Tag: samsung

Samsung will sell refurbished Note 7s

Samsung plans to sell refurbished versions of the incredible flaming Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Samsung’s Note 7s were permanently scrapped in October following a global recall, roughly two months from the launch of the near-$900 devices, after some phones caught fire. A subsequent probe found manufacturing problems in batteries supplied by two different companies – Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology.

Analysis from Samsung and independent researchers found no other problems in the Note 7 devices except the batteries, raising speculation that Samsung will recoup some of its losses by selling refurbished Note 7s.

Samsung’s announcement that revamped Note 7s will go back on sale, however, surprised some with the timing – just days before it launches its new S8 smartphone in the United States, its first new premium phone since the debacle last year.

Samsung, under huge pressure to turn its image around after the burning battery scandal, had previously not commented on its plans for recovered phones.

“Regarding the Galaxy Note 7 devices as refurbished phones or rental phones, applicability is dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand,” Samsung said in a statement, adding the firm will pick the markets and release dates for refurbished Note 7s accordingly.

The company estimated it took a $5.5 billion profit hit over three quarters from the Note 7’s troubles. It had sold more than 3 million Note 7s before taking the phones off the market.

 

Samsung bribery case getting tacky

A South Korean court has reassigned the Samsung Group chief Jay Lee’s bribery trial to another judge.

Apparently, the judge had a connection to a woman Lee is accused of bribing.

To be fair to the judge, Lee Young-hoon, who presided over the March 9 pre-trial hearing for Jay Lee and four former and current Samsung Group executives alerted the authorities about his own connection.

But the decision comes a day after an opposition lawmaker accused Lee Young-hoon’s father-in-law of being a financial sponsor for Choi Soon-sil, a confidant of former president Park Geun-hye and a central figure in the graft scandal that led to Park’s removal from office and the Samsung chief’s indictment.

For those who came in late, Park was dismissed as president by the Constitutional Court on Friday last week and has been summoned by prosecution for questioning as a suspect in the bribery investigation.

The special prosecution team that indicted the Samsung chief accused Park of colluding with Choi to pressure big businesses to contribute to non-profit foundations backing her administration’s initiatives.

The court said in a statement that Lee Young-hoon’s father-in-law had denied the allegations and had not met or contacted Choi or her family since the assassination of Park’s father, former president Park Chung-hee, in 1979.

But the case is starting to look even messier than it was when Jay Lee was indicted by a special prosecution team on several charges including pledging $38.03 million in bribes to a company and foundations backed by Choi.

 

Samsung trial opens

The trial of Samsung’s supreme dalek on bribery, embezzlement and other offences in a corruption scan has opened in South Korea.

Jay Y. Lee, denies all charges against him which are connected to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Lee, who is being detained at Seoul Detention Centre, did not attend court. A defendant does not have to turn up during a preparatory hearing, held to organize evidence and set dates for witness testimony.

Lee’s defence said that the special prosecution’s indictment cites conversations, evidence or witnesses the prosecution did not actually hear, investigate or interview according to the rules – or state opinions that are not facts.

Song Wu-cheol, defending Lee, told the court that it was unclear what kind of order Lee is supposed to have given.

“The indictment cannot have statements that can create prejudices in the court about the case,” Song told reporters as he left court.

The Samsung Group has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Among the charges against Lee, 48, are pledging bribes to a company and organisations linked to a friend of President Park, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the scandal, to cement his control of the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire.

Defendants being tried with Lee include the former Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Group President Chang Choong-ki and former Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin. They are also denying everything.

Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the current lower court trial should be finished within three months of the indictment on February 28.

 

Grab popcorn for South Korea’s trial of the century

Samsung Group supreme dalek Jay Y. Lee will go on trial for bribery and embezzlement next week a court ruled in what will be the latest episode in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea and led to the impeachment of the president.

Lee, the 48 year old third generation leader of the country’s top conglomerate, was indicted on Tuesday on charges including pledging $37.24 million in payments to a confidant of President Park Geun-hye.

The trial is important on many levels. If Lee is found guilty there will be a question as to whether he will get away with it because he is the head of a very large corporation.

South Korea is rather soft on corporate leaders who can more or less do what they like. The country is not that happy about jailing people who are believed to be good for the economy.

Lee has been charged with bribery and embezzlement in a case that has dealt a blow to the standard bearer for Asia’s fourth largest economy.

Among the charges against Lee are pledging bribes to a company and organisations tied to Park’s confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the scandal, to cement his control of the business empire.

