Samsung reportedly on the verge of supplying OLED screens for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

Samsung, which uses AMOLED screens in many of its flagship smartphones and tablets, could become a major provider of OLED panels for the iPhone maker as a deal is all but secured, according to an ETNews report Friday citing a Samsung Display employee.

The report arrives hot on the heels of a research note that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent to clients earlier this week, in which he estimated that Apple won’t be switching to AMOLED screens for iPhones anytime soon and will continue using the existing LCD display technology for at least the next three years. Read More


Samsung’s massive 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet available to pre-order for $599

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 26, 2015

Not to be outdone by Apple’s $799 iPad Pro, which has an ultra high-resolution screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally and goes on sale next month, rival Samsung is gearing up to launch a brand new tablet with a huge 18.4-inch screen, the Galaxy View.

Although the View is yet to officially launch, some online retailers are now taking pre-orders for the $599 Android device, 9to5Google reported Monday. Read More


How to check if you have TSMC or Samsung chip in your iPhone 6s

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2015

For the first time ever, Apple has dual-sourced the engine that drives the new handsets from more than one supplier. Both Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) won contracts to build the Apple-designed ‘A9’ system-on-a-chip for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

While these chips offer literally the same compute and graphics power, both synthetic benchmarks and real-life tests have shown small yet notable difference in terms of battery as the TSCM-built A9 appears to be more power efficient than its Samsung counterpart.

The question is, does your brand spanking new iPhone 6s have the TSMC or Samsung-built chip? You can find that out in just a few simple steps, let me show you how. Read More


Samsung-built A9 chip in iPhone 6s found to drain battery faster than TSMC one, Apple doesn’t really agree

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2015

Does your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus come outfitted with Samsung or TSMC-built A9 processor? The answer to that question could determine how long your device will run before its battery needs recharging.

Your key takeaway is this: while the dual-sourced chips perform identically in synthetic Geekbench tests in terms of sheer CPU compute power and GPU performance, there’s a marked difference in observed battery life ranging from six to eleven percent.

You could argue the difference is barely felt in day-to-day use, but I beg to differ: energy efficiency is paramount for mobile devices and the battery-friendlier the main processor is, the longer it will run on a single charge. Read More


How to check if you have a Samsung or TSMC A9 processor inside of your iPhone 6s

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

You’ve probably heard that Apple is using A9 processors from two different sources for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. One processor is from Samsung, and the other is from TSMC.

It’s been confirmed via benchmarks that both processors perform similarly with no major differences in performance. With that said, each processor features a different die size, which was first noted by Chipworks. The Samsung processor is the smaller of the two. Physically, it’s 96mm squared, while the TSMC A9 is 104.5 mm squared.

Chipworks conjectures that two different sources were used due to supply constraints. They also say that they are further researching both processors in an effort to gain better clarity.

Ultimately, it really doesn’t mean much to the end user, but I know that curiosity gets the best of us at times. If you’d like to check to see who sourced your A9 processor, you can follow these simple steps. Read More


Semiconductor analysis confirms iPhone 6s ‘A9’ chip manufactured by Samsung and TSMC

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2015

An initial analysis of the Apple-designed A9 system-on-a-chip powering the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, conducted by semiconductor experts over at Chipworks, has identified both Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as manufacturers of the package.

What’s really interesting is that the A9 comes in two sizes, depending on who manufactured it, with the Samsung-built units being a bit smaller than those manufactured by TSMC. This is the first time an Apple-designed processor for an iPhone came in two different sizes. Read More


Samsung about to copy iPhone Upgrade Program

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 21, 2015

As major U.S. carriers have been moving toward killing smartphone subsidy and long-term contracts, the true cost of the iPhone will become more visible than ever before.

That’s why Apple’s decided to let you choose a carrier and get an unlocked iPhone 6s/6s Plus with the opportunity to get a new iPhone annually and AppleCare+ on the new iPhone Upgrade Program.

