Tag: samsung

Apple suffers as global sales of smartphones grows

CaptureThe fruity cargo cult Apple is floundering even while the smartphone market has picked up, according to the latest figures from the Gartner Grope.

According to the Big G, Apple has had three consecutive quarters of slowing demand and seen its sales decline by 7.7 percent while its rivals saw an increase of 4.3 percent.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016.  Overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5 percent with only five vendors from the top 10 showing growth. Among them were four Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment and South Korea’s Samsung.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner said that demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year.

In addition, the decline in sales of “feature phones” (down 14 per cent) bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016. All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9 percent. In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9 percent.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10 percent more market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.

Apple continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016. Apple sales declined in North America (its biggest market) as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions, where sales declined 26 percent. Apple had its best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe regions in the second quarter of 2016, where iPhone sales grew more than 95 percent year on year, Gupta said.

Among the top five smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129 percent. This is due to strong sales of its R9 handset in China and overseas.

“Features such as an anti-shake camera optimized for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditized smartphone market,” Gupta said.

Android regained share over iOS to achieve an 86 percent share in the second quarter of 2016. Android’s performance continued to come from demand for mid- to lower-end smartphones from emerging markets, but also from premium smartphones, which recorded a 6.5 percent increase in the second quarter of 2016.

A number of key Android players, such as Samsung with the Galaxy S7, introduced their new high-end devices, but Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo are also pushing their premium smartphone ranges with more affordable devices.

 

 

Samsung counter-sues Huawei

fef78e0cc21705723179c3a85d917f2bSamsung has sued Huawei for patent infringements across China as the handbags at dawn row escalates between the pair.

Samsung sued Huawei in a Beijing court about two weeks ago for allegedly infringing six of its patents, a spokeswoman said. She did not elaborate on the types of patents or the other Chinese courts involved.

“Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property,” Samsung sang

Huawei  said in a statement it had not received a “formal complaint” but would defend itself as necessary.

“In the absence of a negotiated settlement, litigation is often an efficient way to resolve” intellectual property rights disputes, it said.

Huawei sued Samsung in the United States and China in May, accusing its rival of infringement on patents for fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software.

Analysts say that neither side will end up winning on the basis of money. Huawei could be angling to boost its reputation by taking on the top smartphone player, he said, while Samsung’s suit might be a maneuver to force Huawei to settle its claims as soon as possible.

Some have suggested that Huawei might also be trying to create some noise marketing for itself and the two firms will eventually reach a deal such as a cross-licensing agreement.

 

Samsung races ahead on mobiles

SamsungWhile the fruity cargo cult Apple flounders in the mobile area, its rival Samsung is doing rather well.

The outfit is poised to issue guidance for its best quarterly profit in more than two years, propelled by a surge in mobile earnings on the back of robust sales of its flagship Galaxy S7 smartphones.

The South Korean giant will disclose its estimates for second-quarter earnings on Thursday, with analysts predicting a strong mobile division contributed to a 13 percent jump in operating profit from the same period a year earlier.

Analysts are expecting to see a April-June operating profit of $6.8 billion which is the highest profit since January-March of 2014.  Even more oddly it is the mobile division which is making a lot of the cash

This is because Galaxy S7 sales are better than expected in the first half, and the semiconductor business is also outperforming rivals.

Samsung’s smartphone business had been squeezed before the start of this year between Apple  at the high end of the market, and Chinese rivals like Huawei in the budget segment. But the Galaxy S7 has provided a catalyst for the earnings rebound, likely putting the mobile business on track to record its first annual profit growth in three years.  Apple has also slumped in China and failed to come up with a new product for some time.

Some analysts say Samsung shipped around 16 million Galaxy S7s in April-June, with a higher-priced curved-screen version outselling its flat-screen counterpart and boosting margins. Lackluster sales of offerings from rivals such as Apple and LG Electronics also helped reduced marketing expenses, they said.

Samsung’s chip business has not been doing so well. Its quarterly profit sink to its lowest in nearly two years due to weak demand from makers of other smartphones and personal computers.

But signs of some price recovery for DRAM chips starting last month and Samsung’s dominance in the premium solid-state disc drive market with its 3D NAND chip production technology suggest a pickup in coming months, analysts said.

Technology companies mull a post-Brexit pull out

rat treading waterSome top technology companies are mulling if it is wise to try selling in the UK after the nation voted to leave the EU.

