Samsung Group Stories January 20, 2012

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.

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Samsung Group Stories January 12, 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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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?

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Samsung Group Stories January 11, 2012

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…

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Samsung Group Stories January 9, 2012

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…

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Samsung Group Stories December 28, 2011

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….

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Samsung Group Stories December 22, 2011

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:

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Samsung Group Stories December 20, 2011

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.

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Samsung Group Stories December 19, 2011

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.

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Samsung Group Stories December 15, 2011

Last week Samsung got to breathe a sigh of relief as an Australian court ruled they didn’t “slavishly copy” the iPad with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as Apple has been insisted from the onset in court documents. Yesterday, the South Korean company told the Sydney Morning Herald that the court cases have helped make their device a “household name” and today we are seeing the Galaxy Tab maker taking advantage of the media spotlight and the fact that it’s been in the headlines thanks to lawsuits and those cheesy commercials.

As tweeted by Martin Aungle, an Australian corporate and marketing communications professional, Samsung is now pitching its device as “the tablet Apple tried to stop”. The above advert ran in the Sun-Herald newspaper this week. Samsung has obviously decided to up the stakes in this game considering they resisted up until now mentioning Apple by name in their marketing communication. We’ll see, of course, whether publicly celebrating its courtroom victory at Apple’s expense will have any effect on sales.

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Samsung Group Stories December 9, 2011

Today is a bad day for Apple’s legal sharks. First Motorola Mobility scores a ruling in Germany which has paved the way for a Europe-wide injunction on sales of Apple’s iOS devices and now High Court in Australia denies Apple’s request to appeal against an earlier decision which overturned the ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Australia.

Put simply, the country’s highest-level legal instance has ruled that no, Samsung’s tablet does not “slavishly copy” Apple’s iPad, as the Mac maker argues in court documents. The Federal Court honored Apple’s recent request that its injunction against the Samsung tablet remain in effect until today at 4pm in order to allow Apple time to prepare an appeal.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Tyler McGee, vice-president of telecommunications for Samsung Australia, said customers in Australia will be able to pick up the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet “towards the latter part of next week”. Also…

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Samsung Group Stories December 7, 2011

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According to Macotakara, the next generation iPad will be thicker and therefore won’t be compatible with all current iPad 2 cases.  That however won’t affect Apple’s Smart Covers which only cover the front.  They believe that the front screen will be the same as the other iPads, with the same types of corners and bezel as well.

We don’t know what that image is up there but Macotakara seems to imply it is a case for the new iPad. Update: The case is for the original iPad 3G according to its seller.  expand full story

Samsung Group Stories November 22, 2011

via TMO

Additional variations of the concept are available on Samsung’s YouTube channel. The version included right below challenges a notion that only iPhone has the best apps. A third clip is right after the break.

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Samsung Group Stories November 12, 2011

In Australia, as part of discovery, Samsung got access to Apple’s Qualcomm baseband source code for the iPhone 4S (lookout for battery issues while you are in there Sammy!).

Other matters appeared to be resolved, including Samsung’s access to the firmware used in the iPhone 4S’ baseband chip, supplied by Qualcomm.

A software expert had approximately two hours’ access to the firmware and would submit his findings by Sunday.

According to FOSSPatents, Samsung’s lawsuits against Apple in Germany are really heating up after a Mannheim hearing set a schedule for January 20 and 27 of 2012. It looks like Apple has a tough case, as the hearing leaned towards Samsung’s claims.

The two patents asserted in today’s litigations are

  • EP1005726 on a “turbo encoding/decoding device and method for processing frame data according to QoS”, and
  • EP1114528 on an “apparatus and method for controlling a demultiplexer and a multiplexer used for rate matching in a mobile communication system”.

Samsung’s third German complaint against Apple, which wasn’t at issue today, relates to EP1188269 on an “apparatus for encoding a transformat format combination indicator for a communication system”.

Below is a full rundown of the issues discussed at today’s hearing..

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Samsung Group Stories November 4, 2011

Florian Mueller isn’t a patent attorney but he plays one on his blog FOSSPatents.  For better or worse, he’s often quoted in the ongoing mobile technology patent battles where the winner is often Apple.  He’s also German so he probably understands this new, disturbing ruling a lot better than us (Our German is “rostig”)

Apple knows what it’s like to win injunctions against rivals. It won four of them against Samsung (two in Germany, one in the Netherlands and most recently one in Australia; all of them preliminary). Now it seems that Apple has just come out on the losing end of a patent infringement lawsuit. I have received a copy of what purports to be a default judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court barring Apple from selling in Germany — the single largest market in Europe — any mobile devices infringing on two Motorola Mobility patents and determining that Apple owes Motorola Mobility damages for past infringement since April 19, 2003.

If true, this would be a Hindenburg-sized backfire for Apple’s legal efforts in Europe.

