Senior heads rolling at Samsung’s mobile division in first stage of downsizing operation

samsung

The downsizing expected at Samsung‘s mobile division has seemingly started at the top, with Re/code reporting that three senior execs are leaving the company. This follows the loss of five high-ranking execs earlier in the year.

Three deputies to the head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile division are leaving, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday, as the world’s largest smartphone maker faces a rapid decline in profit […]

The departures included global marketing chief D.J. Lee, the source said, confirming earlier media reports.

All three of those leaving are said to be direct reports to mobile head JK Shin, who survived the cull despite presiding over a 74% drop in profits in his division …  Read more

Samsung staff braced for redundancies as company set to announce annual personnel changes

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Many Samsung employees are expected to lose their jobs in the next week or two as the company is set to announce its annual personnel changes early next month. The company recently reported a 74% drop in mobile profits and is planning to produce 30% fewer smartphone models next year in the face of increasing competition from Chinese brands Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei.

Dramatically slowing sales of its flagship handset led the company to shore up its share price with a $2B stock buyback …  Read more

LG enters the ARM chip-making game with its Octa-core NUCLUN

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LG just dropped an TSMC-built octo-core NUCLUN bomb on us this evening. The smartphone and electronics manufacturer announced its own, long rumored ARM processor which will go into its phones later this year.

NUCLUN (pronounced NOO-klun) was designed using ARM big.LITTLE™ technology for efficient multi-tasking capabilities. The AP employs four 1.5GHz cores (ARM Cortex-A15) for high performance and four 1.2GHz cores (ARM Cortex-A7) for less intensive processing. The number of performing cores can be adjusted based on the requirements of the task for maximum processing power or maximum energy savings. NUCLUN is designed to support the next generation of 4G networks, LTE-A Cat.6, for maximum download speeds of up to 225Mbps while retaining backward compatibility with current LTE networks.

“NUCLUN opens up a new chapter in LG’s history of innovation in the mobile industry,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With this in-house solution, we will be able to achieve better vertical integration and further diversity our product strategy against stronger competition. NUCLUN will give us greater flexibility in our mobile strategy going forward.”

The processor will debut in a Korean model phone and along with its 8 cores will carry LTE cat 6 capabilities on die. The LG Liger which leaked today is also expected to have the NUCLUN processor, if indeed these aren’t actually the same phone.

Press release and more images follow: Read more

Samsung warns Q3 profits will again miss analyst expectations, blames imploding smartphone margins

samsung-headquarters

Samsung on Monday night issued a statement warning that its third-quarter earnings would be considerably weaker than it initially expected. The South Korean company stated that it expects a third quarter operating profit of 4.1 trillion won, or $3.8 billion, and sales of 47 trillion won. Both of these numbers are below Reuters’ forecasts of 5.6 trillion won in operating profit and 50.9 trillion in sales (via CNBC).

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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

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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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