Tags Samsung Group

Samsunged: TV advert slams Apple’s iPhone over lack of stock turn-by-turn navigation software

Samsung is continuing its anti-Apple rant with a new television commercial titled “Samsunged.” Once more, the South Korean conglomerate laughs off those who would wait in line for a new iPhone. The commercial opens with the familiar scene as line waiters get a visit from their Galaxy SII-toting friend, and they promptly feel envious over his phone’s turn-by-turn navigation capabilities.

When asked by a girl waiting in the line how much he had paid for the navigation app, the Android person responded: ”I didn’t, Galaxy S II just has it – it just comes with it.”  To that, one of the Apple fans remarked angrily: ”Ooooh, we just got Samsunged!”

It is also worth noting that the advertisement subtly pokes fun at the iPhone 4S’s same design as the iPhone 4, as well as its widely reported battery issues. The commercial starts out with the line’s awaiting customers eagerly watching a streaming video of the device they are hoping to buy being unveiled online, and upon seeing the device, one customer sighed: “Awe, that looks like last year’s phone.” The scene immediately transitions into the Galaxy S II user bringing his friends a white smartphone charger, presumably because their device’s battery is almost dead.

Apple fans are obviously going to be seeing more of these advertisements as the Super Bowl approaches. It is certainly interesting, though, that these commercials paint Samsung customers as hipsters.

Samsung kicked off this unusual campaign last November with a television commercial that enraged many Apple fans, especially the faithful who take part in Apple’s theatrical product launches.  Two weeks later, Samsung set up a Facebook page portraying iPhone as an old-school device. Then, the company aired another commercial in the run-up to Christmas that downplayed the importance of iCloud and iTunes Match. In between those commercials, Samsung also posted numerous variations regarding the anti-Apple theme. In addition, the company poached an iPhone ad actress for its Galaxy Tab commercial, but removed it upon “discovering” she already made an appearance in Apple’s iPhone 4S advert.

Samsung went on the record and said it was “excited for the opportunity to educate as many consumers as possible about why the Samsung Galaxy S II is the preferred choice for smartphone owners.”

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Christian Zibreg

January 20th


Samsung Group to boost investments to $41 billion this year

Samsung Group, the parent company that owns Samsung Electronics and several other subsidiaries, said it plans to spend $41.1 billion investing in new technology this year. Reuters said most analysts expect the company to spend a large chunk of that money on OLED and mobile technologies in an effort to continue to stay on target with its rivals. The South Korea-based company uses its OLED displays on mobile phones and on televisions. “Samsung’s got strong cash flow to make bold bets in new technologies,” NH Investment & Securities analyst Lee Sun-tae told Reuters. “No other IT company can beat it in terms of investment and that’s how Samsung finds new revenue sources ahead of rivals and widens its gap.” Samsung’s spending on its mobile processors and other mobile technologies is expected to exceed the amount it spends on its memory business for the first time ever, Reuters said. The firm currently employs about 350,000 people around the globe and expects to hire 26,000 additional employees this year.


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Todd Haselton

January 18th


Verizon finally launching live TV streaming app to iPad in 2012

Verizon Wireless made 26 of its live FiOS TV channels available for online streaming on the Xbox 360. In a new report, GigaOM had the chance to sit down and talk to a Verizon representative at CES 2012, who said a similar app would be available for the iPad sometime this year. Verizon originally announced the streaming app about a year ago and a half ago, but the company held back from releasing it. Verizon accredits the hesistance to making sure networks have the same reliability as IPTV services so streams do not crash.

Verizon also rolled out a similar app to Samsung’s connected Blu-Ray players and televisions today. The iPad app will presumably be available free to those who subscribe to Verizon’s FiOS TV service. We look forward to seeing the app land sometime later this year. Obviously, this will only be available for paying FiOS customers.

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Jake Smith

January 12th


Samsung: Apple Television is old news. Smart TV is the future and already here

When Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he finally “cracked the code” to building an integrated television set that is user-friendly and seamlessly syncs with all of your devices, Samsung Australia’s Director of Audiovisual Philip Newton told the Sydney Morning Herald that Jobs’ was talking about connectivity.