Not to be outdone by Apple, Galaxy maker Samsung is now looking to bring out a smartphone leasing program of its own in the United States, reports Forbes. Read More


Samsung finds a new angle to attack iPhone: lack of customization

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2015

Say what you will, but there’s no denying that Samsung’s marketing department has more or less successfully exploited the iPhone’s perceived weaknesses in their anti-Apple ads.

As you know, ads for the Galaxy phones typically focus on stuff like the iPhone’s non-replaceable batteries, battery life in general, non-curved screens, lack of wireless charging and what not.

But the latest Samsung commercials appears to have found a new anti-iPhone angle: the lack of customization. Read More


Latest Apple appeals court win may require Samsung to change its devices

By Cody Lee on Sep 17, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that Apple is entitled to an injunction that would bar Samsung from using its patented technology in its devices. The decision could force the Korean manufacturer to change certain features on its smartphones and tablets.

At the heart of the matter is 3 software features that Apple has patented: slide-to-unlock on a device’s touchscreen, the automatic correction of spelling errors, and quick-linking, which allows a user to do things like tap on a phone number within a body of text to place a call. Read More


Samsung and Sony take swipes at Apple’s ‘Hey Siri’ event announcements

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 10, 2015

Following Apple’s action-packed media event yesterday which saw introductions of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones with 3D Display technology, the new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, the much improved Apple TV and more, both Sony and Samsung took to social media to poke fun of Apple’s latest innovation.

As you may have guessed, Samsung especially took swipes at Apple’s stylus, which isn’t surprising given Steve Jobs’ famous “If you see a stylus, they blew it” quote and the fact the Galaxy maker pioneered stylus-enhanced phablets with its Note lineup. Read More


The iPhone effect: Samsung laying off 10 percent of workforce at its headquarters

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 8, 2015

According to a report by Korean newspaper which was relayed Tuesday by Bloomberg, Samsung Electronics is about to lay off ten percent of workers at its headquarters in South Korea “as the world’s biggest smartphone maker loses sales to Apple and Chinese vendors.”

It is no secret that things have been tough for Samsung ever since Apple released its larger-screened iPhones. In addition, strong competition from China’s vendors like Huawei and Xiaomi, which build comparable phones that cost half as much as Samsung’s high-end devices, has contributed to Samsung’s diminishing sales in China. Read More


Rotating bezel on Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatch shown on video

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

Two days ago, Samsung officially unveiled its new smartwatch lineup: the Gear S2, Gear S2 classic and the Gear S2 with 3G connectivity.

The new lineup from Samsung appears to stack up surprisingly well against the Apple Watch: both smartwatches are premium built and feature easily changeable bands, sleek software, fitness and heart rate tracking and more.

But whereas the Apple Watch uses the Digital Crown for navigating its user interface, Samsung has opted for a rotating bezel that “gets better with every turn,” a feature seen on some traditional watches.

Coupled with “the revolutionary circular user interface,” as they’re calling the Gear S2’s Tizen operating system, the rotating bezel appears to be just as precise, novel and interesting as the Apple Watch’s rotating crown. Read More


Samsung unveils CarMode for Galaxy, new SmartThings hub, sleep-tracking device and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

IFA, the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, is running from September 4 to 9 in Berlin. Ahead of the big event, Samsung Electronics has unveiled some rather interesting gadgets, including its own version of CarPlay, a sleep analysis accessory, its first 4K Blu-ray player and more.

More than anything, the company is betting big on so-called Internet of Things, a common moniker denoting software platforms powering smart devices that tap into the power of the cloud to achieve interoperability and rich data sharing.

To this extent, the South Korean giant last year purchased an open-platform smart home company, called SmartThings. Following the acquisition, SmartThings today unveiled its very first new product, a hub for the connected home that connects to cameras to monitor and protect your home. Read More


Samsung unveils Gear S2 smartwatch lineup with up to 3 days of battery life

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2015

After teasing its new Gear smartwatch ahead of Apple’s upcoming media event, South Korea-based Samsung last evening formally announced a second-generation Gear S family. The Galaxy Gear S2, as it’s called, augments the round display of its predecessor with a rotating bezel for navigating the user interface.

