Samsung and LG unveil more smartwatches ahead of alleged iWatch/iBand debut next month

Just a few hours after yet another report emerged claiming that Apple would be taking the wraps off of its new wearable at an event next month, both LG and Samsung have announced new wearable devices tonight.

LG has officially unveiled the G Watch R this evening, which features a 1.3-inch Plastic OLED display that is a full 360 degrees, unlike the Moto 360, which has an area of dead space at the bottom of the display. Motorola claims that the reason for the dead space on its watch is for the ambient light sensor and other display drivers. It’s unclear how LG managed to avoid having a dead area with its circular watch.

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TSMC expected to begin 16nm volume production for Apple’s A9 chip in early 2015

We’re still just over two weeks away from the anticipated iPhone 6 event reportedly scheduled for September 9th where Apple is expected to debut the next generation of iPhone hardware including a more powerful, efficient A8 system-on-a-chip.

Worry not, though, about the next, next generation iPhone rumors, Apple watchers, as a report from Chinese publication Economic Daily News (via Digitimes) shares that TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, plans to “advance volume production on its 16nm process” during the beginning of 2015 “with monthly output of 50,000 wafers” to deliver Apple’s A9 system-on-a-chip. Read more

3D renderings compare Samsung’s iPhone-like Galaxy Alpha to the real deal

Samsung Alpha iPhone 5s render

Earlier this month Samsung announced yet another Android handset dubbed the Galaxy Alpha that many observers noted borrows design cues from the iPhone 5 first introduced by Apple nearly 2 years ago. The Galaxy Alpha does feature a metal frame with chamfered edges, but does it really favor the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s or is it more Samsung than anything else?

Designer Martin Hajek has created a new collection of 3D renderings to help visualize that comparison and answer that question showing Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha handset side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone 5s. Read more

Samsung acquires iOS-connected home automation company SmartThings

SmartThings

About a month ago, word broke that Samsung was interested in acquiring home automation firm SmartThings and today the two companies have made things official. A blog post by the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Hawkinson acknowledged the deal and stated that SmartThings will continue to act as an independent company under Samsung’s Open Innovation Center group.

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Samsung trolls iPhone-toting ‘wall huggers’ at power outlets in major airports

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Image via Cnet

Last month Samsung ramped up the anti-Apple rhetoric with a new ad campaign that depicted iPhone users as “wall huggers,” constantly tethered to a power outlet due to the inferior battery in their non-Samsung smartphones. Today Cnet reports that the company has taken its campaign one step further by trolling real-life iPhone users at power outlets throughout major airports.

The new ads take the form of posters near power outlets that read, “Samsung Galaxy S5 with Ultra Power Saver Mode,” followed by a tagline that appears to poke at Apple’s own recent ad campaign: “So you have the power to be anywhere but here.” If you’d like to take a gander at the latest salvo in the ever-escalating flame war between Apple and Samsung, you’ll be able to do just that very soon at JFK, O’Hare, and Midway airports. Samsung says even more airports could be getting the ads if they’re successful in the first three.

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Microsoft no longer dissing the iPad in Surface ads, now dissing the MacBook Air

Oh dear. Just when we thought Microsoft might have gotten over its misleading Surface tablet ads attacking the iPad (and iPad mini), it has run three new ones, each attacking the MacBook Air (the other two are shown below the fold).

Microsoft’s decision to go on the offensive is perhaps understandable: while Apple can run a MacBook Air ad simply observing that it’s “the notebook people love,” poor sales of the Surface despite high marketing costs have so far resulted in Microsoft losing $1.7B on the device …  Read more

Opinion: Is the case for Apple ending its patent battles with Samsung stronger than ever?

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling …  Read more

USPTO rejects parts of Apple’s auto-correct patent, $119M payout by Samsung likely to be reduced

autocorrect

In a new twist to the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the specific part of Apple’s auto-correct patent that Samsung was said to have infringed, reports FOSS Patents. This effectively means that Samsung was ruled to have infringed a patent that is no longer valid.

The trial found that Samsung infringed three of the five patents Apple claimed, including a specific element of its auto-correct patent which described a particular method of offering corrections or completions. Samsung had unsuccessfully argued at trial that this approach had been used by others before Apple, and therefore could not be patented. The court rejected this argument, but the USPTO has now agreed with Samsung …  Read more

Samsung and Apple agree to end all patent disputes outside of the United States

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in Zenica

Samsung and Apple just announced that they have agreed to drop all patent suits against each other in countries outside the United States, Bloomberg reports. The two companies will drop suits against each other in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy. This agreement does not include any licensing agreements, though. This has no effect on United States battles either.

In a joint statement, the two companies had the following to say:

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Samsung’s SoC profits down as Apple chooses TSMC for A8, although rumor says it will produce processors for iPhone 7

a7-apple

Samsung has been having some issues lately, reporting falling profits in the most recent quarter. Although most of this is due to shrinking growth in phone sales, where Apple continues to dominate in terms of profit share, Apple has also affected Samsung’s income from its microprocessor production business. With TSMC having exclusivity over Apple’s A8 production, to be used in the upcoming iPhone 6, Samsung’s outlook for ‘logic chips’ is also gloomy, as The Wall Street Journal highlights in a new report.

Samsung executives admitted on a recent conference call that the outlook isn’t so bright for this business.

“Sales and profitability from System LSI (logic chip business) worsened as demand from main customers continued to decline,” Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations said last week. His comments confirmed, albeit indirectly, how Apple’s gradual shift away from Samsung as a customer of microprocessors was eating into its profits.

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Apple & Samsung lose share to smaller Chinese OEMs in Q2 smartphone shipment numbers

IDC-smartphone-shipments-worldwide-Q2-2014

Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, and consumers anticipating a new iPhone this fall, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more