Tag: galaxy s

Samsung trials phone upgrade programme

mobileSamsung is trailing a phone upgrade programme in South Korea this week that will allow subscribers to switch to a new premium handset every 12 months.

Customers seeking to buy one of two Galaxy S7 models that go on sale can sign up for the programme on a 24-month instalment plan offered through Samsung Card.

Subscribers would pay a monthly fee of $6.35 in addition to the cost of the device and can upgrade to a new Galaxy S or Galaxy Note smartphone after a year in exchange for the original device they purchased.

The move is seen as part of a cunning plan by Samsung to counter slowing global market growth by coaxing consumers to replace their handsets quicker. Apple already has a similar programme in the United States last year.

Samsung has launched an upgrade programme in Blighty to test the scheme on western markets but still has not said if it is going to go worldwide yet.

Samsung recovers from slump

galazy-SSamsung has told Wall Street that it expects January-March profit to be its highest in three quarters, beating expectations and suggesting that the tech giant is on track for an earnings recovery.

Samsung’s profit is expected to have reached $5.44 billion in the first quarter, the South Korean manufacturer said.

Investors and analysts expect the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge models  to revive handset sales and propel profits in coming quarters.

Researcher Counterpoint expects Samsung to sell more than 50 million units of the new devices to consumers this year – a new record for the company. The contribution from Samsung’s chip-making division is also tipped to be just as significant as smartphone-related income.

Chips probably sold more than phones for a third straight quarter in January-March, analysts said, as Samsung dominates in memory and grew market share for system chips. Samsung opted to use more of its own chips for its Galaxy S6 models and added chip maker Nvidia as a new contract manufacturing client.

The smartphone business likely also saw sequential shipments growth in the first quarter as new mid-tier handsets such as the Galaxy A and E models went on sale in major markets, analysts said.

For all of 2015, profit is likely to rise 6 percent and sales improving in system chips and favourable pre-sale reviews for the S6 have reversed the estimate from a profit decline forecast earlier this year.

Samsung works on its own 64-bit mobile processor

Samsung is working on an in-house optimised version of a 64-bit mobile processor and the tame Apple press is screaming that it is cheating.

Cnet thundered that Samsung was just copying Apple by moving to 64-bit. After all it is completely illogical for a company to move with the technology trends.

“Apple drew plenty of oohs and aahs when it revealed the first 64-bit chip for smartphones in September. That Apple A7 processor is also an ARM-based design that has been optimized and tweaked by Apple. It is now shipping in the iPhone 5S and iPad Air,” advertised CNet.

So imagine Cnet’s anger when Stephen Woo, president of System at Samsung Electronics, told a presentation at Samsung’s Analyst Day in Seoul, South Korea that it was adopting a two step approach to adopting 64-bit.

It was using a design from ARM, then, developing its own “optimised” 64-bit design. Which is probably not copying Apple, just following a logical method of adopting ARM 64-bit in the shortest possible time.

Woo said that there is considerable demand for 64 bit based mobile gear and it was pressing ahead with its roadmap.

The whole concept that Apple invented 64-bit first is naïve to say the least. PCs progressively moved to 64-bit and there is pressure to have mobile with the same amount of power. For the mobile revolution to work, 64-bit is an obvious no brainer, particularly if you want PC performance from smaller toys.

Central to mobile development is the ability to address larger memory sticks, something that 32-bit chips can’t do. True, Apple was one of the first off the boat to realise this, but hell following the logical technology progression is hardly copying Jobs’ Mob. Sheesh. 

Samsung misses results

The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street are reeling after Samsung Electronics missed already modest expectations for its quarterly earnings guidance.

The announcement seems to indicate that the smartphone business may have peaked.

Samsung’s Galaxy S was pushed into the top rank of smartphone makers in 2012, overtaking Apple. Apple has not recovered and had to pull back on its expectations for coming years. Now it seems that Samsung is going the same way and that the days of high margin smartphones are waning.

Jung Sang-jin, a fund manager at Dongbu Asset Management, which owns Samsung shares, told Reuters that the growth was disappointing because of slow sales of the S4 but the company is far from doomed.

He thinks that Samsung has some exciting stuff up its sleeves. The problem is no one is sure whether these products can really wow investors and consumers.

Samsung shares fell by more than three percent and have dropped 17 percent since early June.

The fall in the share price equates to a drop in market value of $34.2 billion.

