Posts tagged Samsung
Google’s mobile OS scooped up more half of U.S. smartphone sales from mid-November through mid-February, says research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Android has grabbed the lead over iOS in the battle for U.S. smartphone buyers, according to a report out yesterday from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. From mid-November through mid-February, Android increased its share of U.S. smartphone sales to 51.2 percent, up from 45 percent during the same three-month period in 2012. Over the same time, Apple’s iOS dropped to second place as its share of U.S. sales fell to 43.5 percent from 47 percent.
Much of the surge in Android can be attributed to Apple arch-rival Samsung. Prices drops on Samsung phones in the last half of 2012 prompted many smartphone and feature phone users to upgrade to a Samsung device, Kantar said. Overall, many people who opted for a Samsung phone last year gravitated toward one of the company’s flagship devices. Among those who purchased a Samsung phone in the last year, 52 percent chose a Galaxy S3, 21 percent a Galaxy S2, and 5 percent a Galaxy Note 2. Samsung buyers cited the cost of the phone and the carrier brand as key drivers for their purchase.
“Of those who changed their phone over the last year to a Samsung smartphone, 19 percent had previously owned a Samsung feature phone, 15 percent owned an HTC smartphone, 14 percent owned an LG featurephone, 10 percent owned a Samsung smartphone, and 9 percent owned a BlackBerry,” Kantar analyst Mary-Ann Parlato said in a statement. “It’s apparent that Samsung is successful at capturing users from across the competitor set and not just gaining from their own loyalists, (albeit loyalty towards Samsung has also grown).”
What of the rest of the smartphone world? Microsoft’s Windows Phone saw an increase in sales share, jumping to 4.1 percent from 2.7 percent a year earlier. Beyond Android, Windows Phone was the only platform to see its share of sales increase, according to the report. BlackBerry continued to see its sales fall, accounting for 0.7 percent of sales — down from 3.6 percent in 2012. Nokia’s Symbian was stuck in last place among the top five, ekeing out just 0.1 percent of U.S. sales from its 0.5 percent a year earlier. Kantar derived its data from more than 240,000 interviews of mobile phone users. The report focused on actual sales rather than market share.
I don’t get offended very often. But Samsung’s long parade of ’50s-era female stereotypes, in the midst of an entirely other long parade of bad stereotypes, just put me over the edge. Oh, they announced a phone? You’d barely know it.
Dear Samsung: What just happened?
In the middle of a red-hot conversation about women in technology, the resurgence of the equal-pay discussion, and Sheryl Sandberg reigniting the very concept of feminism in America, Samsung delivered a Galaxy S4 launch event that served up more ’50s-era stereotypes about women than I can count, and packaged them all as campy Broadway caricatures of the most, yes, offensive variety.
To be fair, everyone in Samsung’s bizarre, hourlong parade of awkward exchanges, forced laughs, and hammy skits was a stereotype. The kid was lispy, tow-headed, and tap-dancing (the little girl did ballet, of course). Will Chase, the emcee-as-actor, was orange and desperate for fame; his in-skit “agent” was clueless, abrasive, self-absorbed and vaguely Jewish. The backpacking guys were horny, the Chinese actor in his 60s was an “old guy.” So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the women would also be a little, let’s say, underdeveloped, as characters.
But tow-headed little boys don’t grow up to make less than their other-gendered counterparts, and orange-faced actors generally don’t get offers of explicit and increasingly violent sexual favors in the YouTube comments on their videos. So, it felt a little unnecessary for the tow-headed kid’s mom to be a stage mom all the way. For example. And then, to her, our orange-faced actor emcee reeled off a mother-in-law joke worthy of the worst kind of sitcom laugh tracks. It went on and on.
The Brazilian woman was hot (duh). A bride-to-be arrives on stage with a chirpy, “check out the ring!” The Air Gestures that let you control the phone without touching it are presented as a boon to giggly women with annoying voices whose nails are wet and who don’t want to put down their drinks. The comically alcoholic one, DeeDee, then proceeds to demo how eye tracking can pause a video when you look away from the screen… as she looks away at a hunky gardener type who proceeds to take off his shirt.
“While the women are cooling down,” says the emcee, “why don’t you tell us about S Health?” By then, it’s almost too easy to have there be a joke about marrying a doctor and then the one about eating too much cheesecake ohyeahthatoneIshouldhaveseenthatcoming. Of course those jokes are in there. Why would those jokes not be in there? We already had a tap-dancing tow-headed kid and a hot Brazilian girl.