For those who came in late, last week the UK public believed several right wing politicians that all their problems were not really caused by right wing politicans, but rather the country’s membership of the EU. They were also believed that the country’s economy did not realy depend on the fact that it was in the EU.

This week the country is waking up to the fact that the right wing politicians did not really expect to win and did not have a plan if they did. They are trying to sing a rousing chorus of “there will always be an England” even as they are being hauled up for barefaced lying.

Meanwhile the technology companies who moved to the UK or sell into the country because of its EU Linkes  are thinking of doing a Brexit of their own.

Samsung and LG Electronics’ sales in the region in recent years have already been miserable, but Brexit is expected to add hurdles for the two companies.

Local companies do not operate production facilities in the UK. Samsung Electronics’ European production base for home appliances is located in Poland, and those for television products are in Slovakia and Hungary. LG Electronics’ main European facility is located in Poland.

With the UK now severed from the EU, industry watchers have raised concerns that Korean companies’ products made in Europe could be subject to tariffs when entering the UK market.

Samsung is also reported to considering relocating its European headquarters in London to a location in Europe.

Samsung buys into the cloud

cloudSamsung has bought Joyent – a public and private cloud outfit giving the telly maker access to its own cloud platform capable of supporting its growing lineup of mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based software and services.

Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung Electronics said that Samsung evaluated a wide range of potential companies in the public and private cloud infrastructure space with a focus on leading-edge scalable technology and talent.

“In Joyent, we saw an experienced management team with deep domain expertise and a robust cloud technology validated by some of the largest Fortune 500 customers,” Rhee said.

Cloud computing is key to providing smartphone and IoT users with reliable services and experiences on their devices. Joyent will allow  Samsung to scale its own cloud infrastructure and services as it continues to innovate with new software and technologies.

It gets Joyent’s team of technologists, including CEO, Scott Hammond, CTO, Bryan Cantrill, and VP of Product, Bill Fine will join Samsung to work on company-wide cloud initiatives.

Scott Hammond, CEO of Joyent said he was looking forward to working with Samsung. The company’s money will allow it to grow its cloud and software business and provide a partner for innovation in the emerging and fast growing areas of mobile and IoT, including smart homes and connected cars.

“Joyent’s unique combination of container-native infrastructure, object storage, server-less computing, and Node.js expertise is perfectly suited to help Samsung meet the needs of its customers,” he added.

The move might have the existing cloud companies looking over their shoulder. Although the likes of Amazon should not be immediately troubled, Samung makes rather a lot of gear which if integrated to its cloud could take business away from them.

 

Eight out of 10 smartphones made in China

Mao Tse Tung - Wikimedia CommonsChina is giving the Korean and Western mobile hardware brands a good kicking.

Beancounters at IC Insights predictably positioned Samsung and Apple on top of the smartphone manufacturer hierarchy but they were followed entirely by Chinese vendors.

Huawei came third, with 28.9 million units sold, still considerably behind Samsung with  81.5 million and Apple with 51.6 million.  But OPPO exceeded its most optimistic expectations, leaping from eight place in 2015 to fourth, as it shipped 16.1 million affordable, mid-range Androids.

Xiaomi retained the fifth spot, Vivo went from tenth to sixth, Korean-based LG dropped a slot to 7, while ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Meizu and Micromax were all in the  top twelve. Absent was Sony, Microsoft, HTC, and Coolpad.

IC Insights forecasting an identical chain of command at the end of the year.

A number of Chinese OEMs, including Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Meizu, plus India’s Micromax, are tipped to register massive year-to-year growth of between 29 and 74 percent, whereas Samsung, Apple or LG should see shipment declines ranging from 1 to 5 percent.

While Samsung and Apple will remain the top two smartphone makers it is clear that that the only competition they are getting is Chinese.

Smart TVs are a dumb idea

59cbc5d3dbfa46a01d5469bd0fbdd1e7Samsung is proving to the world why smart TVs are really a dumb idea.

Not only are they slower than an asthmatic ant with a heavy load of shopping, Samsung is experimenting with hijacking them so you can have adverts injected into your video stream.

According to the StackSamsung wants to install hardware-baked advertising tiles in its newer models and might use software updates to make “the functionality” possible for older TVs.

Samsung already managed to include advertisements in its range of internet-connected televisions and Executive Vice President Lee Won-jin is at the helm of the initiative to squeeze extra cash out of the current thin margins.

However monetising a failing hardware business via network-driven ad distribution is pretty dumb when you still need to attract users to your product. Why on earth would you choose a product that hits you with adverts in the middle of some interesting telly you are watching?

