At its developer conference in San Francisco today, Samsung reiterated that its mobile payment service for Galaxy devices will expand to several more countries by the end of the year. In South Korea, Samsung announced that Pay can now be used to withdraw cash from an ATM.
After making a huge splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, the LG G5 is now available for purchase. Thanks to the handset’s modular design, which nabbed it an award for 2016’s best innovation of MWC, it stands out from the rest of this year’s flagship releases. Is the modular design enough to make the LG G5 a better buy than competing 2016 flagship offerings? Expand Expanding Close
But while the Alphabet Executive Chairman is in South Korea to witness the monumental battle, the Korean press (OSEN, in this case) is clearly focusing on something else. As you can see in the pictures below, Schmidt was caught at a press event this week taking pictures with an iPhone…
Samsung says that it is setting aside 100B won ($85.8M) for compensation and prevention measures after some 200 of its employees contracted cancer through contact with dangerous substances. Samsung last year issued a “deep apology” for what was then believed to be 56 cases.
Reuters reports that illnesses such as lymphoma and leukemia resulted from prolonged exposure to either radiation or dangerous chemicals at Samsung’s chip and display factories … Expand Expanding Close
Asus’ Nexus Player, the device Google launched last year to introduce the world to its new Android TV platform, is now available in South Korea via the online Google Store. Following the first availability of the Nexus Player in the UK in March, and 9 additional countries last month, the Mountain View company is now selling the device in the Korean market as well. Expand Expanding Close
The WSJ reports that Samsung is considering a stock split in an attempt to increase investment in its shares in the face of declining profits. It recently issued guidance suggesting that it was expecting a 37% year-on-year fall in its Q4 2014 profits.
The stock-split remark was made by a Samsung investor relations executive during an event in Seoul held by exchange operator Korea Exchange and was later confirmed by a company spokesman, who cautioned that no decision has been made.
Samsung stock currently trades at more than $1,200 for a single share, making it unattractive to small investors who may not want large sums tied up in a single stock and who would face high transaction costs for buying just a handful of shares.
Google Play Newsstand, which serves as the hub of all kinds of news and magazines for your Android device, is apparently coming to four new countries as of today. According to a post made by the Google Play team on Google+, those countries include Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and South Korea.
Prepare the comfy chair. Google Play Newsstand is now in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Korea.
This addition, while expanding Play offerings to these countries, leaves a lot to be desired. Many of Google’s other Play services, like Play Music and Play Movies & TV, are still missing in a few of these countries. You can get Google Play Newsstand on the Play Store for free.
Samsung is getting into the holiday spirit with an exclusive new Christmas edition of the Galaxy Note 4 that ships in velvet red. The smartphone arrives just in time for the festive holiday season, although the one major caveat is that the device is launching in South Korea only. Expand Expanding Close
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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 … Expand Expanding Close
The Galaxy Round, which Samsung touted as the world’s first smartphone with a curved display, turns out to be just an extended production run of a prototype device – according to a source cited by SamMobile.
Samsung is looking to produce only limited quantities of the device, even in South Korea. It’s apparently a prototype device to test curved OLED displays, similar to devices like the SCH-W850 and the Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE (SHV-E120S), which were also produced in limited quantities in order to test AMOLED and HD AMOLED displays, respectively.
But while this particular device is unlikely to go on sale in the U.S., now that Samsung has proved the technology is practical, we can be fairly sure that company has other curved display phones and tablets in the pipeline. LG also appears to have a curved smartphone on the way, in the form of the G Flex.
Samsung announced today that it is launching the “Samsung Solution Exchange” to offer unique mobile solutions to business owners. The app marketplace of sorts will offer businesses an easy way to find productivity and business related apps from third-party developers that are specifically suited for Samsung devices:
The Samsung Solutions Exchange delivers a range of offerings from third party providers that increase productivity and ROI, including sales and management applications, mobile device management solutions, cloud services, collaboration tools and security solutions – all designed to make it easier for enterprises to succeed in the new era of mobile business with our robust suite of SAFE devices.
Samsung says it will work with third-party developers, MDM providers, and sales channels to “systematically identify unique customer requirements and rapidly deliver end-to-end solutions.” To do that it will be making its SDK available to those that are part of the new Samsung Solution Exchange and a web portal will make it possible for business to discover new mobile solutions.
Several Korean newssites 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 … Expand Expanding Close
Following the failure of the HTC First, Facebook has reportedly moved on to its next smartphone idea (via the Korea Herald). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg supposedly flew to South Korea this weekend to meet with several Samsung executives about working on the next “Facebook-friendly” smartphone together. According to the report, however, Samsung shot down the idea. “Samsung doesn’t want to help nurture a second Google, which is now becoming a formidable rival for Samsung in the handset business,” the source said. The company also cited the recent HTC First failure as another reason to avoid the Facebook phone market.
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.” Expand Expanding Close
Just after posting alleged specs for Samsung’s rumored 8-inch Galaxy Note, a report from Korean language inews24 (via Engadget) claimed today that company executive JK Shin has confirmed the device will make an appearance at Mobile World Congress next month.
Earlier today, we posted the full specs of the device courtesy of blog SamMobile. According to the leaked specs, the Galaxy Note 8.0 will include a 1,280-by-800 TFT LCD, a 1.6 quad-core processor, 5-megapixel main camera, and 2GB of RAM. We’ll keep you posted with the latest from MWC next month in Barcelona.
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]
There were hints a couple of days ago, but Samsung officially confirmed on its website this morning that it surpassed 30 million global sales of the Galaxy S III since it first launched five months ago in May. Samsung noted that’s 20 million more devices than the 10 million Galaxy S II units sold in its first 150 days. Samsung also announced last week that it sold 3 million units of its new Galaxy Note II in just 37 days of being on sale.