Again. To be fair. Everything about this phone announcement was a weird, one-dimensional, faux-Broadway-style otherworld where good taste and, in fact, technology were almost completely nonexistent. And you could definitely argue that the delivery and the occasional zinger from Chase suggest that the show was meant to be over the top, ham-handed, and all in good fun. And maybe,maybe that would have worked if it had been well executed. Maybe it would have been funny if the sarcasm factor was just a little higher, or there were a little more edge to the cartoony lights and makeup.
But you know what’s even better than better acting, better production, and better script-writing?Dumping the crappy female stereotypes in the first place. In fact, I would have settled for the “slightly better” scenario of including only 1 or 2 crappy female stereotypes. Once you get hit with 5, 6, 8, or 10 in a row, it really starts to feel a lot less hilarious. I started my journalism career as a sports writer. I’ve been in the tech industry for 14 years. I’m pretty good and used to being one of a few women in the room, and it generally suits me just fine because there’s never a line for the restroom and I can take it. But once in a while, once in a very rare while, something comes along that I just absolutely can’t ignore. And this show was one of those things.
Because yes, it is frequently kind of sucky to be a woman in tech. I do a great job of telling myself not to read the YouTube comments and of ignoring or blocking the caveman trolls that make it hard to even want to do this job sometimes, and yes, of pretending that I don’t know I make less than men who do less than I do. But don’t mistake any of those coping skills for some kind of obliviousness to the fact that the number of booth babes hasn’t declined all that much since my first MacWorld and we just keep having these same conversations and troll attacks over and over and over. So you know what, Samsung? You’re not helping. Shut up and make me a phone.
Samsung is widely expected to announce the Galaxy S4 at its Unpacked event in New York City. Join Us live blog and news from Radio City Music Hall. The video stream above will toggle to the live Samsung feed at 7PM PT (7AM GMT+8 ”Malaysia Time”).
8:00 AM | Writes: That is the end of Samsung Unpacked 2013 Event!
7:59 AM | Writes: Roger and I value our limbs, so we’re gonna kick back for a minute, then go check out all the fun stuff we didn’t get a chance to see before.
7:59 AM | Writes: Seriously, people are running to the front
7:57 AM | Writes: Wow ,thanks for bearing with us. You’ve made it fun.
7:57 AM | Writes: Bidan: It’s extraordinary technology is there to make your life richer.
7:56 AM | Writes: The GS4 can take all that data and present you with an easy to read report, Bidan says.
7:55 AM | Writes: You can connect the GS with the S band, body scale, and heart monitor
7:55 AM | Writes: It’s interesting to met that Samsung is going after the personal fitness market with a built-in app and accessories. Way to cut into Nike+ and the Fuel Band. Can’t wait for Brian Bennett to test this one out. He’s Mr. Wearable Tech, you know.
7:55 AM | Writes: The Galaxy S4 can tell you how many calories you burn through the S Health feature
7:54 AM | Writes: When you’re reading, you scroll up and down by tilting the phone up and down.
7:53 AM | Writes: If you look away from the phone, the video will pause. When you return, it’ll start playing again.
7:53 AM | Writes: Smart Pause, finally something I can talk about without cringing. It’s kind of a cool feature, but there’s a bit of a delay in pausing and resuming play.
7:53 AM | Writes: Okay, now for Smart Scroll and Pause: The GS4 can detect whether you’re looking at the phone.
7:52 AM | Writes: With Air Call Accept, you can pick up a call with the wave of your hand.
7:52 AM | Writes: With Air Gesture, you can control the phone with the swipe of your hand (without touching the display).
7:51 AM | Writes: With dual video calls,
you can see the video feed from the rear camera and a picture-in-picture of the person’s face. That’s nifty.
7:51 AM | Writes: You can adjust the volume of each device, switch to two speakers if there are fewer phones. You can also share photos with the link up.
7:50 AM | Writes: Now the girls are dancing while holding their phones up in the air
7:50 AM | Writes: Now for Group Play. It can turn any GS4 into a stereo surround sound system. It can use multiple phones to create that stereo effect.
7:49 AM | Writes: The new scene: Jenny and the Bridesmaid.
7:49 AM | Writes: It’s another “scene.” The girls from Miami.
7:48 AM | Writes: Now for the work-personal balance part of Knox. Like BlackBerry balance, the phone can keep them separately.