He laughed off the mythical iTV and dissed Jobs’ TV brain wave as “nothing new,” saying the future is now and it is his company’s Smart TVs:

When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space. It’s old news as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.

Samsung is promoting Smart TVs left and right at the CES show that is underway this week in Las Vegas. The company is showing off apps and games such as Angry Birds running smoothly on Smart TVs. Feature-wise, Samsung Smart TVs are beating Google TVs to the punch with capabilities such as voice interaction, facial recognition, integrated camera controls for multi-video conferencing and multitasking.

Sony, Panasonic and LG are also pushing integrated television sets built around the Smart TV platform. While not officially an exhibitor, Apple reportedly dispatched 250 employees to attend the show and monitor what competition is doing; among them is the head of iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak. Apple has been rumored for months to launch 32- and 37-inch television sets in the summer of 2012. Does Samsung see Apple as a threat?

Not at all, though that might be just a posture as Apple and Samsung are embroiled in a complicated web of copyright infringement lawsuits in courts the world over.

Do we see them as a threat, not specifically no … probably we’ll have some competitors that may suffer … but we see it as a great opportunity, the more big name brands that get involved in smart [TV] the better off we are as a brand because we know we can lead it.

Samsung is also drumming up excitement for Smart TVs on its Samsung Tomorrow blog, which today ran interactive info graphic highlighting how users can interact with a Smart TV “on a scale never before imagined.” As of October 2011, the company had surpassed 10 million app downloads and a thousand apps registered and available on the store. Apple, a self-proclaimed consumer electronics company, will have to expand its product portfolio sooner than later and sell products other than computers and mobile devices if it’s to keep growing and remain relevant ¾conventional wisdom has it.

Front-facing view of Samsung’s ES8000 LED TV.

That could be easier said than done—at least in the case of integrated television as cutthroat margins, established incumbents and diverse product portfolios make it all too difficult for newbie’s to effectively compete, especially on a large scale. Over at Tech Crunch, author John Biggs opined that Apple is at a huge disadvantage in terms of living room presence compared to Samsung, concluding that the Korean-based consumer electronics conglomerate is “the next Apple.” 

He summed up:

Samsung makes TVs. They make everything – the screen, the PCBs, and the case. Apple will be outsourcing their manufacture and they won’t be able to compete on price, especially when they’re buying panels from Samsung. Can Apple beat other CE manufacturers at this game? Sure. They’ve done similar things before. But Samsung and Sony and LG have plenty of time to sell TVs and at two a second, Apple will have quite a bit of catching up to do.

In the meantime, Samsung updated its television lineup yesterday with the newly announced Samsung ES8000 LED TV model that is coming “soon.” Pictured below, it sports a dual-core chip, slim bezel, U-shaped stand and screen sizes going all the way up to 75-inches. Samsung America President of Consumer Electronics Division Tim Baxter explained the benefit of multitasking on a big screen during a CES presentation:

Let’s say you are watching a movie on Netflix and want to check in on the hockey highlights, just toggle from Netflix to one of my favorite apps, NHL Game center, and come right back to the movie without having to quit the app and launch another app.

A pair of CES clips showing gesture interaction on a Samsung Smart TV and Angry Birds can be seen below.

This article was cross-posted at 9to5Google.

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Christian Zibreg

January 12th


The MacBook Air Samsung SSD is about to get twice as fast

I had a chance to meet with Samsung Storage solutions at CES 2012 this week and got the low down on its new OEM SSDs that Apple tends to buy in large numbers.  Samsung and Toshiba are the OEMs that provide the SSDs in MacBook Airs.  Samsung’s 470 OEM SSD product is noticeably faster than the Toshiba model that Apple also puts in otherwise identical MacBook Airs.  We have talked about the speed difference before and how Air-buyers often will pay a premium for the faster Samsung drives.

Well, the speed difference is about to get even more noticeable. Samsung told me that it sold out of the 470 series OEM SSDs late last year and the company only makes a much faster variety: the 830 series.

