Tag Archives: Samsung Electronics

US patent office rejects claims of Apple 'pinch to zoom' patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected claims of an Apple patent that figures prominently in a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics, according to documents filed by the South Korean company in a U.S. federal court.

The 21 claims of the patent were rejected by the USPTO in a “final office action,” as they were anticipated by previous patents or unpatentable. Known as the “pinch-to-zoom” patent, it covers the ability to distinguish between the scrolling movement of one finger and two-fingers gestures like pinch-to-zoom on a touch-screen to activate certain functions.

Apple has up to two months to respond to the USPTO decision. In a filing in April after USPTO rejected multiple claims of another patent in a similar final office action, Apple said it had further options, including appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and seeking judicial review.

Claim eight of the patent was involved in Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung in the court, according to a filing Sunday by Samsung in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. A jury last August awarded Apple US$1.05 billion in damages, but the court has ordered a partial retrial to review the damages to be paid to the iPhone maker.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Growth in Smartphone Sales Belongs to Asia

By Reuters

smartphone sales asia mobile technology internet apple samsung telecom

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AFP/Getty Images

By Jeremy Wagstaff
and Lee Chyen Yee

SINGAPORE — After five years of explosive growth sales of high-end smartphones have hit a plateau and the $2 trillion industry — telecom carriers, handset makers and content providers — is buckling up for a bumpier ride as growth shifts to emerging markets, primarily in Asia.

While carrier subsidies have helped drive sales of high-end devices in mature markets, the next growth chapter will be in emerging markets where cost-conscious users demand cheaper gadgets and cheaper access to cheaper services.

This year, the number of mobile Internet users in the developing world will overtake those in the developed world for the first time — growing 27 times since 2007, compared to the developed world’s fourfold growth, according to estimates from the International Telecommunications Union.

“The center of gravity in the mobile ecosystem is likely to shift from the United States and Western Europe toward Asia,” Mary Ellen Gordon, director at mobile advertiser Flurry, said in an emailed interview.

That shift is a challenge to profit margins at the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics, which together sell half of the world’s smartphones. Both companies announce quarterly results this week.

Samsung has indicated its second-quarter operating profit will fall short of estimates as demand for high-end smartphones slows. Apple is also exploring cheaper iPhone models that come in different colors to tap the mass segment, sources have said.

Neither faces any kind of crisis. But, industry experts say, many users in mature markets who want a smartphone already have one. European smartphone shipments grew 12 percent in January-March from a year ago, the slowest growth since IT research-firm IDC started tracking the mobile market in 2004.

Asia: A Driving Force

Many of the new mobile users will be in Asia Pacific. The region will this year have more mobile Internet users than Europe and the Americas combined, ITU predicts. And there’s plenty of room to grow: fewer than 23 in 100 in Asia are mobile Internet users, versus 67 in Europe and 48 in the Americas.

“Asia will be the driving force of global growth for the next two decades,” says Scott Lee, head of Asia at Appsnack, a division of U.S. based digital advertising company Exponential Interactive.

The catch: much of this growth will come from users of devices that are up to 10 times cheaper than those in the developed world. Cheaper components, easy and fast access to latest versions of Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system, reference designs from chipmakers and falling prices of the chipsets themselves are pushing this, says Frederick Wong, a portfolio manager at tech-focused eFusion Investment, who owns four smartphones.

China, the world’s biggest mobile market — where only about a fifth of …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

New Intel chief sees $150 Atom tablets this year

Upcoming Atom chips from Intel will appear in tablets priced as low as US$150, the company’s CEO said Wednesday, vowing that Intel will not get caught flat footed again by “the next big thing.”

Intel’s low-power Atom chips are vital to its plans to recover ground in the mobile PC market, where sales of traditional laptops are falling and Intel has largely ceded the tablet space to rivals like Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm.

Speaking on his first quarterly earnings call for Intel on Wednesday, new CEO Brian Krzanich acknowledged Intel’s missteps and said it can’t afford to be caught off guard again.

“We’ve not always lived up to the standard we’ve set for ourselves,” Krzanich said, admitting that Intel was “slow to respond” to the tablet market. There will always be “another big thing,” he said, and Intel must be constantly “scanning” for it.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

ARM-based chips to improve network performance and keep power use in check

Chipmaker LSI is hoping to improve networking performance and flexibility with its ARM-based Axxia 4500 processor family, announced Monday.

ARM-based processors are best known for powering smartphones and tablets. But the British company’s technology will also be used in next-generation switches and routers for enterprises and data centers, if LSI is successful.

The Axxia 4500 processor family are based on up to four ARM Cortex-A15 cores and use ARM‘s new CoreLink CCN-504 interconnect, which can prioritize time-sensitive traffic and offers up to one terabit of usable system bandwidth per second, according to ARM. The Cortex-A15 is ARM‘s most powerful processor to date, and is used in products like the Nexus 10 tablet from Google and Samsung Electronics and the Galaxy S4.

