Samsung acquires smart home startup SmartThings for $200 million

By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2014

With much of the ‘next big thing in tech’ talk focused on wearables and mobile payments, it’s easy to forget about the connected home. But all of the major tech companies are making major moves in this space, including Google, Apple and now Samsung.

Following Google’s Nest acquisition and Apple’s HomeKit unveiling, Samsung announced this week that it has purchased smart home startup—and former Kickstarter sensation—SmartThings. The money is said to be in the neighborhood of $200 million… Read More

 

Samsung takes ‘Wall Huggers’ campaign to airports

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 14, 2014

Samsung’s much-talked-about anti-iPhone campaign dubbed ‘Wall Huggers’ is expanding to select airports, which are among the most trafficked public spots and traditionally the domain of iPhone and MacBook-toting users.

After poking fun of the iPhone’s appalling battery performance with its controversial 30-second television spot, the South Korean conglomerate is now displaying Galaxy S5 ads at power outlets throughout major airports.

The posters advertises the Galaxy S5′s Ultra Power Saving mode and features a tagline saying “So you have the power to be anywhere but here” in a not-so-subtle dig at Apple’s iPhone 5s campaign which revolves around the tagline “You’re more powerful than you think”… Read More

 

Samsung unveils new Galaxy Alpha smartphone with metal frame

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2014

Samsung today took the wraps off a new smartphone for its Galaxy line called the ‘Galaxy Alpha.’ The company says the handset encapsulates its new design approach, featuring a “carefully constructed” compact body with a metal frame and a solid finish.

In terms of specs, there isn’t anything too crazy under the hood. The Alpha sports a 4.7” HD Super AMOLED display, an octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a 12MP rear camera. There’s also a fingerprint scanner on board, and a host of other sensors… Read More

 

U.S. Patent Office rejects Apple patent Samsung was found to infringe

By Cody Lee on Aug 8, 2014

Apple and Samsung may have called a truce in patent litigation overseas, but here in the United States, they’re still locked in a heated battle. The two firms are wrapping up post-trial hearings from their 2012 meeting, and they’ve just begun post-trial activities for this year’s lawsuit.

This week a significant development has occurred, which could have a major impact in the ongoing fight. The US Patent Office has rejected several claims of one of the patents Apple asserted against Samsung in their most recent infringement trial, saying certain parts aren’t valid… Read More

 

Apple and Samsung agree to settle all foreign patent disputes

By Cody Lee on Aug 5, 2014

The Financial Times reports this evening that Apple and Samsung have settled their patent disputes over smartphones and tablets in several countries around the world. In a joint statement, the two firms say that they have dropped litigation in all countries and regions outside of the US.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. But it doesn’t sound like there is any kind of cross-licensing deal in place, and no money changing hands, so there will be little to prevent new lawsuits between the two companies from sprouting in the future, should circumstances change…

Read More

 

Samsung to unveil Galaxy Note 4 and other new gizmos at September 3 ‘Unpacked’ event

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2014

Apple’s arch-rival Samsung just made it known it’ll be holding a major media event on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. The invites for the new ‘Unpacked’ event, something of an annual tradition for the South Korean conglomerate, have now gone out to select members of the press, hinting at a possible unveiling of the Note 4 phablet.

Although the Galaxy S5 smartphone is already there, the firm is rumored to be also unveiling a premium all-metal edition of the smartphone to help improve its market standing in the wake of the expected massive iPhone 6 launch, which is also expected to be unveiled at a media event some time in September… Read More

 

Samsung’s troubles prove Apple knows exactly what it’s doing with its iPhone business

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2014

Samsung’s co-CEO and mobile chief J.K. Shin is in the hot seat as the company posts its third straight quarter of operating-profit declines.

It’s fascinating to watch how quickly things are turning for the conglomerate responsible for nearly one-fifth of South Korea’s Gross domestic product.

Operating profits were down sharply, decreasing a whopping 25 percent year over year. More importantly, Samsung’s favorite business metric – the market share – is under pressure, too: its worldwide share of smartphones slipped to 25 percent in the second quarter from 32 percent a year earlier.