Jeff Kim, an analyst at Hyundai Securities said that Samsung Electronics needed to diversify away from the mobile business. At the moment 70 percent of total operating profit comes from mobile business.

Samsung did make $8.3 billion in operating profit forecast, up 47 percent from a year ago. It is still a record and it is expected to report higher earnings in the current and fourth quarters as sales of its latest Galaxy S4 phone pick up and new products hit the stores.

Prices of memory chips, another industry where Samsung holds the lead, are also expected to remain strong.

Samsung had expected its component business to pick up the slack in the second half when smartphones slow, but now worries are also mounting that the component business’ recovery could be short lived.

Analysts fell for Samsung spin

Analysts are starting to admit they had misty optics when they were optimistic over Samsung’s chances in the smartphone market.

Despite the fact they had data on their desks which suggested that the smartphone market was saturated, they believed Samsung spinners that the S4, Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone, would do really well.

According to Reuters, the spinners persuaded some analysts to downplay industry data pointing to a fast-saturating segment, a reality that is already eating into sales of Apple iPhone 5.

Now they appear to have started waking up from the hang-over and are muttering things like “did I really say that, I must have been stoned”.

Woori Investment & Securities, one of South Korea’s largest securities firms, cut its outlook for Samsung’s earnings and target share price on June 5. But it was only the first.

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldmine Sex took a harder look at their assumptions of how well the S4, Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone, would do and decided that they needed to quit drinking.

In the last week, sales estimates for the S4 were slashed by as much as 30 percent. Of course this had a knock on effect on shareholders who are now voicing concerns over Samsung’s mobile devices division.

Samsung lost nearly $20 billion in market value in a week as shares plunged following the downgrades.

Byun Hanjoon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities sheepishly told Reuters that most forecasters had this conviction that they’ll outperform again – because it’s Samsung.

To be fair, the S4 sold 10 million sets in just one month of its debut in late April, outperforming its predecessor, the S3. But the high-end smartphone segment is slowing, with lacklustre prospects in Europe and South Korea.

None of the phones, including the S4, have any wow factor or any compelling reason to buy. 

Samsung claims it will struggle with Galaxy S4 demand

Samsung has claimed that it is likely to run out of its new Galaxy S4s and is facing overwhelming global demand.

It has warned that the initial supply may be limited and it will be several weeks before it can fulfill inventory to meet demands.

In the US, telcos are reporting delays because of “an unexpected delay with inventory deliveries.” Sprint will take online orders starting Saturday as planned, but the phone will be sold at retail outlets only as it becomes available. Sprint blamed “unexpected inventory challenges from Samsung” from having a full product launch. AT&T thought it had enough to do a launch as it planned.

Lee Don-joo, head of sales and marketing at Samsung’s mobile business told Reuters that demand is far stronger than he had expected. The tech press is used to hearing this from outfits when a phone is launched, but this case it seems a little too embarrassing for Samsung. It had the same problems last year.

Samsung took out an eight-page, full-colour insert in the Wall Street Journal heralding the arrival of the device and promised that by early summer, it will have set up Samsung “Experience” stores in about 1,400 Best Buy locations, designed to showcase its line-up of mobile and other electronic devices.

Some analysts predict the new Galaxy could top 10 million unit sales in the first month after its launch. The problem is that if Samsung rushes the phone into the shops it could create a manufacturing error which could mean a loss of sales.  Last year the company suffered from a manufacturing error on handset cases which cost Samsung over 2 million units in lost SIII sales 

Samsung praised for tin mining review

Samsung has been bitten on the rump by environmental watchdogs after it was caught using tin from Indonesia’s Bangka Island in its products.

According to Friends of the Earth, mining on the island is unregulated and dangerous to the communities living there. There are also allegations of child labour in the mining sector on Bangka Island.

Tin mined from the island of 625,000 inhabitants is used by many electronics manufacturers in the solder used to create circuit boards. But the mining destroys tropical forests, kills coral and “wrecks lives”, Friends of the Earth says.

Samsung admitted to using tin mined from Bangka Island and has promised to work with its suppliers to find a better plan.

In an email sent to the charity, Samsung said it is “undertaking a thorough investigation of our supply chain in the region to better understand what is happening, and what part it plays”.

Samsung did not have a direct relationship with tin suppliers from Bangka Island. It knows that some of the tin used for manufacturing originates from this area, the company said.