7:48 AM | Writes: SAFE has been around fo
r a long time, but Knox is a more dedicated effort, it seems
7:48 AM | Writes: Samsung has made in a priority to target the enterprise world and take share from BlackBerry.
7:47 AM | Writes: It’s a suite of security services and apps, part of a program called SAFE (Samsung Approved For Enterprise).
7:47 AM | Writes: The Samsung Hub has a magazine interface that is easy to use, says the bad actress
7:46 AM | Writes: The Galaxy
S4 works even when you’re wearing gloves. Hey, the Lumia 920 does that too!
7:46 AM | Writes: Time to talk about the Samsung Hub. The Galaxy S4 takes all of the different hubs and integrates them into one place.
7:46 AM | Writes: So, I haven’t had good experiences with S Voice’s accuracy. I really hope that the new S Voice Drive mode doesn’t disappoint.
7:45 AM | Writes: The Galaxy S4 wil act as your personal assistant, Bidan says.
7:45 AM | Writes: Voice recognition allows the GS4 to do everything for you, including responding to a message, Bidan says.
7:45 AM | Writes: When a message pops up, the phone will alert you and let you read out the message, reply, or cancel.
7:44 AM | Writes: Dan Ackerman: “Driving jokes don’t translate to a New York audience.”
7:44 AM | Writes: The Galaxy S4 has a navigation system built in, and S voice will allow drivers to keep their hands free. It will make calls, send messages, and even check the weather
7:43 AM | Writes: You can transfer data from any phone or OS to to the Galaxy S4. Probably not apps though.
7:42 AM | Writes: S Voice Drive sounds like it’s been made specifically to counter Siri embedded in cars.
7:42 AM | Writes: Galaxy S Voice Drive kicks in when you go in your car. It’s a simpler version optimized for driving. You connect with Bluetooth to the car.
7:41 AM | Writes: The stage rises again to create a third level, with a car suspended on its side. “Space is tight in Manhattan,” the MC jokes.
7:41 AM | Writes: HomeSync functions as a hub for life and memory, and uses cloud services, Bidan says.
7:41 AM | Writes: With HomeSync, you can connect any smartphone, TV, tablet, or PC, Bidan says. It can be viewed in HD.
7:40 AM | Writes: At least they’re winking at us the whole time.
7:40 AM | Writes: HomeSync, introduced at Mobile World Congress, allows you to share photos from the phone to other devices like TVs.
7:39 AM | Writes: This story album idea is a great idea, especially since it brings in Blurb, a custom publishing platform. I just used Blurb to create a book. This smartphone version may not be quite as extensible as the desktop software, but with mobile, sometimes simple is better.
7:38 AM | Writes: Using Blurb, you can use Story Album to create an actual photo book directly from the phone.
7:38 AM | Writes: Story Album allows you to set up an album based on themes or events. You can add tag on photos or people.
7:37 AM | Writes: I’m thinking that auto-adjusting that makes things “look better” also sometimes means “makes the screen look a little dimmer.” This happened a little bit in the GS3 with the browser.
7:37 AM | Writes: The Super Amoled display is superior to LCD displays, Bidan boasts
7:36 AM | Writes: The S-Translator is integrated in other apps like messaging.
7:36 AM | Writes: That’s key if you travel and don’t have an international plan.
7:35 AM | Writes: WIth the optical reader, the GS4 can translate written words. It has three thousand useful sentences that are embedded. You can communicate even if you don’t have a network connection.
7:35 AM | Writes: The S-Translator can handle nine language. It can handle speech to text and text to speech
7:35 AM | Writes: The tourist, John, uses the S-Translator to communicate with a “local.
7:34 AM | Writes: I guess we’re in a Shanghai train station
7:33 AM | Writes: The stage lifts for a scene in Shanghai
7:33 AM | Writes: Now for Air View. With the GS4, you can use your finger to control the phone via gesture control.
7:32 AM | Writes: There’s eraser. With one click, you can speed up the shutter to take multiple shots, so you can edit the shot to grab the best pics. Of course, Nokia and HTC have this already.
7:32 AM | Writes: Now for Drama Shot. The GS4 can take more than 100 shots in four seconds, and can show them as a collage in one frame.
7:31 AM | Writes: I noticed no one on stage is using their Galaxy S4 to take shots of the kid.
7:31 AM | Writes: So I guess if you don’t want to take a video, you can play an audio clip. So long as the recipient knows to play the audio. I wonder if that carries through when you upload that to a social network.