This is bad news considering that 76 percent of the firm’s profit comes from smartphones. What gives? Read More

 

Apple drops permanent injunction quest in Samsung lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Jul 29, 2014

Apple filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in California yesterday, dropping its cross-appeal of Judge Lucy Koh’s final judgement in its lawsuit against Samsung. The motion officially ends the company’s pursuit of a product ban.

Now, this is just for the 2012 trial, not the one that ended in May. Apple had been looking to win a permanent injunction against all of Samsung’s infringing devices in that case, and filed multiple appeals, but it appears to have given up on this particular battle… Read More

 

Samsung posts new ‘Screen Envy’ ad in response to iPhone 6 rumors

By Cody Lee on Jul 21, 2014

Samsung has posted a new ad to its YouTube channel this afternoon entitled ‘Screen Envy.’ The spot addresses rumors that the iPhone 6 will come with a larger display, saying that Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones have had 5-inch screens for years.

The commercial literally opens with an iPhone user telling his friend that Apple is working on a larger-screened smartphone. The friend, who is of course using a Galaxy S5, is clearly unimpressed by the speculation, saying “that hasn’t happened yet?” Read More

 

Apple to move from TSMC to Samsung for next-gen chip production

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Last year, Apple reached an agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to make processors for its iOS devices. The deal was part of a larger effort by the iPad-maker to reduce its reliance on Samsung.

But the move may not last long. Citing supply chain sources and KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, Reuters is reporting that Apple is looking to shift production of its 14-nanometer next-generation chips from TSMC to Samsung… Read More

 

New Samsung Galaxy Tab S ad pans iPad for lack of multitasking

By Cody Lee on Jul 11, 2014

The iPad is no stranger to getting bashed in TV commercials—both Amazon and Microsoft have attacked the tablet over price, display quality, and productivity capabilities. And today, Samsung joins the party with its new Galaxy Tab S ad.

The spot, which went up on the Samsung Mobile YouTube channel this afternoon, is titled: ‘Do more with Samsung GALAXY Tab S – Multitasking.’ And unsurprisingly, it pans the iPad for its inability to run multiple applications at once… Read More

 

Samsung blames sluggish tablet sales, increased competition for Q2 earnings miss

By Cody Lee on Jul 8, 2014

Samsung today issued its earnings guidance for the second quarter of 2014, and in somewhat of an odd move, it attached a note to the document explaining why it will fall short of estimates. The company expects to see its profits drop for the third consecutive quarter.

The note details a number of factors, including the improving strength of the Korean won making exports more expensive, and exceedingly sluggish tablet sales. It also explains that it is running into greater competition in China from low-end device makers like Xiaomi… Read More

 

Samsung’s latest ‘Wall Huggers’ Galaxy ad attacks iPhone’s battery performance

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 3, 2014

Samsung’s marketing department is no stranger to Apple-bashing and its most recent advertisement for the Galaxy S5 flagship proves the point.

Titled ‘Wall Huggers’, it depicts iPhone users in a series of everyday situations with a recurring theme being them chained to a wall socket. “There they are,” the voiceover opens the 60-second commercial.

“Clustered around power outlets, recycling bins and bathrooms, tethered to the wall.” The ad is embedded for your viewing pleasure right after the break… Read More

 

iPhone captures 42% market share in the United States for May

By Joe Rossignol on Jul 3, 2014

The latest numbers reveal that the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone in the United States, with 41.9% market share for a three-month period ending May 2014. Samsung was the second most popular smartphone maker with a 27.8% share, attributed to its Galaxy-branded devices. LG (6.5%), Motorola (6.3%) and HTC (5.1%) round off the top five.