The internals have been refreshed, too, so the Gear S2 has NFC. While it has less storage space than the Apple Watch’s 8GB, the Gear S2 uses a stronger battery that Samsung claims runs up to three days on a single charge. Read More


Samsung now paying iPhone users $200 to switch

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 28, 2015

Samsung is offering some extra goodies to people interested in participating in its Ultimate Test Drive program which seeks to persuade iPhone users to test-drive the Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy Note5 or Galaxy S6 edge+ for 30 days in exchange for just one dollar.

Now the South Korean company is tempting would-be switchers with $100 of Google Play credit for buying apps, media and other content and an additional cheque for $100 if they traded in their iPhone to their carrier or retailer, as per AndroidCentral. Read More


Official: Samsung stole trade secrets from TSMC

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2015

Samsung lifted trade secrets from rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s #1 independent semiconductor foundry, Taiwan’s top court has ruled.

According to a report published Wednesday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the court has determined that Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of research and development at TSMC, revealed TSMC’s trade secrets and patents related to its advanced FinFET process technology to Samsung Electronics.

The report makes no mention of Apple, but the connection couldn’t be clearer: Samsung might have been able to leverage the stolen secrets to win orders for Apple’s next-generation ‘A9’ processor. Prior reports have posited that both Samsung and TSMC got to build Apple’s A9 chips on the advanced 14-nanometer FinFET process technology which uses entirely new three-dimensional transistors. Read More


Samsung: you’re inserting it wrong

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 25, 2015

When a flagship device launches, it’s usually only a matter of time before some sort of controversy arises. There was #antennagate for the iPhone 4, #scratchgate for the iPhone 5, and last year’s #bendgate for the iPhone 6. Now it’s Samsung’s turn to join the party.

The problem stems from inserting the Galaxy Note5’s S-Pen in the wrong way, head first, instead of tip first like normal. Doing so makes the S-Pen catch on to a lever deep inside the pen cavity, causing it to get stuck.

Samsung has been no stranger to controversy before, but this new one, some have called it #pengate, or #penghazi, is more egregious than any so-called “-gate” we’ve seen before. Read More


Samsung to iPhone users: come test drive our newest phones for just a dollar

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 20, 2015

As first noted by Engadget, Samsung is so confident that iPhone users will find its newest smartphones compelling enough to switch, that it’s letting iPhone users test drive them for 30 days for just a buck.

Coined “The Ultimate Test Drive”, Samsung, doing its very best T-Mobile impression, is letting current iPhone owners take the Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy Note5, or Galaxy S6 edge+ for a 30-day spin.

All you need to do is visit Samsung’s The Ultimate Test Drive website via the Safari browser running on your iPhone, select your current carrier, the Galaxy model you wish to test, register with Samsung, and provide delivery and credit card information.

By registering, you’re more than likely opening yourself up to all sorts of future marketing strategies, but if you really want to test drive one of Samsung’s new phones, this is probably one of the easiest ways to do so. Read More


Samsung to appeal to Supreme Court in Apple patent case

By Cody Lee on Aug 19, 2015

As expected, Samsung is taking its patent battle with Apple to the United States Supreme Court. The San Jose Mercury News points to a new court filing from the company, which voices its intent to ask the Supreme Court to hear its case.

In 2012, Samsung was found guilty of infringing on multiple Apple patents and was ordered to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages. That amount has since been cut in half, but Samsung is hoping to get the sum further reduced. Read More


Samsung posts teaser for upcoming ‘Gear S2’ Apple Watch competitor

By Cody Lee on Aug 19, 2015

During its big Galaxy Note 5/S6 Edge+ event last week, Samsung showed off a video teaser of its upcoming Apple Watch competitor, the Gear S2. For folks who missed the keynote, the clip is now available on the company’s Mobile YouTube channel.

We can glean quite a bit from the video. The Gear S2 will have a round watch face, similar to the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R, with round icons and other UI elements to match. It also looks like it will feature heart rate and fitness tracking capabilities. Read More

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