How fast is the 830 Series controller/chips?  I had a chance to speed test the popular 2.5-inch 830 model late last year when it debuted.  Typical speeds were over 400MB/s write and 500MB/s reads (below, left).  That is almost twice as fast as the current MacBook Air SSD from Samsung (below, right), which itself is significantly faster than Toshiba’s SSD.

Samsung stopped short of announcing it is shipping the 830s to Apple, but the company confirmed it ran out of 470s a while ago and all of its SSD customers were receiving the updated 830 series. Samsung also confirmed that Apple is still a customer.

Today I ventured to the Las Vegas Apple Store to check the speeds of the MacBook Airs.  I checked a new 128GB MacBook Air right out of the box which had the same “APPLE SSD SM128C” listed in System Profiler as my year-old Air.  I checked the speed and it is indeed the old disk (same as above, right), which means the new Samsung SSDs haven not hit stores —at least here anyway.

Theoretically, a few things could happen at this point…

I do not know Apple’s supply chain lead-time and Samsung would not even pretend to hint anything about its relationship with Apple.  Therefore, Apple could have bought many months worth of the older 470 series SSDs and they might not show up in the final product for a while.  It also is not 100 percent certain that Apple will continue buying SSDs from Samsung.  Theoretically, Apple could move to another supplier or go 100 percent with the slow Toshiba, although, that would be hard to imagine with Samsung’s product being so good.

What is certain is that the OEM Samsung SSDs Apple currently uses in its MacBook Airs were sold out many months ago and the faster replacements have been taking their place to Samsung’s customers.  It is also certain that the MacBook Airs are built to take advantage of the speedier SSDs.  OWC sells a crazy fast aftermarket model with similar speeds to those of the Samsung 830 series that work extremely well.

I would be willing to bet that Apple will have a silent MacBook Air update to the faster SSDs at some point soon or —at the very latest— when Apple updates the MacBook Air to the Ivy Bridge platform later this year.

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Seth Weintraub

January 12th


ChangeWave: iPhone steals more than half planned smartphone purchases

According to the latest ChangeWave Research survey posted Monday, both Apple and Samsung are enjoying “explosive momentum” as 2012 begins while other handset makers are struggling to win the hearts of minds of consumers, such as Canada-based Research In Motion, which today updated its struggling BlackBerry platform with new software features, and Taiwan-based HTC, which posted a 26 percent income drop today —its first quarterly profit decline in two years.

Based on data obtained from 4,000 North American consumers, 54 percent of respondents planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days will opt for an iPhone. This is a drop from 65 percent last quarter, but more than enough to keep the coveted title of the most sought-after device. The iPhone’s “industry leading” customer satisfaction remains off the chart at 75 percent by vendor and mobile OS each (3 in 4 iPhone owners said they are ‘Very Satisfied’ with their device). Google’s Android is second with 47 percent mobile OS satisfaction rating and Samsung and HTC are at 47 percent each…

According to ChangeWave Research:

The late December survey looked at smart phone demand trends going forward, and finds Apple iPhone demand remains incredibly strong more than two months after the iPhone 4S release.

As for Samsung, which recently launched Galaxy Nexus smartphone in partnership with Google:

The just released Galaxy Nexus – the first U.S. 4G phone running Android’s new 4.0 operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich) – appears to be a major driving force behind the leap in Samsung planned buying. Samsung’s 4.0 OS update to some of its most popular models during the 1st Quarter is also heightening consumer interest.

ChangeWave, a division of 451 Research, previously found out that Siri helped the iPhone 4S become the most beloved iPhone yet and that 1 in 3 Android users could be in the market for an iPhone. This new research spells trouble for HTC and Research In Motion as only 3 percent of respondents plan to buy an HTC device and just 2 percent said they would consider a BlackBerry. Some 6 percent of respondents in the previous quarter said they would buy an HTC device. Windows OS, which includes both the new Windows Phone software and the older Windows Mobile, jumped 8 percent points since ChangeWave’s previous survey. Even though Windows OS still trails the leaders, it had no trouble leaving RIM OS in the dust with customer satisfaction (32 percent are ‘Very Satisfied’ with Windows OS versus 22 percent for RIM OS). However, “the high Windows Phone rating has yet to produce a sustained momentum boost for Microsoft in terms of buyer preferences.”