While the iPhone was the most popular smartphone, Android held a commanding 52.1% share among mobile platforms. iOS followed not too far behind at 41.9%, while Windows Phone (3.4%), BlackBerry (2.3%) and Symbian (0.1%) all trailed by quite a distance. Android also had 52.1% market share for the three-month period ending February, while iOS gained 0.6 percentage points…  Read More

 

iPhone 5c outsold Galaxy S5 in the UK

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 2, 2014

I’m sick and tired of hearing armchair analysts repeatedly proclaiming Apple’s unapologetically plastic iPhone 5c a failure just because sales numbers don’t meet their wet dream targets.

I bought an iPhone 5c for my Mom’s birthday. My friend owns one. Yes, I even see it used in public.

To this date, not a single iPhone 5c owner exhibited a case of buyer’s remorse.

I mean, you never hear anyone complaining about Apple’s practice of keeping past two iPhone generations on the market at reduced prices whenever a new model comes along. The strategy has served the company well and that’s exactly what the iPhone 5c is – a previous-gen iPhone repackaged inside a plastic chassis, sold at a discount.

A lot of ink has been spilled to paint the iPhone 5c a dud, but time and again real world numbers simply don’t corroborate this notion. A good example is a new Kantar survey proving that Apple’s mid-tier handset beat Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 in terms of sales in the United Kingdom… Read More

 

DigiTimes: Samsung receives orders for 14nm Apple A9 chip

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2014

Kicking Samsung out of the supply chain for Apple-designed iPhone and iPad processors may be easier said than done.

For years now Apple’s attempted to kickstart mass production of these chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, to no avail.

As TSMC continues to cope with yield issues, technological hurdles and scale, rival Samsung is said to have landed orders for Apple’s A9 processor set to appear inside next year’s iPhone and iPad devices.

According to a new report by DigiTimes, the somewhat accurate Taiwanese trade publication, the sophisticated microprocessor will be fabbed on Samsung’s advanced 14-nanometer process technology, albeit not exclusively… Read More

 

Samsung rolling out 21-day trial program for smart devices

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 26, 2014

Apple and Samsung continue to fight for supremacy as the top consumer electronics maker in the United States, and the latter has a new move up its sleeves to help thwart its competitor. Beginning in July, the South Korean handset maker will be kicking off a 21-day trial program that allows customers to test drive select smartphones, tablets and smart watches from its product lineup.

After quietly launching the trial program in Manhattan last month, Samsung will be extending the offer to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Santa Clara. The devices available to test drive are the Galaxy S5 and Note III smartphones, the Gear smart watch and the Gear Fit fitness tracker. Prospective buyers can test the devices on different carriers, with Samsung compensating the wireless costs. A refundable deposit of $350 must be made beforehand…  Read More

 

Samsung could acquire Nuance, the company behind Siri’s speech recognition engine

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 16, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Nuance Communications has been in talks with Samsung and private-equity firms about a possible sale of the company. The report, which cites sources with knowledge on the matter, claims it is unclear where sales talks currently stand, or whether these talks will actually materialize into a sale… Read More

 

Despite Apple deal, Beats updates Android app, plans on using Samsung shill LeBron James in ads

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2014

Looks like Tim Cook wasn’t joking when he told The Financial Times Apple would keep alive Beats Music apps for Android and Windows Phone platforms. Keep in mind that Cook made that promise after Apple snapped up Beats’ streaming-music service, headphones, brand and talent in a $3 billion transaction.

Indeed, Beats has now issued an update to its Android client, the first refresh post-acquisition. But that’s not all: it seems Beats will continue to feature Samsung endorser and Miami Heat cager LeBron James in future advertising… Read More

 

Samsung unveils the Galaxy Tab S with multi-user fingerprint sensor

By Cody Lee on Jun 13, 2014

Samsung hosted an event in New York yesterday afternoon to take the wraps off a new version of its Galaxy Tab. It’s calling the tablet the Galaxy Tab S, and it includes a high resolution Super AMOLED display that comes in 2 sizes: 8.4 and 10.5-inches.

Perhaps one of its most interesting features, though, is its fingerprint sensor. It can recognize up to eight different users, and each scan will load a different custom user profile based on the fingerprint with personalized settings, app shortcuts and more… Read More

 
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