By Ed Sutherland on Mar 20, 2013
Ah, the cost of competition. Samsung’s recently unveiled Galaxy S4 may raise the bar for Apple, but it comes at a price. The new smartphone isn’t expected to launch until April, however we already know how much it cost the South Korean company to build its latest device: $244.
According to IHS Suppli, parts and manufacturing for a 16GB S4 not only cost more than the current Galaxy S3, but also seventeen percent higher than an iPhone 5 with sixteen gigabytes of storage. Seems Samsung is encountering the same financial challenges as Apple when it comes to ensuring your handset remains technologically in step with competitors… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 20, 2013
In another hint of Apple distancing itself from Samsung by procuring crucial gadget components from alternative suppliers, we hear the Cupertino firm may have already dropped Samsung entirely as the maker of next-gen panels for a fifth-generation iPad and a second-generation iPad mini.
Both devices are rumored to arrive later this year, allegedly sporting the high-resolution Retina display technology and sharing a light aluminum chassis with thinner appearance and chamfered edges… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 19, 2013
We’ve heard a lot of talk in recent months that Apple is working on a wristwatch-like device. And it could be ready to launch as soon as this year. We’ve also seen some alleged leaked screenshot images that suggest Samsung is working on a similar product.
Tonight, Bloomberg is out with a new report that adds significant weight to both rumors, claiming that not only are both companies preparing wearable devices that perform similar functions as smartphones, but they’re both racing to get them to market… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 19, 2013
With Apple’s cash pile projected to balloon from a whopping $137 billion at the end of the previous quarter to an astounding $170 billion by year’s end, there is a growing call for the iPhone maker to increase its stock dividend as a way to build a safety net under its beleaguered shares. The report of a bulging corporate vault comes as one Wall Street analyst proposes a four-step solution to pull Apple out of the weeds.
According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, Tim Cook & Co. should start with raising the quarterly dividend to at least $3.75 per share. A five-year program should begin with Apple increasing the $2.65 per share quarterly dividend paid to investors while also repurchasing up to $100 billion in company stock… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 19, 2013
Earlier this month we told you that Apple’s frenemy Samsung confirmed a plan to pour a cool $112 million into buying a three percent stake in Sharp. Making matters complicated, Sharp, an Apple supplier, has been trying to negotiate another investment from Apple’s favorite manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, known in the Western world as Foxconn. Last year, as you know, Foxconn was trying to acquire an eleven percent stake in Sharp.
There have been indications that Foxconn wanted to re-negotiate after Sharp’s share price tumbled, but most recent reports assert the deal has all but fallen apart. We’re now hearing that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has cancelled talks with Sharp after learning that his potential partner has gone to bed with Samsung, even more so now that Sharp is expected to supply more LCD panels to Samsung than to Apple… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 18, 2013
As most of you know already, Samsung unveiled its highly anticipated Galaxy S III successor last week, the S4. The handset will sell head-to-head against the iPhone 5 until Apple releases its next-gen smartphone, which is expected sometimes this summer.
While the jury is still out on which handset provides the best user experience — easy-of-use, reliability, etc — the S4 is certainly looking better on paper. It has a sharper screen, a bigger battery, and according to new benchmarks, a much, much fast processor… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2013
Gadget resellers such as Gazelle may have been eagerly awaiting Samsung’s new Galaxy S 4 in the hope that Apple fans will jump ship and trade-in their iPhones. Thus far, this hasn’t been the case. Quite the contrary – the vast majority of post-S4 trade-ins are for other Galaxy smartphones, not iPhones.
Specifically, Gazelle’s CEO said Monday his company has seen a cool 168 percent increase in the number of the Galaxy S III trade-ins compared to the number of Galaxy S II trade-ins, both observed during the same post-launch timeframe for each device… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 15, 2013
You saw this coming. Since the moment Samsung unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S4 handset yesterday, the iPhone 5 comparisons have been flying about nonstop. So a video comparison of the two devices was inevitable.
This clip from the folks over at PhoneArena shows the i5 and S4 side by side, and their many differences, from display quality to build quality. It also showcases some of the the Galaxy S4′s unique new software features… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 15, 2013
It’s uncertain what caused it, but the first cracks are appearing in the honeymoon between Apple CEO Tim Cook and company employees.
After being named the top CEO of 2012, Cook slipped to 18th place, behind Google and Amazon. According to employment site Glassdoor, Apple employees gave Cook a 93 percent approval rating, down from 97 percent last year.
By comparison, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg jumped 14 points to land in the top spot for 2013 with a 99 percent approval rating from employees of the social networking giant… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 14, 2013
Say what you will about Samsung, but the company has managed to distance itself from the other Android device makers to become Apple’s greatest competitor in the smartphone space. The two of them, in fact, account for a majority of all handset profits.
So you can understand why we’ve been so interested in seeing Samsung’s new flagship handset, the Galaxy S4, which it just unveiled onstage at its New York-based Unpacked event. And as usual, we’ve put together a handy roundup of all of the highlights… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013
Following today’s unexpected news of Google’s SVP Andy Rubin leaving Android to focus on moonshot projects at the Internet giant – and conveniently just 24 hours ahead of Samsung’s big unveiling of the Galaxy S4 at the Unpacked event in New York City – Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller sat down with The Wall Street Journal to pooh-pooh the Android platform.