7:30 AM | Writes: It’s like adding another dimension of detail to your memory, Bidan says
7:30 AM | Writes: It works with videos and photos. This is pretty cool and smart. I’m surprised we don’t have this already.
7:30 AM | Writes: With the dual camera mode, you can turn both cameras on. The full screen video taken by the rear camera also has a picture in picture shot with the front facing camera.
7:29 AM | Writes: Dual-camera record function puts the recorder on the front and the subjects in the back. People are clapping, but I’m not sure about the real-life utility. I guess it could be cool.
7:29 AM | Writes: WIth the dual camera feature, you get pictures and videos from both camera feeds (front and back).
7:28 AM | Writes: Okay, a scene pops up from the stage…a scene from the Upper West Side school.
7:28 AM | Writes: Something tells me that little Jeremy is a tap dancer….
7:27 AM | Writes: We get our very own Broadway show! Who woulda thunk?!
7:27 AM | Writes: There is a 2,600 mAh battery that’s removable. Hmm, a 2,600mAh battery is good, but I actually expected it to be a bit bigger
7:27 AM | Writes: With 64GB internal and 64GB external, there’s no higher storage capacity in the market today.
7:26 AM | Writes: The Galaxy S4 will ship with 2GB of LPDDR Ram with 16GB of space. A 32 and 64 option is available, and it is expandable via SD Micro by 64GB.
7:25 AM | Writes: The rumors about the 13-megapixel camera were true, but that’s sort of expected at this point. Samsung hung on to 8-MP for a long time.
7:25 AM | Writes: The main camera has 13 megapixels, while the front facing one will have 2
7:25 AM | Writes: The GS4 will be a 4G LTE device, which will support downloads of 100 Mbps and uploads of 50Mbps. Of course, no carrier really offers that speed now.
7:25 AM | Writes: Samsung wanted to more subtly blend phone info on the to home screen.
7:25 AM | Writes: Samsung is using polycarbonate (plastic) in black and white. There’s a new user experience and upgraded interface.
7:24 AM | Writes: This is a full HD super Amoled display with 441 ppi. People are clapping at that (likely employees).
7:22 AM | Writes: Okay, Shin leaves the stage, and another promo video plays.
7:22 AM | Writes: The camera module on the back is another GS3 departure; that piece of it looks more like the Note 2.
7:21 AM | Writes: The Galaxy S4 will be available at 327 carriers in 55 countries.
7:21 AM | Writes: There will be a 4G and 3G version. It will support both FD-LTE and TD-LTE
7:20 AM | Writes: Galaxy S4 will be available at the end of April.
7:20 AM | Writes: The Galaxy S4 can fit in your style, Shin says. It’s slimmer, but stronger, less to hold, but more to see.
7:18 AM | Writes: Cue the flashy promo video!
7:18 AM | Writes: Ladies and Gentleman, the Galaxy S4!
7:18 AM | Writes: What will show you tonight is the vision of all of this innovation that improves the way people truly live, he says.
7:17 AM | Writes: Samsung Knox was just announced a few weeks go at Mobile World Congress.
7:17 AM | Writes: That’s the world we imagine, Shin says
7:16 AM | Writes: Think it’s interesting that Samsung is basically unveiling all the new features during this intro speech.
7:16 AM | Writes: Communicating with your friends around the world without a language barrier with S Translator.
7:16 AM | Writes: Samsung smart scroll and smart pause mentioned.
7:16 AM | Writes: Dual camera, sound & shot, are some features hinted at.
7:15 AM | Writes: ”We are committed to innovation. We are always listening to people around the world to hear what they really want.”
7:14 AM | Writes: Nobody is laughing because we’re all press. We don’t laugh. We just type ; )
7:13 AM | Writes: Chase is making small talk and cracking some jokes. No one is laughing
7:12 AM | Writes: Welcome Will Chase to the stage!
7:12 AM | Writes: A booming countdown begins.
7:11 AM | Writes: The commercial continues with Jeremy and his “Unpacked” box.
7:10 AM | Writes: The lights have dimmed down. Here we go!
7:08 AM | Writes: Yeah! There’s been so many leaks for this product we probably won’t be surprised.
7:08 AM | Writes: The Radio City Hall Second balcony level is filling up too.
7:06 AM | Writes: The announcer is back up to say the show will start in a few moments.