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com

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Christian Zibreg

January 9th


Report: Apple to double the capacity of next iPad battery, release two different models with high megapixel cameras

A report this evening from DigiTimes said the next iPad will have a monster battery that will more than double the current  6579 mAH to a whopping 14,000mAH.  Apple currently uses battery suppliers Simplo Technology and Dynapack who both denied to comment on the report.

Furthermore, Apple is set to unveil two versions of its next-iPad, “One for the high-end segment and one for the mid-range segment” according to another DigiTimes report.  Strangely, the report said the new iPads will be released at Macworld/iWorld in late January, a show that Apple has no plans to attend right now and bowed out of completely two years ago.

Apple is set to unveil its next-generation iPad – which will come in two versions – at the iWorld scheduled for January 26, 2012, according to sources at its supply chain partners

This is extremely unlikely; however, perhaps, a same-time but separate release could happen.  More details that are interesting were reported, as well….

The 7.85-inch display iPad that DigiTimes had originally rumored is no longer in the plans (or likely never was).

Instead of the previously-rumored 7.85-inch, the upcoming iPad models will still feature 9.7-inch screens but come with QXGA resolution (1,536×2,048 pixels), the sources indicated. Dual-LED light bars are designed for the new iPads to strengthen the brightness of the panels, the sources added.

We had heard about the dual LED light bars earlier that may be the cause of the bigger battery and contribute to the thicker iPad.  Additionally, a report from what became the Verge said an iPad HD was in the works that would run a new Touch version of Final Cut Pro.

Sharp will be the major display provider with Samsung and LG also providing displays, as well.  Samsung will manufacture the new A6 processor in Texas that will at least power the high-end version. Additionally, the report said serious cameras are on deck for the new iPads that would boast 5-to 8-megapixel cameras from Samsung and Sony.

Samsung is also among the CMOS image sensor (CIS) suppliers for one of the versions of the new iPad that comes with a 5-megapixel lens, marking the Korea-based vendor’s first time to grab CIS orders from Apple, the sources noted. Sony is the other CIS supplier for the other model with a higher 8-megapixel lens, the sources added.

We have heard earlier reports that the next iPad would be significantly thicker and this might be a reason.  We have had additional parts, including assembly and buttons, that seem to indicate iPads are currently in production.

In a third report, Digitimes says that Apple has already begun phasing out iPad 2.

Apple’s orders for iPad 2 are dropping gradually, while orders for the new devices remain steady.

Update: As you might expect, Jim Darlymple doesn’t see iPad 3 or an AppleTV coming at iWorld or CES for that matter.

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Seth Weintraub

December 29th


Judge: “We don’t think someone buys a Samsung to make his table neighbor at the coffee house believe he owns an iPad”

Perhaps in what might be read as a wake-up call for Apple, the Cupertino, Calif., gadget powerhouse was just served a dose of reality before a Dusseldorf court in Germany. A quick recap: Apple secured a sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in September on the grounds of too many similarities and patent infringement.

Samsung then re-engineered its device and re-introduced it under the Galaxy Tab 10.1N moniker, but Apple pushed for an injunction of that model, too. Today at the Dusseldorf court, presiding judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann made it known that Apple was pushing its luck with a request for an injunction.

According to Bloomberg, she said:

Consumers are well aware that there is an original and that competitors try to use similar designs, so buyers are vigilant when looking at products. We don’t think that someone buys a Samsung (005930) to make his table neighbor at the coffee house believe he owns an iPad.

Reuters quoted Judge Brueckner-Hofmann as saying:

According to the court’s assessment, the defendant has moved away sufficiently from the legally protected design.

According to fresh data by Bitkom, a technology and telecommunications association, Germany’s tablet market is worth an estimated 2.1 million units this year. The warning from Germany arrived after Justice Annabelle Bennett lifted a sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy tablet in Australia on Nov. 30, prompting Apple to claim it would appeal to the High Court. Encouraged by those developments, Samsung recently  advertised its device as “the tablet Apple tried to stop.”