He’s touched upon several controversial topics, including Android fragmentation and lack of integration. And dismissing the looming Samsung launch, the exec called Android “a free replacement for a feature phone” and cited Apple’s own research claiming four times as many iPhone users switched from Android than to Android during the fourth quarter… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013
Silicon analysts over at Chipworks were able to conclude yesterday that the smaller A5 package, which was recently discovered inside a retooled Apple TV, is still being fabbed on Samsung’s 32-nanometer process rather than on TSMC’s 28-nanometer technology, as some watchers speculate. Compared to its 2012 counterpart, the new A5 with a 2013 die is noticeably smaller, prompting questions on how Apple has managed to achieve a smaller die without changing fabbing technology.
The full A5 floorplan Chipworks published this morning reveals the culprit: the new die is smaller because the package contains just one ARM CPU core. Now, Apple has always rated the Apple TV as single-core, but previous implementations called for dual-core designs with one core intentionally disabled, though still present.
In removing one CPU core altogether, Apple’s silicon team was able to shrink the die size without having to switch to a more sophisticated fabbing process technology… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 13, 2013
For years, the knock (unfairly) against Apple has been its slick marketing was what pushed sales. A report earlier this week put a dent in that urban myth, showing South Korea’s Samsung outpaced the iPhone maker in terms of self-promotion.
Samsung spent $401 million to promote its mobile devices in the U.S. during 2012, above Apple’s $333 million during the same period, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although Apple’s brand is much better known, Samsung is pouring money toward raising brand awareness in the U.S. market, trying to overcome the lead the iPhone already has.
Indeed, Samsung’s marketing budget may be cutting into its profits – spending that will only increase as sales of the company’s smartphones climb, say analysts… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2013
As we reported Monday, a retooled version of Apple’s $99 set-top box has been found to have a die-shrunk version of the iPad 2′s A5 chip rather than the A5X package, as previously speculated. Some market watchers even thought the new package is fabbed on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) new 28-nanometer process. However, after conducting a thorough analysis of the silicon under sophisticated microscopes, chip wizards over at Chipworks and Silicon-IP have determined that the new A5 package is being fabbed on Samsung’s 32-nanometer process after all… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2013
Another report surfaced this morning that gives us more reasons to believe that Apple is indeed looking to diversify its chip making contracts which thus far have been an exclusive Samsung domain. The somewhat accurate Asian trade publication DigiTimes quoted “institutional investors” who believe that chip giant Intel has been contracted to produce about ten percent of Apple’s planned capacity for a next-generation iPhone and iPad processor, the A7 chip.
Moreover, Apple is apparently spreading those orders across Samsung, Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Samsung will reportedly build about half of Apple’s A7 orders, TSMC should take care of an additional 40 percent while Intel will get the remaining ten percent of orders. Rumor mills have been reporting for at least a year that Apple has been looking to move its chip biz away from rival Samsung, which currently builds all iPhone, iPad and iPod processors at its Austin, Texas plant… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 11, 2013
An interesting report on what smartphone brand is leading in China leaked over the weekend. It’s interesting because most market updates are distributed far and wide. Instead, the South Korean news agency Yonhap published a private report indicating that country’s Samsung leads Apple and others in the huge mobile marketplace.
According to the Strategy Analytics report obtained by Yonhap, Samsung is the number one brand in China with 17.7 percent of the market during 2012. Intriguingly, Samsung’s rise coincides with a plummeting Nokia, which previously held the top spot… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2013
In a ‘how low can they go’ moment, both software giant Microsoft and the South Korean conglomerate Samsung have moved to patent the pinch-zoom concept that Apple popularized (and patented) on mobile devices with the introduction of the iPhone six years ago, as if Apple’s technology never existed.
Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs reportedly hit the roof after HTC in early 2010 launched a handset with pinch-to-zoom functionality, but the two companies recently settled their patent disputes. On the strength of its iPhone patent portfolio, Apple even forced Google to agree to disabling multitouch on early Android devices sold outside the United States.
Now, Apple claims a specific software implementation that’s different than that Google used in Jelly Bean, Android version 4.2. Be that as it may, it’s funny both Microsoft and Samsung patent filings now suggest pinch zooming was their invention… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2013
Apple and Samsung are still battling it out in post-trial hearings left over from last fall’s high-profile infringement trial. And they have another one coming up this year that involves a whole new range of devices.
But there’s alway room for another case in the world of patent lawsuits. And Judge Lucy Koh just gave Apple permission to move forward on a third lawsuit with Samsung here in the States involving its Siri patent… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 8, 2013
After Apple last September filed a motion to add the then a few months old Galaxy S III to its ongoing patent lawsuit against Samsung, and six more Galaxies on Black Friday, it was reported that a trial in that patent infringement case had been scheduled for March 2014. Needless to say, by the time this suit wraps up, Samsung will have sold plenty of flagship devices included in the suit.
Indeed, the Galaxy S III was introduced in May 2012. Samsung is now set to unveil its successor at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall as early as next week. But apparently even March 2014 is too early for Samsung as it now knows the hearings are postponed until it has a chance to exhaust appeals related to the $1.05 August 2012 verdict… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 8, 2013
Many observers view India as the next China. There is huge potential waiting for the smart device player able to offer India’s mobile consumers a low-cost, prepaid product. In just the latest example of analysts scrambling for data to define the market, new research coming from India suggests an explosion of tablet sales – until you dig into the details.
According to India-based CyberMedia Research, tablet shipments in the world’s second largest market rose to 3.11 million units by the end of 2012. Demand was particularly on fire during the last two quarters with around 1 million tablets shipping. Although Apple was reported in third-place behind Samsung and an Indian manufacturer, there’s a question of whether researchers counted tablets or a cross category of smartphones nicknamed ‘phablets’… Read More