Samsung-GlobalFoundries deal gives Apple’s chip production greater flexibility

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 18, 2014

As Apple continues to move anything it can away from Samsung as a result of heightened competition, fierce rivalry and an ugly patent spat between the two technology giants, Samsung seems to be doing the opposite, hoping to to please Apple’s enormous appetite for mobile processors powering iOS devices.

More than a thousand in-house Apple engineers design chips like the A7 processor and the M7 motion coprocessor. The former, the mobile industry’s first 64-bit processor, serves as the engine that drives the latest crop of iOS devices like the iPad Air, the iPad mini with Retina display and the iPhone 5s.

To manufacture these things in volume according to its blueprints, Apple relies on some of the biggest of the chip-making services known as foundries because it doesn’t have or operate its own semiconductor plant, an investment upward of $10 billion.

Samsung semiconductor arm has thus far churned out all Apple-designed mobile chips. Moreover, the company remains adamant to do so in the future despite its straining relationship with Apple and persistent talk of the iPhone maker throwing itself into the arms of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry.

Samsung and GlobalFoundries, the Santa Clara, California headquartered chip foundry, yesterday signed a global partnership to standardize mobile chip production around the same 14nm FinFET process technology. The deal gives Apple the flexibility to build its A-series processors at both foundries, which was previously impossible due to the foundries’ incompatible production processes… Read More

 

LG launches AirPlay-like SDK to stream media to multiple TVs, Apple TV support incoming

By Jake Smith on Apr 17, 2014

LG is hoping to make it easier for users to beam media to their televisions, with a new SDK it’s making available to developers to integrate into apps on iOS and Android.

Smart TVs have historically been one of the most closed platforms out there, with manufacturers developing features for only their own TVs and set-top boxes, and not the broader market – example being Apple’s AirPlay. LG is changing this with its new Integrate Connect SDK, a standard to place into mobile apps to beam media across multiple platforms onto the big screen. Read More

 

For Samsung, Steve Jobs’ death was ‘the best opportunity’ to unleash anti-iPhone ad blitz

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 16, 2014

Apple’s second California trial against Samsung over smartphone patents has given us an unprecedented insight into Samsung’s obsession with beating Apple and Apple’s worries over losing the cool factor to Samsung due to the snarky ads that ridiculed the iPhone as an outdated and dull phone.

As you know, Samsung’s campaign headlined under the ‘The Next Big Thing’ tagline went viral in September of 2012, thanks to a particularily scathing ad that ridiculed folks who’d wait in line for an iPhone 5.

The commercials were meant to counter the iPhone 5 “tsunami,” as Samsung execs put it, and have managed to enrage Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller so much that he proposed in an email to CEO Tim Cook that the firm fire its longtime ad agency.

According to a highly confidential email exchange between Samsung execs, we now know that the South Korean firm saw Steve Jobs’s death as the “best opportunity to attack the iPhone” and tarnish the Apple brand… Read More

 

Apple joins Google, HTC and others to curb smartphone theft

By Jake Smith on Apr 15, 2014

Apple has entered into the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” with HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and others, to curb the smartphone theft epidemic that has been plaguing many city streets.

Under the voluntary agreement, the manufacturers are planning to add several new security features to their smartphones going on sale after July 2015, to make for an industry standard.

Under the Commitment, manufacturers’ smartphones must:  Read More

 

Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner isn’t immune, can also be tricked like iPhone 5s

By Jake Smith on Apr 15, 2014

The fingerprint scanner on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 is suffering from the same security flaw as the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s, creating a bit of a risk for owners.

Germany-based security blog H Security found that using a wood glue mold from the fingerprint already set on the Galaxy S5, someone else could gain unauthorized access to your phone. Given Samsung’s fingerprint scanner tie-ins with the PayPal app, this means not only contacts and photos are up for grabs, but mobile payments, as well.  Read More

 

Samsung exec: we didn’t copy Apple’s iPhone, we just had better marketing

By Jake Smith on Apr 14, 2014

Apple is claiming in the latest patent trial on-going in a California court that Samsung ripped off its iPhone to become the top-smartphone maker in the world, while Samsung says it was just pure marketing genius that helped turn the smartphone tide over the years.

Todd Pendleton, the chief marketing officer for Samsung’s American division, became the first Samsung executive to take the stand on Monday in the latest patent spat. He explained that marketing Samsung’s phones as the “Next Big Thing” helped it beat Apple, HTC, and BlackBerry, who in 2011 all held a lead over the South Korean electronics giant.