The funding also included Samsung’s sponsorship of the equestrian career of Choi’s daughter, prosecutors say. So it looked like Samsung literally backed the wrong horse.

Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the trial should be finished in three months.

President Parl was the daughter of a former military strongman, and has had her powers suspended since her impeachment by parliament in December.

Samsung bigwigs charged with bribery and embezzlement

South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office will charge Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee and four other executives with bribery and embezzlement in a move that makes flaming smartphones look trivial.

Lee was arrested over his alleged role in the corruption scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-hye.

A Constitutional Court ruling on whether to uphold the impeachment, which would result in South Korea’s first democratically elected leader being thrown out of office, is expected next month.

Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecutor said the Samsung Five will face charges including bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas.

Lee will also be charged with committing perjury before parliament, he added.

The other executives to be charged are Samsung Group vice chairman Choi Gee-sung, president Chang Choong-ki and Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-jin and executive vice president Hwang Sung-soo, the spokesman said.

A Samsung Group spokeswoman declined to comment on the charges.

Lee, the spokesman, said the case against President Park would be handed over to regular prosecutors with Park remaining a suspect, while signalling other conglomerates may also become involved in the investigation.

Park was impeached by parliament in December after accusations that she colluded with long-time friend Choi Soon-sil to pressure big businesses, including Samsung, to donate to two foundations set up to back the president’s policy initiatives.

The special prosecutor’s office will make an official announcement regarding the conclusion of its investigation on March 6.

South Korea prosecutors expand charges against Samsung boss

South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office has expanded charges against Samsung boss Jay Lee to include hiding the proceeds of a criminal act.

Prosecutors are seeking a warrant to arrest Lee as part of the President Park Sang-jin bribery scandal.

Lee and the Samsung have denied doing anything wrong and President Park was already bribed when they got there.

A Seoul court said on Tuesday it would hold a hearing to decide on the prosecution’s request for warrants to arrest Jay Y. Lee and Samsung and other charges.

This is a second go for the prosecutors to arrest Lee as so far there had not been enough to have him arrested. South Korea is always reluctant to arrest the bosses of its super companies claiming that there was an economic impact from locking up CEO’s.

Jay’s old man was convicted and imprisoned for a while on similar charges until he was officially pardoned so that he could go back and make lots of money for Samsung and South Korea.  It is fairly likely that Jay will get an automatic get out of jail free card even if he is convicted.

Samsung makes record chip earnings

scrooge-mcduckSamsung Electronics saw record chip earnings which meant it could gloss over the Note 7 smartphone fiasco in the fourth quarter.

The outfit, which is involved in an influence-peddling scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye, said it expects profit growth in 2017, despite challenges arising from political uncertainty.

The political uncertainty appears to be whether the South Korean government will make Samsung executives accountantable for the scam. So far, the smart money is that it will probably not do that.

Samsung Electronics said in a statement that all this was creating an “uncertain business environment” although it did hint that there was also a changing political landscape abroad too.

All this poses a challenge to the execution of mid- to long-term business strategies, such as M&A and investment decisions and developing new growth engines.

Even so, it flagged higher earnings this year after a slow first quarter, when steeper marketing costs will eat into its bottom line as it tries to rebuild its reputation from the failure of its latest flagship phone.

The world’s top manufacturer of smartphones, memory chips and flat-screen televisions is counting on the booming chip market to continue driving growth and give the mobile business breathing space to rebuild its premium lineup.

The company forecast “stable demand” in 2017 for memory chips, which hit an all-time earnings high in the October-December period.

Fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent $7.93 billion which was its highest in over three years and matching its prior guidance. Earnings from the chips business soared 77 percent year-on-year. Revenue were flat.

In its mobile business, operating profit rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter as models such as the Galaxy S filled the void following the discontinuation of the fire-prone Note 7 in October.

Samsung claimed that defective batteries caused the Note 7 handsets to overheat and catch fire, and indicated that it may delay the launch of its next premium Galaxy S smartphone as it overhauls its product safety systems.

While the mobile business is struggling, the positive outlook for memory chips used in mobile devices and OLED televisions propelled Samsung’s shares to a series of record-highs this month.

Samsung blames the battery for Note 7 fiasco

samsung-galaxy-note-5Samsung Electronics has ruled out design flaws as the reason why its Note 7 caught fire and blamed the two battery makers.