The two patents and their US equivalents, Statements from Apple and Motorola and an update from Mueller below: expand full story

Samsung Group Stories October 28, 2011

Market shifts: Samsung beats iPhone in sales, ZTE passes Apple in global cell phone volume

The third quarter of 2011 marks a shift in the cell phone biz as Samsung takes the smartphone crown from Apple and China’s ZTE rises to become the world’s fourth-largest cell phone vendor by volume and Apple slides to fifth place. The bad news for Cupertino arrives just as the company for the first time […]

Samsung Group Stories October 26, 2011

More details on the iPad 3’s 2048×1536 resolution display

CNET’s Brooke Crothers has heard some information about the iPad 3’s upcoming 264PPI display. As we’ve heard a lot in the past, it will be a 2048×1536 resolution display as long as the Korean display manufacturers, Samsung and LG, can produce them in large numbers. According to his source, there could be some problems building […]

Samsung Group Stories October 19, 2011

Samsung manufactures the Apple-designed A5 chip found inside iPhone 4S and provides 512MB DDR2 RAM for the processor.

Samsung and Apple are working towards a resolution to the differences that have been plaguing their long-standing relationship, which culminated with some twenty patent infringement claims filed before courts in a dozen countries around the world. Quoting industry sources, Korea Times, asserted Monday that Samsung might provide Apple with custom-built A6 chips for upcoming new iPhone and iPad models.

Today, Yonhap News reports that Samsung COO Lee Jae-yong said his company would continue to supply the Cupertino, California client with crucial components, including Apple’s in-house designed A-family of chips powering their iOS devices. The supply chain ties with Apple, he told reporters upon arriving at a Seoul airport, continue to be long-term. The executive sat down the previous day with Apple CEO Tim Cook following a private memorial service for Steve Jobs, to which he had been invited. His two-hour meeting with Apple’s boss touched on parts for the 2013-2014 period, he told journalists:

For the 2013-2014 period, we discussed how best to supply even better parts.

The executive, pictured below the fold, also spoke of “a need to compete in a fair manner for the benefit of the consumer”, adding “this stance existed in the past, is taking place now and will occur in the future”. Another indication of attempts to diffuse the ugly legal brawl comes in another report quoting Samsung’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun as saying that the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which was unveiled yesterday with great fanfare, is designed to bypass potential legal attacks from Apple:

Now we will avoid everything we can and take patents very seriously. We will see if it will be 100 percent free [from Apple lawsuits]. I think it is just a start and [the lawsuits] will last for a considerable time. I don’t think there is much gain [from lawsuits against Apple]. What we are losing is the pride in our brand.

Now, despite Apple’s rumored chips deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Apple reportedly isn’t taking risks. The company sold a quarter billion iOS devices to date and hopes to grow sales even faster in the years ahead.

Apart from Samsung’s semiconductor fab in Austin, Texas, other chip vendors may not be capable of producing mobile processors for Apple in volume, without affecting quality and all the while meeting Apple’s high standards. Remember, we’re talking up to 200 million chips for iPhones, iPads and iPods in 2012. As for Apple cozying up to TSMC… expand full story

Samsung Group Stories October 18, 2011

The competition: Google introduces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus

The keynote went a little bad over in Hong Kong with both the Facial Recognition and the Quick Response features not working or crashing the device. Overall though, there are some interesting new features that certainly differentiate Android from iOS and Windows Phone 7. As for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone, it has a 5-megapixel […]

Samsung Group Stories October 13, 2011

US Judge says Samsung tablets do infringe Apple patents but doesn’t issue an injunction

US District Judge Lucy Koh came down on Samsung today for infringing on Apple’s patents in a preliminary hearing on Apple’s request to bar some Galaxy products from being sold in the United States. She stopped short of issuing an injunction however, like her Australian counterpart yesterday, saying that Apple may have some issues establishing […]

Samsung Group Stories October 12, 2011

Judge blocks Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Australia at Apple’s request

Claiming Samsung copied the iPad’s design, Apple has successfully achieved their mission in getting an Australian judge to block Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in Australia, reports Sydney Morning Herald. Apple says that Samsung is infringing on two patents, and the judge ruled until changes are made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 can’t be […]

Samsung Group Stories October 11, 2011

Google delaying Nexus Prime/ICS because of Apple patents?

Update: He’s wrong.  We’ve heard from an impeccable source that Google plans to have invites out “in the next day or so” and there is no patent delay. We reported earlier that Google and Samsung were delaying the release of the new Nexus Prime phone and Android 4.0 “Ice cream Sandwich” out of respect for the passing […]

Samsung Group Stories October 7, 2011

Here’s the official statement from Google and Samsung:

“We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing,” the companies said.

They are likely to make an announcement on the launch late next week.  The new Google phone is built by Samsung and is rumored to have a 4.65-inch, 720P display with dual core 1.5GHz Samsung processor, NFC, 1GB of RAM and other speeds and feeds.  It will likely be one of the stronger competitors the iPhone 4S faces this holiday season.

More at 9to5google.com expand full story

Samsung Group Stories September 30, 2011

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has offered Apple a secret deal to sort out the mess surrounding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet launch in Australia. The report has it that Samsung proposed a cunning solution that would allow them to release the device in the country next week. Apple’s legal counsel Stephen Burley allegedly told Justice Annabelle Bennett that Samsung’s “inconvenience would be diminished and we would be comforted” if the deal was accepted.

What incentive Samsung might have in store for Apple in exchange for releasing its tablet in Australia as early as next week is anyone’s guess. I asked patent expert Florian Mueller, who runs the FOSSPatents blog, about this. He responded on Twitter that Samsung “might promise not to infringe certain patents, make a payment, and perhaps also procedural concessions”.

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