7:03 AM | Photo By Sarah Tew
7:02 AM | Writes: The plastic back is Samsung’s trademark in a sense. It may feel cheap but if all you are going for is the looks and feel of a phone, stick to the iPhone. I must admit that phone feels rock solid along with the HTC One. I have the Note II and I have very close friends that are diehard Apple fanboys who look past the feel of my phone and are in awe with its features. In the end, features win out.
6:55 AM | Writes: Ladies & Gentlemen the show will begin in five minutes
6:55 AM | Writes: What about the problem with Bloatware from the S4? Both from Samsung and from the Carrier? Can you talk about this. I have SO been trying to call! Features will not matter so much with Bloatware.
6:54 AM | Writes: Supposedly, Samsung is expecting about 3,000 attendees. That’s bloggers, press, analysts, partners, and likely some hardcore fans. Fortunately, Radio City Music Hall has a lot of seats in the house, including two more balcony levels.
6:53 AM | Writes: iPhones are much more basic and closed source and have much less power though power is not as important with iPhones as all the apps aren’t processor intensive. WIth the Galaxies however, due to the open-source android, there are more processor intensive apps and so more power is required
6:51 AM | Writes: Apps library only beats in terms of the number of “tablet” optimized applications. When it comes to phones, then the Apple library doesn’t have that much of a lead anymore. But like many Apple users (those that think it takes 9 different accounts to approach the Apple experience), I can see where you’d be confused.
6:44 AM | Writes: The only bad thing here is, it’s hard to get excited over the new Samsung because it’s not just about the phone, it’s really just another Android phone. Now if Samsung had their own OS like Apple does, that would be something to get excited about.
6:43 AM | Photo By Sarah Tew
6:38 AM | Reader Waikwong Writes: If the S4 is a Nexus LTE phone, I may consider leaving the iphone (I have both iphone 5 and S3), as for now, I use the iphone 5 so much more than the S3, its not even funny. Samsung should not be writing any software
6:36 AM | Photo By Sarah Tew
6:36 AM | Photo By Sarah Tew
It’s that time of year again, when Samsung shows off the next iteration of its massively popular Galaxy smartphone. A heavy focus on the number 4 and a slew of teasers leave little doubt what we’ll see, but the exact hardware and software details of how the Galaxy S IV (4?) will outdo its last effort remain shrouded in mystery. We’ll be live on hand at Radio City Music Hall with the details as they happen, and Samsung is promising a live video feed here. The fireworks kick off at 7PM ET tomorrow, look below for your locally adjusted time and bookmark our live streaming page now (relive the 2012 Galaxy S III unveiling here).
The news agency rebuts a New York Times report, saying Samsung’s smartphone will include “more simplified” uses of eye-tracking tech, like pausing videos when a user’s eyes move away from the screen. If you’ve been eager to get a glimpse of eye scrolling in the Galaxy S4, Bloomberg has a reality check for you. The New York Times, citing sources, earlier this month said the latest version of Samsung’s flagship smartphone would include technology to monitor users’ eyes and translate that motion into action: “For example, when users read articles and their eyes reach the bottom of the page, the software will automatically scroll down to reveal the next paragraphs of text.” However, Bloomberg today said that some of its sources familiar with the device disputed that claim, saying eye scrolling won’t show up in the Galaxy S4.
They did say it may appear in future versions of the phone and added that the Galaxy S4 will have “more simplified” uses of eye-tracking technology, like the ability to pause videos when the user’s eyes move away from the screen. Whatever Samsung ultimately unveils is sure to have quirky capabilities, whether that includes eye scrolling or not. The company has made a big push to show users what they can do with Samsung devices, but the products tend to include many features people don’t know about. Among the rumors swirling around the Galaxy S4 is that it may come with an eight-core Exynos processor, a separate eight-core graphics processing unit, a 4.99-inch Super Amoled display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and the latest version of Android, known as 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
BlackBerry. Windows Phone. Firefox. Tizen. Ubuntu. There’s a lot of interest in creating an alternative to Android and iOS. But the lack of concentrated industry support may spell doom. There’s no better illustration of the intense competition in the wireless industry than the race to establish another legitimate operating system behind Android and Apple — where else is third place considered a lofty goal for so many major players? Yet that’s exactly what nearly a dozen companies are trying to achieve. While this year’s Mobile World Congress wireless trade show was light on blockbuster smartphone and tablet announcements, it was heavy on burgeoning operating systems and new ways of thinking about mobile devices.