The outfit has delayed its Galaxy S smartphone as it attempts to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices.

The investigation has taken months and Samsung seems convinced that it was someone else’s problem despite smart money being on the fact the phone was too thin to take any battery safely.

Samsung initially blamed battery faults in batteries made by its subsidiary and swapped them for batteries made by another supplier which also caught fire.

What is curious then was Samsung’s obsession with getting the Note 7s off the market when customers were ignoring the recall. After all it would have been easier to issue them with a new battery and had done with it.

Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin said procedures had been put in place to avoid a repeat of the fires, as investors look to the launch of the South Korean tech giant’s first premium handset since the Note 7, the Galaxy S8, some time this year.

“The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process,” Koh told reporters at a press briefing. “Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust.”

However Koh said the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, which begins on February 27, the traditional forum for Samsung premium product launches. He did not comment on when the company planned to launch the new handset.

Again if the problem were the battery then this action would be unnecessary. Samsung and its suppliers would have worked out a way to track the fault. However, if it really were a design problem then Samsung would have have to rethink the new phone too.

Another odd part of the story is that Samsung said it accepted responsibility for asking battery suppliers to meet certain specifications and did not plan to take legal action against them.

Samsung boss goes free for now

 downloadA South Korean court dismissed an arrest warrant against the head of Samsung amid a graft scandal that has led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Jay Lee, 48, may still be charged as the special prosecutor’s office said it could pursue the case but at the moment he is not looking like he will have to go on an all porridge diet. The South Korean system means that once you have been arrested you are locked up until your trial.

The judge said in a statement on his ruling that an arrest was not necessary – for now.

“After reviewing the contents and the process of the investigation so far … it is difficult to acknowledge the necessity and substantiality of an arrest at the current stage,” he said.

If the special prosecutor gets its way Lee will face the same charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, just will not try to lock him up before the trial.

The special prosecutor’s office said it would be continuing its probe but had not decided whether to make another arrest warrant request, and the setback would not change its plans to investigate other conglomerates.

Spokesman Lee Kyu-chul said the prosecution was unconvinced by the Samsung chief’s argument that he was a victim of coercion due to pressure from Park.

The spokesman also said Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung had been classified as a suspect on suspicion of bribery, but did not elaborate further. Two other Samsung officials, Choi’s deputy Chang Choong-ki and Samsung Electronics executive Park Sang-jin, were also under investigation.

The office has accused Lee of paying multi-million dollar bribes to Park’s confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the heart of the scandal, to win support from the National Pension Service for a controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung Group affiliates.

The merger helped cement Lee’s control over the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire. He has denied it all.

Samsung said in an emailed statement that it appreciated “the fact that the merits of this case can now be determined without the need for detention”.

However, the case has highlighted the sharp division between how the system treats big business people and how it deals with the great unwashed.

The public is muttering that the law is not equal for all and if you run a big corporate you can get away with anything.

South Korea mulls giving Samsung boss a get out of jail free card

monopoly (1)While most countries would have no problem locking a businessman up if they think he has committed a crime, South Korea has to factor in the economic impact the arrest will cause.

South Korea’s special prosecutor said it will take into account the economic impact of whether to arrest Samsung boss Jay Lee in connection with an influence-peddling investigation involving the president.

The office also delayed its decision until later today on whether to seek the arrest of Lee, the third-generation leader of South Korea’s largest conglomerate, or chaebol, citing the gravity of the case.

Spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told reporters on Sunday investigators were deliberating all factors including the potential economic impact of the arrest of Jay Y. Lee.

Samsung appears to have provided $25.46 million to a business and foundations backed by President Park Geun-hye’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for the national pension fund’s support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates.

The Samsung chief denied bribery accusations during a parliamentary hearing in December.

Effectively if the coppers factor in the economic effect then Jay Lee could be given a get out of jail free card.

Park, the daughter of a military ruler, has denied wrongdoing, although she has said sorry for exercising poor judgment. Her friend, Choi, who is in detention and facing her own trial, has also denied wrongdoing.

The whole thing must feel particularly unpleasant for those who see the rule of law as sacrosanct. The chiefs of South Korean chaebol have over the years had prison sentences shortened or forgiven, or received pardons, with the economic impact of imprisonment cited as a factor.

Jay Lee’s dad Lee Kun-hee was handed a three-year suspended jail sentence in 2009 for tax evasion. He was later pardoned.

It seems that if you have a lot of money and run a business in South Korea you can do what you like.