“I think people knew Samsung for televisions,” Pendleton told the court, when reminiscing on 2011. “But in terms of smartphones, there was no recognition for what our product was or what it stood for.” Read More

 

Samsung caught lying about tablet sales

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2014

Samsung, the South Korean chaebol, has an established history of stealing, cheating and lying. It’s not just the conviction of stealing patented iPhone technology that dealt it a massive PR blow, Samsung was also publicly shamed over the discovery it had paid people to spam message boards with negative comments about rival products.

And as if that weren’t enough, its shady marketing tactics has come to light yet again in an internal document proving Samsung intentionally misled Wall Street investors, analysts and market watchers by flatly lying about sales of its Galaxy tablets, thereby creating a perception that the iPad was losing massive market share to cheaper Android competitors… Read More

 

Apple calls in expert to explain why it deserves $2 billion in damages from Samsung

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

The high-profile patent trial between Apple and Samsung wages on, with Apple on Tuesday calling in a damages expert Chris Vellturo to speak to the jury. The MIT-trained economist’s job was to help the company explain why it deserved the damages it’s asking for.

For those who missed it last week, Apple is asking the court to award it $2 billion ($2.19B to be exact) in damages from Samsung for infringing on 5 of its utility patents. And according to Vellturo, that amount is fair based on a mix of lost profits and owed royalty fees… Read More

 

Samsung takes more swipes at iPad in new Galaxy Pro ads

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2014

Samsung’s back at it again. The company has aired four new ads that bash the iPad while painting its own 12-inch Galaxy Tab Pro tablets in favorable light. Samsung released these big tablets three months ago. The ads convey a few hard-hitting yet simple to grasp messages that likely won’t sit well with loyal fans of the California-based company.

One ad tells the viewer that anyone can multitask like a pro on Samsung’s tablets that can run two apps side-by-side. Another commercial focuses on Samsung’s ‘Multi User’ mode allowing different people to use devices, with each person’s settings, documents and apps separate of the others, a feature notably absent from the iPad.

Yet another video, titled ‘Pixel Density’, offers a critique of the iPad’s 2,048-by-1,536 Retina display at 226 pixels per inch. Apple’s “Retina thingy”, the ad explains, pales in comparison with the Tab Pro’s sharp 10.1-inch screen at a whopping 2,5600-by-1,600 resolution with a pixel density of 299ppi.

I’ve included all four ads for your viewing pleasure right below the fold… Read More

 

Samsung’s #1 priority for 2012: beat Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2014

A treasure trove of internal documents have been leaking out of Apple’s second California trial against the Galaxy maker Samsung.

Not only has the confidential material given us an unprecedented look into the firm’s development process for the iPhone and Steve Jobs’s wish list for the Apple TV (apps, something called ‘magic wand’ and more), it’s also provided us with valuable insight into Apple’s marketing survey explaining why the iPhone’s growth has been slowing and another internal research highlighting the most often requested features by early iPhone 5 adopters.

And now, a new set of internal Samsung documents proves the South Korean conglomerate has been pretty much obsessed with crushing Apple in the marketplace, so much so that it devoted all of its energies throughout 2012 to one goal: beating Apple.

The presentation entitled ’2011 Summary & Lessons Learned / 2012 Business Forecast’ made it clear to Samsung’s managers that beating Apple was their #1 priority for 2012. “Everything must be in context of beating Apple,” reads the memo.

The document offers an insight into Samsung’s thought process, marketing tactics and how it went about containing the iPhone threat by pouring billions into advertising, playing ball with carriers and carpet-bombing the market with countless variants of devices with different screen sizes and price points… Read More

 

Internal Apple slides explain why it thinks iPhone growth is slowing

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

Despite posting 50+ million iPhone sales last quarter, Apple’s stock slid some 6%. As impressive as the numbers were, they still fell short of Wall Street expectations and reaffirmed fears of slowing growth. Apple’s YoY (year-over-year) iPhone growth is now down to just single digits.

The question is why? And Apple has a pretty good idea of what the answer is. According to some internal documents brought to light by the ongoing Samsung trial, the company attributes the slowing in iPhone growth to consumer want for larger, cheaper handsets and other factors… Read More

 

Steve Jobs email reveals past Apple TV ideas: apps, ‘magic wand’ remote and more

By Cody Lee on Apr 5, 2014

We’re only a few days in, but we’ve already learned a lot from the Apple-Samsung patent trial. With it being a legal proceeding, the public is given access to information it wasn’t previously privi’ed to by way of executive testimonies, corporate emails and other evidence.

In fact, earlier today a particularly interesting email surfaced from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The document, which was submitted as evidence in the case, features a list of things Jobs wanted to discuss at the company’s 2010 ‘top 100′ meeting, including the Apple TV… Read More

 

Apple engineer explains how the iPhone was designed for ‘normal people’

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

The Samsung trial marched on today, with Apple’s Greg Christie taking the stand. You might remember Christie, the senior software engineer, from this WSJ article last month, where he detailed some of the early stages of original iPhone development. And this afternoon, he did the same thing in court.

