released its earnings preview for the second quarter of 2014. The South Korean company reported an operating profit of $7.1 billion (7.2 trillion won), missing analyst estimates of $8 billion (8.1 trillion won). This comes out to a 24 percent drop year over year (via Bloomberg).

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Dramatic cut in Samsung’s smartphone forecasts, blaming high-end saturation

sam

Korean site ET News reports that Samsung has cut its smartphone sales target for 2014 from 360M handsets to 330M. The company’s original goal would have represented 25 percent year-on-year growth, now reduced to just 14 percent.

The company is blaming saturation at the top end of the market, with many existing owners of flagship handsets having reduced their upgrade cycle from annual to bi-annual.

Samsung as a whole isn’t hurting – it recently announced record revenues and profits – but the bulk of those earnings came from lower-end handsets and its chip manufacturing business. The ET News piece says that Samsung also plans to move into a whole bunch of new areas, including cloud computing and hi-tech materials …  Read more

Samsung S4 shipments reportedly pass 20M in less than 3 months, company eyes 100M

Graphic: theverge.com

Graphic: theverge.com

Several Korean news sites are reporting that the Samsung S4 has now passed 20 million shipments. Samsung’s flagship handset, launched in April, hit 10m shipments by the end of May and it appears that the pace has scarcely slowed since – almost matching that of the iPhone 5.

As ever, we have to caution that Samsung cites shipments rather than sales, meaning that unsold handsets stored in warehouses get counted, but in general carriers and retailers don’t like to sit on large inventories, so sales shouldn’t lag shipments by too big a gap …  Read more

Samsung offices raided in ongoing case over leaked OLED tech

Samsung logo inside Time Warner City

According to a new report from Bloomberg, police in South Korea searched offices belonging to Samsung yesterday in a raid connected with an ongoing case related to whether or not Samsung was involved in the leaking of trade secrets. Police originally charged six employees from LG Display related to the theft of OLED technology from Samsung. Reports from last year claimed Samsung employees were fired in connection with leaking the technology, and today an LG spokesperson confirmed the latest investigation is related to its OLED TV panel technology:

“The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves,” Son Young Jun, a Seoul-based LG Display spokesman, said by phone today. LG said in July the information its employees were charged with leaking or stealing at the time was widely known in the industry and wasn’t considered to contain trade secrets.

Police in the South Korea wouldn’t comment on yesterday’s raid, but LG reportedly said “it didn’t report Samsung to police in connection with the current investigation.”  Read more

Samsung has sold 5M Galaxy Note II units worldwide, selling 2M this month

Samsung announced today that it sold a total of 5 million Galaxy Note II units worldwide, following its announcement earlier this month that 3 million were sold. That means the South Korean-manufacturer moved 2 million 5.5-inch phablets in just under a month —surely thanks to its availability in the United States on AT&T. Sales aren’t as high as the Samsung Galaxy S III that competes side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone 5; however, it is interesting that a large chunk of customers want a larger handheld experience. Being available in various parts of Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa, the 5.5-inch device will likely have a strong holiday quarter adding to this month’s strong sales. [Samsung]

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To button or not to button: Samsung reportedly keeps button for upcoming Galaxy 3

Samsung’s Galaxy S III will feature a home button under the display.

South Korea newspaper Korean Digital Daily (translated) added to the rumor machine today with sources that claim the upcoming smartphone will sport Samsung’s accustomed home button, despite much speculation claiming otherwise.

The Galaxy S III will even boast a five-column icon layout showcased in the Samsung Galaxy Note. This would help the device standout from other Android handsets, and the iPhone, which has maintained a four-column icon layout since its initial 2007 launch.

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Google updates Gmail, Street View, and Google Books for Android

Google just rolled out updates to a few of its Android apps, the biggest of which brings a ton of new features to “Gmail for Android” 3.2 (Honeycomb) users. Previously, only Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users had access to features like swiping between conversations, custom notifications for labels, and the ability to sync messages for the last 30 days. All of those features and the rest of the Ice Cream Sandwich Gmail experience are now being implemented for Honeycomb users. The updated app is available on Google Play now, and a full list of the features is below:

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Rumors: Samsung Galaxy S III enters testing in South Korea, abandons PenTile screen display

The rumor mill is grinding away after a Samsung representative announced the Galaxy S III is now in the testing phase, while other reports indicate the device will sport a Galaxy Nexus-like screen without employing PenTile pixel layout.

AsiaE reported the device is undergoing tests in South Korea. The phase typically lasts two months, but the article suggested Samsung wants testing done sooner. Meanwhile, Korean website DDaily said the smartphone’s 4.65-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen will not employ the PenTile pixel layout.

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In South Korea, Galaxy S II sales surpass 5 million units

One in 10 South Koreans now own a Galaxy S II smartphone made by Samsung as the company announced that sales of the handset in the 48 million-people country surpassed 5 million units, or more than 10 percent of the country’s population. It took Samsung nine months to hit the milestone since the phone’s release at the end of April 2011.

Strong domestic sales helped Samsung achieve a 53 percent market share for smartphones in South Korean throughout 2011. Japanese business daily The Nikkei said the Galaxy S II is the first handset to sell that many units in the country. In September of last year, Samsung sold 3.5 million Galaxy S II smartphones in South Korea. The 1.2GHz dual-core device comes with a 4.27-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GB RAM, Android 2.3 and is upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich.

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While the pilot is using an iPad, first class passengers will be toting Galaxy Tabs – Alec Baldwin notwithstanding

Hop on board an American Airlines flight this holiday season and your pilot will be wielding an iPad as a flight bag replacement but you – a first-class passenger –  will be treated with a Galaxy Tab 10.1 to keep you entertained. Keen on bringing balance back to the force, the airliner teamed up with South Korea-based Samsung to offer the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on their premium cabins onboard certain transcontinental flights. Here’s the sales line:

Sit back, relax, and let the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 take you to the movies or catch up on your favorite shows. The new device enables a unique viewing experience, featuring a bold and vibrant LCD, with brilliant colors and crisp definition.

Go past the fold for a list of flights serving some Galaxy Tab in-flight entertainment.
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Eric Schmidt says Motorola Mobility won’t receive special treatment

After their $12 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility this summer, many critics began to think Google would favor Motorola over other Android vendors. Google has already assured us that they won’t, but today at a meeting with reporters in South Korea, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt said that Motorola Mobility will run separately from the rest of the company. Schmidt said:

“In general, with all of our partners, we told them that the Motorola deal will close and we will run it sufficiently and independently, that it will not violate the openness of Android…we’re not going to change in any material way the way we operate.”

The comments of course are to assure other OEMs, like HTC and Samsung, that they won’t be left in the dark after the recent acquisition. Google so far seems to be holding up to their promise, seeing as the Galaxy Nexus is a Samsung device, but time will only tell. (via Reuters)

Eric Schmidt also made comment today that, “Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts.”