Mozilla’s FireFox OS made a big splash at the show, as did Tizen, shepherded into reality by Samsung Electronics and Intel. The Ubuntu mobile OS, which won CNET’s best of show award, popped up here and there if you knew where to look. Jolla CEO Marc Dillon talked up his Sailfish OS during a keynote address. Nokia continued to roll out new smartphones running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. BlackBerry, meanwhile, is scheduled to release its BlackBerry Z10 in the U.S. in the coming weeks. It’s a natural reaction to the increasing dominance of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems, which combined accounted for 91 percent of the market in the fourth quarter, according to IDC. As much as the industry players want to publicly play nice with each other, the carriers and vendors are all working to wrest back some of the control.
While I applaud their efforts, I can’t help but think that most of them are doomed to failure. It’s not that any of the operating systems are particularly bad — although the early builds of Firefox and Tizen I tried out were both pretty rough — but there seems to be a lack of any cohesive support behind any of them. It’s all scattershot; which only leads me to believe that Android and iOS, which both have tons of consumer, developer, and carrier support behind them, will continue to thrive for a while.
“If there’s going to be a big three, it won’t happen if the industry players are themselves fragmented,” Rajeev Chand, an analyst at Rutberg & Co., told me in a recent interview. Just look at the two largest potential third players: Microsoft and BlackBerry. Both make a great case for why their operating system will be No. 3, but the lack of committed support from the carriers is telling. Sure, AT&T sells the Lumia phone and related Windows 8 products, but are any of the other carriers as enthusiastic? It’s still unclear just how much support BlackBerry will get, but we should get more of an indication in the coming weeks.
When you get through the rest of the operating systems, the support fragments even further. Firefox has rounded up 18 carriers to support the OS, although few have committed to actually selling the devices. A different set of carriers, meanwhile, have committed to Tizen, which they believe will power high-end smartphones. Another issue is whether the need for a third operating system is an industry problem or a consumer problem. It’s clear the carriers and other vendors want an alternative OS to get behind to reduce their reliance on Android and iOS, but do consumers really care about that? For now, most are perfectly happy with their Android and iPhone choices.
AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told me that he believes there’s room for more than three mobile operating systems, and even left the door open for an OS like Firefox – as long as there is consumer demand for it. And while choice is good for the consumer, too much choice isn’t necessarily a good thing. ”For consumers, it’s going to be all about confusion,” Chand said. “You show up at a retail store, and there are a bunch of things going on. It’ll just be confusion.”
Ultimately, I believe consumers will clamor for different options. The issue of “iPhone fatigue” has started to crop up, especially with Apple only making incremental improvements to each subsequent product. That creates an opening for something different to emerge. Whether any of these operating systems will fill the gap remains to be seen. This year’s show was seemingly about throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. I suspect there will be a clearer indication of a potential winner in a year’s time. Hopefully, it gets the full backing of the industry. Otherwise, that elusive third great OS will remain just that.
While the Korean electronics giant says it’s not going to intervene in Sharp’s business management, it could end up with early insight into new tech and influence future products. And that could be a risk for Apple. Apple just can’t get away from Samsung. With Apple reportedly trying to reduce its reliance on Samsung, things just got a bit harder with the Korean company investing $111 million for a 3 percent stake in another big Apple supplier: Sharp. While Samsung says it won’t get involved with Sharp’s business management in “any way or form,” it will be getting a “steady” supply of LCD (liquid crystal display) panels used for smartphone and tablet displays. And it probably will get a line of sight into Sharp’s future products and customers, as well as early access to Sharp’s cutting-edge technology. It may even influence Sharp’s future products.
None of these prospects are particularly comforting for the folks in Cupertino. Apple is believed to buy about a third of its LCD panels from Sharp, and it closely relies on the company for some of its most advanced products, according to analysts. When Sharp has problems, it can slow down the release of Apple devices. So if Sharp starts to favor Apple’s chief rival, Samsung, that could have big implications for Apple. ”It’s not like Samsung is going to write a memo to Sharp to have unfavorable terms with Apple,” said Susquehanna analyst Mehdi Hosseini. “But they could influence Sharp or indirectly influence Sharp’s relationship with Apple…and it gives them better market intelligence on their competitor and is a way of putting more pressure on Apple.” Samsung declined to comment. We’ve contacted Apple and will update the report when we hear back.