More specifically, Christie shared some new details on the development of the iPhone’s ‘Slide to Unlock,’ which is one of the patents that Apple’s accusing  Samsung of infringing. He said initially, his team wanted the handset’s display to be always on, but they quickly discovered it needed a locked mode… Read More

 

Samsung one step closer to commercializing ultrathin graphene screens for wearables

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2014

Samsung has been the world’s largest maker of LCD panels since 2002. By 2004, the conglomerate was the world’s top manufacturer of OLED panels accounting for a 40 percent market share worldwide and as of 2010 has a commanding 98 percent share of the global AMOLED market.

Small wonder that Apple used to source most of its screens for iOS devices from Samsung up until 2012, when Tim Cook & Co. began slowly shifting display orders away from the Galaxy maker amid the ongoing patent spat.

But Samsung is not standing still. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal Friday, the Galaxy maker has claimed significant progress on graphene, described as the next wonder material… Read More

 

Video pits Apple’s Touch ID against Samsung’s Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

Following the debut of the iPhone 5s and its Touch ID fingerprint scanner in October last year, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5 with its own fingerprint recognition tech. The handset was unveiled last month, and is slated to launch for major carriers on April 11.

The two scanners are quite different, with Touch ID requiring a press-and-hold action and Samsung’s solution more of a swiping motion, but they essentially serve the same purpose. So we thought this new video comparing the two of them was worth a look… Read More

 

Apple seeking $2 billion in damages in new Samsung trial

By Cody Lee on Apr 1, 2014

As most of you know probably know by now, round 2 of Apple’s US patent battle with Samsung kicked off this week in a San Jose, California court room. The last time these 2 companies met on American soil, in the fall of 2012, Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages.

This time around, the iPad-maker is asking for twice that much. And although it’s using different patents, and going after different Samsung devices, it’s ultimately trying to prove the same thing as it did before: that Samsung intentionally copied its patented inventions… Read More

 

Russian government dumps iPads for Samsung tablets

By Cody Lee on Mar 27, 2014

Russia’s telecoms minister Nikolai Nikiforov told news agencies yesterday that government officials for the country recently traded in their iPads for Samsung tablets. Reporters spotted the new devices at a cabinet meeting, and the minister explained that the changeover was due to security concerns.

“Some of the information at government meetings is confidential in nature,” he said, “and these devices fully meet these demands and have gone through the strictest system of certification.” And the timing of the switch is certainly interesting, considering what’s going on at the Russia/Ukraine borderRead More

 

Apple engineer offers detailed look at development of original iPhone software

By Cody Lee on Mar 26, 2014

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting interview with Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie yesterday, in which Christie offers a detailed look at some of the events that led up to the original iPhone. Apparently the Cupertino company gave him permission to discuss the development process of the handset.

Admittedly, a lot of the things mentioned we’ve heard before—from book excerpts, court testimonies, etc.—but Christie does provide a few new details. For instance, he says at one point Jobs gave him and his team two weeks to come up with something or he would be reassigning the ‘iPhone software’ project to another group… Read More

 

New report alleges Samsung will build iPhone 6′s A8 processor after all

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2014

Shortly after Taiwan’s Commercial Times ran a story about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) seemingly having started production of an upcoming Apple-designed A8 chip on an exclusive basis (as Samsung reportedly dropped out of the race due to yield issues), an unnamed Samsung executive in a defensive PR move took to blogs to argue that the rumor is greatly exaggerated.

Pouring cold water on the Commercial Times report, the Galaxy maker told ZDNet Korea (via GforGames) that the conglomerate has already signed a contract with Apple concerning next-generation A8 chip production. Moreover, the firm is currently in the final testing phases and is gearing up to kick off mass A8 production at its Austin, Texas facility.

The multi-billion dollar chip plant is almost entirely dedicated to Apple silicon production. Samsung’s semiconductor arm has thus far churned out every iOS device processor since the original iPhone… Read More

 

Samsung removes standard-essential patents from upcoming Apple trial

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 9, 2014

Apple and Samsung will duke it out in the courtroom over technology patents later this month. As the second California trial looms (it begins March 31), the two technology giants have filed a stipulation with the United States District Court of California which narrows the second case, patent blogger Florian Müeller reported on his blog, FOSS Patents.

Under the stipulation, Samsung withdrew its asserted claims based on three standard-essential patents while Apple dropped all of its counterclaims relating to these patents… Read More

 
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