Meanwhile the old advertising model is grinding to a halt as people wake up to the wonders of adblockers.  The more intrusive the advertising the more people want to keep them off their screens.  Investing several thousand dollars in a TV only to find it fills your screen with advertising is taking the Nintendo.

Huawei takes Samsung to court

SamsungChinese megagiant Huawei is suing Korean company Samsung for allegedly breaching its patents.

According to the BBC, Huawei believes that software used in Samsung products breach its patents.

But the row may well come to nothing because the same report claims that Huawei will be a happy bunny if Samsung does a cross licensing deal for some of its kit too.

So the case may never come to court and is likely to be just a storm in a mobile teacup.

A Samsung rep told the BBC that it will defend its business interests. Many of the companies involved in the mobile industry kiss and make up long before the expensive and tedious business of actually taking another company to court gets to the preliminary legal stages.

Such cases can and do last for years and cost IT companies a fortune.

Nvidia’s patent trolling flops

Wikia_HP_-_Mountain_TrollA move by Nvidia to find a replacement for a lucrative patenting deal it has with Intel by patent trolling two other big names has backfired.

Since January 2011 Nvidia had a cushy deal with Intel where Chipzilla would pay it $1.5 billion.  It was great while it lasted but Intel has almost paid up and Nvidia thought it could get a similar licensing deal from Samsung and Qualcomm.

It unleashed its mighty briefs in September 2014 claiming that Samsung and Qualcomm had breached United States Patent Nos. 6,198,488, 6,992,667, 7,038,685, 7,015,913, 6,697,063, 7,209,140 and 6,690,372.

These patents were allegedly used in now ancient Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 400, 600 or 800 series of processors, and devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 (LTE), Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S III and the Samsung Note Pro LTE, Galaxy Tab 4, and Galaxy Tab 3 tablet.  It should have had Nvidia on a nice little earner.

Then something odd happened. Nvidia only mentioned Samsung in the lawsuit and stopped talking about Qualcomm. In September 2015 judge ruled that Samsung and Qualcomm actually didn’t infringe two of the patents.

It seems then that Nvidia went back to the negotiating table. It appears to have got a few minor agreements from Samsung and Qualcomm, but nothing like the sort of money it got from Intel.

The deal was so minor that Nvidia doesn’t want to talk about it. All the company is saying at this time the agreement covers the licensing of a small number of patents by each company to another.

 

 

 

Smartphone sales are flat

2008-08-19_Flat_tireBeancounters at IDC have been adding up the numbers and dividing them by their shoe size and reached the conclusion that smartphone sales are flatter than the Netherlands.

According to IDC, vendors shipped a total of 334.9 million smartphones worldwide last quarter. This figure is up just 0.2 percent from the 334.3 million units in Q1 2015, marking the smallest year-over-year growth on record.

Samsung is the smartphone king. In Q1 2016, the South Korean company once again shipped more smartphones than any other vendor. In fact, Samsung out-shipped the next two smartphone maker, Apple and Huawei, combined.

Samsung’s market share actually decreased by 0.1 percentage points (from 24.6 percent to 24.5 percent), and it shipped fewer smartphones (81.9 million). IDC said that the new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge “sold vigorously” in March, helped by numerous carrier promotions that pushed volume. In emerging markets, Samsung performed well with its more affordable J Series.

Apple fell 3.0 points to 15.3 percent. It was the first year on year decline for the company in Q1. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus failed to deliver. The cheaper smaller iPhone SE is doing better than expected but is unlikely to pull Apple’s nadgers out of the fire.

Huawei, meanwhile, grabbed 3.0 points (to 8.2 percent), Oppo jumped 3.3 points (to 5.5 percent), and Vivo gained 2.4 points (to 4.3 percent).

Oppo and Vivo pushed out previous fourth and fifth place players Lenovo and Xiaomi. This indicates that  China’s smartphone market is maturing and competition is fierce.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s mobile phone team, said that outside of China, many of these brands are virtually unknown and the ability of these rapidly growing Chinese vendors to gain entry into mature markets such as the United States and Western Europe will be essential if they have aspirations of catching Apple or Samsung at the top.

“While Huawei is furthest along in terms of international recognition, selling equally impressive volumes outside of China remains a challenge for many of these brands, whether it is Xiaomi, Lenovo, OPPO, or vivo. Their ability to drive local growth no longer applies when it comes to international expansion, where premium branding quickly turns to price competition.”