Craig Bennett, FoE’s director of policy and campaigns, praised Samsung for taking an industry lead by tracking its supply chains all the way to Indonesia’s tin mines and committing to taking responsibility for helping tackle the devastating impact that mining tin for electronics has on people and the environment.

Another smartphone maker, Apple must now follow suit and come clean about its whole supply chains, right back to where and how construction materials are sourced, Bennett said. 

Trade watchdog bites Samsung

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission is looking at allegations that Samsung paid students to attack rival HTC’s smartphones online.

If the watchdog rules against the South Korean tech giant, Samsung could face a fine of up to $835,000.

According to the Taiwanese press, Samsung allegedly hired students to write online articles attacking HTC and recommending Samsung handsets.

Samsung has put its paw up and confessed to the online attack in the style of a British Rail apology.

It posted a note on its Facebook page apologising for “any inconvenience” and saying it “has halted all internet marketing such as posting articles on web sites”. There was no mention of there being any leaves on the line, or a badger eating a junction box at Crewe, but otherwise it was an apology which had all the sincerity of a Berlusconi election promise.

Samsung has been caught doing this sort of thing before. In January, it was fined $10,389 for an advertisement that featured “misleading” information about the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6012.

That time the company was stating in online and catalogue advertisements that the phone had an automatic focus and flash functions when it didn’t.

Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology was fined for fixing the prices of optical disk drives.

It is not clear why Samsung feels the need to be so aggressive.  It has a 30.3 percent chunk of the global smartphone market.

HTC has 4.6 percent and while it had rave reviews for its HTC One, the Taiwanese company has struggled over the past year.  Samsung’s antics would appear to be kicking HTC when it is down and not actually getting much benefit.

Samsung to invade New York for S4 event

New York is an Apple stronghold highlighted by the fact that the New York Times only prints positive Apple stories and reviews, so the fact that Samsung is going to launch its Galaxy S4 smartphone in the town is clearly heresy.

According to Samsung, after the iPhone 5 and Mac mini fiasco it has been swamped with requests from US mobile carriers to be a little more proactive on Apple’s turf. While we don’t think this is likely, it is interesting that Cupertino might find itself with more earnest competition in the US.

AP reports that  the Galaxy S4 model will heat up competition in the crucial US mobile phone market and this will be the first US launch of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphone in three years.

Company spokesperson Chenny Kim said this comes amid a Samsung advertising blitz in the US that has been taking the Nintendo out of Apple fans, pointing out that stupid is not exactly cool.

The new Galaxy model is expected to feature a higher-resolution display and camera than its predecessor, as well as a faster quad-core processor.

It will put the phone at the head of a smartphone advantage over Apple this year.

While Apple is saying nothing, and the New York Times will almost certainly write off the new phone, Apple investors have grown anxious about the company’s prospects.

Apple shares have slumped 15 percent this year and the company is reportedly slashing orders for screens and other components from its Asian suppliers as intensifying competition erodes demand for its latest iPhone. 

PS: If this model is indeed called the S4 we will be interested to see how the phone does in Asian markets. The number 4 is considered highly unlucky and is usually associated with death.  

Samsung complains to US ITC over Ericsson

Samsung has filed a complaint against Ericsson with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and wants the Swedish outfit’s products banned in the Land of the Fee.

Samsung said that Ericsson had breached seven of its patents, and while that might be true, it only came after Ericsson requested an ITC US import ban on Samsung products and sued the South Korean firm for patent infringement.

This tit for tat patent suit claim is common at this moment in the patent wars, as common sense is usually out for a four hour lunch.

Samsung moaned that it sought to negotiate with Ericsson. But the Swedish outfit has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations and makes unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court.

Samsung claims its technology is under the bonnet of Ericsson telecommunications networking equipment, such as base stations.

But Ericsson has to make more cash to make up for a big drop in sales at its network unit. The company saw a 17 percent slide in the third quarter. It saw other companies making money from licensing their patents to their rivals and thought “I’ll be having some of that”.

Samsung is a smaller player in the network equipment market but is coming up fast to challenge Ericsson.

Florian Mueller, a patent expert, said that no one in the industry should underestimate Samsung’s ability to become a significant player, if not the leader, in a new segment of the overall market for telecommunications hardware.

Writing in his bog, he said that this makes the patent trolling strategic, rather than actually about patents