The concept of “frenemies” or “coopetition” — competing with companies in certain areas while partnering in others — is nothing new for the tech industry. Apple and Samsung are fiercely battling in court, but Apple still buys a lot of components from Samsung. There’s talk that Apple is trying to move away from Samsung, including by having its processors built somewhere else, but it has yet to make any such moves (at least not publicly). Apple may not see a big impact in the short term from Samsung’s new partnership with Sharp, but issues could pop up longer term. Apple is known for tightly controlling its vendors, but it may one day find Samsung has priority when it comes to Sharp’s LCD shipments.
If a lot of Sharp’s “steady” supply is going to Samsung, it could mean fewer panels for Apple. And that could result in delays, or shortages in new hit products, like the iPhone, which uses Sharp displays. Also, Samsung executives won’t be influencing business matters, but Sharp could still end up tailoring its road map to fall more in line with Samsung’s needs than those of Apple.In addition, Samsung could benefit from its access to Sharp’s LCD innovations. Display technology has become more important as electronics makers strive to build the top-selling smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Screens are one of the most power-hungry components in a mobile device, and they also can limit what a device looks like and how much it costs. If a smartphone maker uses unique technology, it could provide a big boost. And relying on Sharp for LCDs could free up Samsung to focus on its OLED business, an area where panel makers have the potential to actually make money.
All of this means Apple may need to beef up its display supply chain outside of Sharp or get contract manufacturer Foxconn to pull the trigger on an investment in Sharp. (Remember that? Foxconn was going to invest in Sharp but then backed out because of Sharp’s falling value. The companies have since been talking, but their negotiations are reportedly scheduled to end this month.) If Foxconn makes the investment in Sharp that it had planned, it would give Apple more heft over its vendor. Even if that doesn’t happen, Sharp isn’t likely to do anything that would hurt its biggest customer. After all, it needs Apple just as much (or possibly even more) than Apple needs Sharp.
Apple has brushed off concerns about its supply chain sources before, most recently during the company’s latest quarterly earnings conference call in January. CEO Tim Cook attempted to assuage fears that the company had cut its order of iPhone 5 components, including screens, saying it used “multiple sources for things,” and that any “single data point” was “not a great proxy for what is going on.” But if Samsung becomes an even bigger customer for Sharp and takes more market share in mobile, things could change. And with all the issues Apple has had in recent weeks, the new Samsung/Sharp tie-up is just something else it has to worry about. The top brass in Cupertino is likely looking at this situation pretty closely.
Your move, Apple.
Images obtained by blog site Sammobile provide a look at purported settings for Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4 will offer a Smart Scroll feature, at least according to a series of screenshots leaked by blog site Sammobile. Images posted on the site show a settings screen for Smart Scroll, a feature that allows users to scroll through the screen and perform certain tasks merely by moving their eyes up and down. Citing information from a person who has used the yet-to-be-announced phone, the New York Times reported on Monday that Smart Scroll would be built into the S4. The feature would monitor the movement of users’ eyes and move the screen accordingly.
As one example, “when users read articles and their eyes reach the bottom of the page, the software will automatically scroll down to reveal the next paragraphs of text.” As seen in the screenshots leaked by Sammobile, users can adjust the speed and acceleration of the scrolling based on how their eyes and head move up and down. They can also select which applications can tap into Smart Scroll. Another feature called Smart Pause can pause a video when people look away from the screen. In a later update to its story, Sammobile revealed that the images it posted were actually taken from Android 4.2.1 firmware for the Galaxy S3. But the site’s inside source told it that the S4 will include the same features seen in the screenshots. We’ll know for sure if the screenshots are legit on March 14. That’s when Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S4 at a launch event in New York City.
In this edition of Ask Maggie, Marguerite Reardon explains why the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a device worth waiting for, even if you already have your eye set on the Galaxy S3. It was only about nine months ago that Samsung introduced its flagship Galaxy S3 to the world. There’s no question the device set a new standard for the high-end Androidsmartphone. It has also been one of Samsung’s hottest selling smartphones. And now it looks like Samsung is about to do it again with the Galaxy S4, set for introduction March 14. So what is a smartphone shopper to do? In this edition of Ask Maggie, I explain why, even if you still want to get the Samsung S3, it’s still better to wait for the launch of the Galaxy S4. I also help another reader make sure her older Android device is really connecting to Wi-Fi instead of eating up her expensive data plan.
Buy the Samsung Galaxy S3 or wait for the Galaxy S4?