The Galaxy Tab 10.1N is a reengineered version of the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an added metal frame around the edges. Apple’s lawyers went to great lengths to describe in court documents how Samsung should redesign its device so that it does not infringe upon Apple’s patents. Here is a quick recap of what the lawyers for Apple wrote (believe it or not, it’s true):

• Shapes that are not rectangular with four flat sides or that do not have four rounded corners.
• Front surfaces that are not completely flat or clear and that have substantial adornment.
• Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface.
• Profiles that are not thin relative to [Apple patent D'889] or that have a cluttered appearance.

Is Samsung were to follow these guidelines, the non-infringing Galaxy Tab, cynics would claim, might look something like this.

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Christian Zibreg

December 22nd


Apple takes Samsung to court over patented smart cover for smartphones and tablets

UPDATE [Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 7:25am ET]: A Samsung spokesperson chimed in, providing us with the official statement, included at the end of this article.

After Samsung confirmed the addition of four more complaints to its German patent offensive (two are standard-related patents, the other two being utility patents) on Monday, Apple this morning fired back by extending its Australian patent complaint to include Samsung-made cases for Galaxy tablets and smartphones, according to Bloomberg.

Apple issued the notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and will file a statement of claim, Apple’s lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney today. Samsung’s lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with the notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents.

The two companies are embroiled in a complicated legal fight that already includes more than 30 lawsuits filed against each other across the globe. The exact nature of Apple’s patent infringement claim concerning smartphone and tablet cases is not known, but 9to5Mac can’t help but wonder whether it has something to do with this.

We discovered in July that Samsung was marketing a Smart Cover knock-off for its Galaxy Tab tablet. The product was adorned with the “Designed for Samsung Mobile” certification and was carried in Samsung’s branded stores in South Korea. Youngbo Engineering owns Anymode, the company behind these cases, which is headed by Sang-yong Kim. He is the nephew of the Samsung’s chairperson Kun-Hee Lee.

Following 9to5Mac’s discovery and the media outrage that ensued, Samsung was forced to pull the product from its retail stores in the country as its legal battle with Apple was just heating up. The case was also pulled from the Anymode online store. The South Korean electronics giant soon followed up with a statement claiming the case was never sold, and they cited the certification as “an oversight”.

UPDATE: Samsung says that the additional claims refer to the utility of mobile devices and design rights related to the external appearance of devices, not Samsung’s protective case accessories. Here’s the official statement provided by a Samsung spokesperson:

We would like to clarify that the additional claims filed by Apple in Australia do not relate to protective case accessories, as has been indicated in some media reports. In fact, the intellectual property asserted are patents related to the utility of mobile devices and design rights related to the external appearance of devices. We are confident we can demonstrate that the Galaxy range of devices is innovative and distinctive, and will take all available measures to ensure our products remain available to consumers in Australia.

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Christian Zibreg

December 20th


Apple submits ‘invalid’ patents to W3C to delay Touch Events standard

International web standards organization W3C last year created the Web Events Working Group to create a standard for the way touchscreen enabled devices interact with web content. The standard is known as the W3C Touch Events Specification. Now, according to Opera browser developer Haavard, Apple is delaying the process by using “invalid or irrelevant patents” to buy time, something the company has apparently done in the past.

As part of normal procedures, the W3C requested companies submit patents that may be relevant to the new mobile standard for the third time this year. While this report has to be handled with a steady dose of skepticism, Haavard claims Apple has purposely submitted four irrelevant patents to delay the process.

Apple apparently waited until the last minute -approximately a month before the Dec. 26 deadline- to submit their patents to ensure the biggest delay possible. The organization must investigate every submitted patent to determine its relevancy to the new standard. Apple also skipped the Touch Events working group that would have required them to submit the patents earlier.

Haavard claims this is a typical process for Apple, as they supposedly took similar action in 2009 and 2010. Both times resulted in major delays to the proceedings related to widget updates standards. Two of the patents in those cases were found to be non-essential, and a third “both nonessential and invalid,” according to AfterDawn.

It’s unclear Apple’s motive, but the result will likely be a delay of a few months to determine how the patents Apple submitted relate to the yet finalized W3C Touch Events Specification.

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Jordan Kahn

December 19th

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