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

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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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