I just realized I am eligible for a new two-year contract on AT&T. I have been considering getting a new Samsung Galaxy S3. But now I am wondering if I should just wait for the Samsung Galaxy S4. Are there any discounts on the Galaxy S3 now? Will there be discounts on that phone if I wait? Or will the new Galaxy S4 be so much better, I’ll just want that one?
The short answer to your question is to simply wait. If you aren’t in dire need of a new smartphone right now, you should wait just a little while longer. This week Samsung sent out invitations to an event in New York City on March 14 where it will debut the new Galaxy S4. The device won’t likely go on sale until April, but considering, it’s already the end of February, that isn’t too long to wait.
It’s hard to say how the new Galaxy S4 will stack up against the Galaxy S3 since specifications haven’t been released. But there have been plenty of rumors swirling around that give us an idea of what is likely coming. And there is no question that the Galaxy S4 will be an improvement over the S3. For example, the Galaxy S4 is rumored to have an eight-core Exynos processor, a separate eight-core graphics processing unit, a 4.99-inch SuperAmoled display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and the latest version of Android, known as 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
My colleague Roger Cheng, who was in Barcelona, Spain, this week for Mobile World Congress, talked to Samsung execs there who said that the new Galaxy S4 may also sport Samsung’s new security software, Knox. These specs are an improvement over the Galaxy S3, which has a 4.8-inch screen and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. This doesn’t mean that you should not consider the Galaxy S3. In fact, regardless of what new specs for the new Galaxy S4 are, the Galaxy S3 is still a very good smartphone. And if you are on a budget, the Galaxy S3 could be a great fit for you.
That said, I still think you need to wait until the Galaxy S4 is closer to its launch or until after it launches. Why wait? That’s when you are likely to see the best deals on the older Galaxy S3. Right now, you can get discounts on the Galaxy S3 if you are willing to switch wireless providers. On Amazon Wireless, you can get the the S3 for $79.99 from AT&T if you’re a new subscriber. Existing AT&T subscribers, such as yourself, can still get a discount, but it’s not as big. Existing AT&T customers can get the Galaxy S3 for $129.99 with a two-year contract if the device is bought through Amazon. Also on Amazon, Verizon is offering the brown version of the Galaxy S3 for $49.99. It’s $149.99 for existing Verizon customers through the Amazon site. But the best deal by far is from Sprint, which is offering the Galaxy S3 for 1 cent to new subscribers via Amazon. (Keep in mind these deals do not apply if you buy the device directly from the wireless carrier’s store or Web site.)
My guess is that prices will continue to drop as the release of the Galaxy S4 approaches. And even after the new phone is on the market, you can bet that carriers are going to look for ways to get rid of their existing Galaxy S3 inventory. Who knows, the carriers may even offer the Galaxy S3 free even to existing customers renewing contracts. Carriers also like offer two-for-one deals too. So there is a chance that the Galaxy S3 could be used in one of those promotions. The bottom line is that even if you are not sure whether you will buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Galaxy S3, you should still wait. That way you will either get the newest flagship Samsung Android smartphone on the market or you’ll get the best deal possible on the slightly older version of the product. Either way, it’s a win-win for you.
The company is expected to issue invitations this morning to a “Samsung Unpacked” event in New York next month Samsung has confirmed it will be the Galaxy S4 launch. BARCELONA, Spain–Samsung Electronics will unveil its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, on March 14, CNET has confirmed. Samsung is set to send out invitations this morning to a “Samsung Unpacked” event in New York for next month, has learned. While the invitation contained little details, has confirmed with a high-level executive that the Galaxy S4 will make its debut there.
After the blockbuster success of the Galaxy S3, anticipation has surged for the successor to the Galaxy S franchise. The Galaxy S3 last year emerged as a true rival to Apple’s iPhone, even seeing accelerating sales after the iPhone 5 launched late last year.
Indeed, Samsung’s tease will likely overshadow many of the other announcements at Mobile World Congress, which like the Consumer Electronics Show has seen its relevance diminish as the major players opt for their own announcements. HTC last week debuted its flagship One smartphone at its own global event in London and New York.
Earlier reports pegged the launch to occur on March 14, and there have been loads of specifications that are rumored to be included. Among them is a rumored eight-core Exynos processor, a separate eight-core graphics processing unit, a 4.99-inch SuperAmoled display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and the latest version ofAndroid, known as 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.