LSI‘s Axxia processors have been based on PowerPC processors in the past, but the move to ARM will bring better performance while keeping power consumption in check, according to LSI.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2034658/armbased-chips-to-improve-network-performance-and-keep-power-use-in-check.html#tk.rss_all

Report: Microsoft may also make smart watches

Microsoft is working on designs for a touch-enabled smart watch, joining a number of other large competitors like Samsung Electronics and Apple who are said to be working on similar devices, a newspaper reported.

Executives at suppliers to Microsoft told The Wall Street Journal that the company was sourcing components for the prototype of what could potentially be a “watch-style device.”

Microsoft has, for example, requested 1.5-inch displays from component makers for the prototype, an executive at a component supplier told the newspaper. It is unclear whether the company will decide to go ahead with the watch, the newspaper added.

Microsoft could not be immediately reached for comment.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2034623/report-microsoft-may-also-make-smart-watches.html#tk.rss_all

Samsung Electronics sees operating profit jump on mobile sales

Samsung Electronics said today that it expects a first-quarter operating profit of between 8.5 trillion won and 8.9 trillion won (or $7.6 billion to $8 billion), a sharp increase of at least 49 percent from a year earlier.

Market watchers said the Korean electronics giants appears to be poised to post better-than-expected results despite seasonally slow first-quarter demand for IT products and costs resulting from a patent dispute with its biggest rival, Apple.

The earlier consensus among local electronics industry analysts for an operating profit of 8.5 trillion won in the first quarter was at the low end of Samsung’s forecast, according to Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Investment and Securities in Seoul. The upper end of the forecast is substantially higher.

The company also estimated revenue at between 51 and 53 trillion won, compared to 45.3 trillion won the year prior. Samsung’s earnings guidance did not break down figures for each of its business units.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

German court invalidates Apple slide-to-unlock patent

A German court has invalidated an Apple patent for the slide-to-unlock feature on mobile phones, according to a published report.

The Thursday ruling by Bundespatentgericht, Germany‘s federal patent court, is a victory for Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility. Apple has sought injunctions prohibiting the sale of devices from both companies.

The Bundespatentgericht ruling can be appealed by Apple to the Bundesgerichtshof, Germany‘s federal court of justice, wrote tech patent blogger Florian Mueller, who originally reported the ruling. Mueller is a paid consultant for tech companies in addition to blogging about mobile patents.

The German court ruled that none of 14 amendments Apple offered could salvage the patent, Mueller wrote.

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Inside Best Buy's Bold Move to Attract Customers

By Tamara Rutter, The Motley Fool

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Best Buy‘s new partnership with Samsung Electronics is yet another attempt by the big box retailer to attract customers to its stores. Under the arrangement, Best Buy will open up space inside its U.S. stores for Samsung to set up shop. The Samsung-branded stores will hit Best Buy locations as soon as next month, with plans to open 1,400 mini-stores by the end of June.

Shares of Best Buy climbed 12% on the news, continuing an impressive run for the stock so far this year. However, I think the market is overly optimistic about what this means for the struggling retailer.

Same story, new face
This isn’t a new strategy for Best Buy. The store-within-a-store concept is something that Best Buy has been experimenting with since 2011, when the company cut a deal with Apple to open Apple mini-stores inside select Best Buy locations. Unfortunately, even one of the strongest brands in the world wasn’t enough to spare Best Buy from declining revenue and sliding same-store sales figures.

Why would Samsung’s entrance be any different for Best Buy? While the so-called “Samsung Experience Shops” should help pull more customers through Best Buy‘s doors, it’s not likely to have a significant impact on the retailer’s broader turnaround efforts.

The real winner, in fact, is Samsung. The company’s mobile devices propelled Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone seller. However, Apple’s iPhone devices still rein supreme in the U.S. market. This could change thanks to Samsung’s new deal with Best Buy. To be sure, Samsung plans to roll out 1,400 shop-in-shop destinations this year, whereas Apple currently has only 740 mini-stores within select Best Buy locations.

Importantly, Samsung’s mini-stores are not only bigger than Apple’s small format stores, but also allow customers to skip the main checkout lines, and instead, pay at Samsung specific checkouts. Similar to Apple’s Best Buy stores, Samsung’s mini-stores will display its smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions in a designated area within Best Buy that’s staffed by Samsung product specialists.

Devil in the details
For Samsung, this partnership is a big deal. Ultimately, it gives the Galaxy device maker an instant presence in the U.S. retail market, where it had none before. For Best Buy, on the other hand, it’s a small step in the right direction, although many challenges remain ahead.

While Best Buy said its current profit margins on Samsung products would remain unchanged, neither company would divulge the specific financial terms of the deal. Best Buy has a lot riding on this arrangement with Samsung, as the big box retailer continues to lose customers to the convenience of online shopping.

The brick-and-mortar versus e-commerce battle wages on, with Best Buy caught in the middle. After what might have been its most tumultuous year in history, there are now even more unanswered questions about the future for the big-box electronics retailer. How will new leadership perform? Will old leadership take the …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Meet Apple's Most Dangerous Competitor

By Tim Beyers, The Motley Fool

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Even if we haven’t seen it yet, there’s something to be said for Samsung Electronics‘ plans to build a wristwatch computer worthy of Dick Tracy.

In the following video, Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova says that Apple‘s longtime chip partner is exploring new territory more frequently, and a result is having success defining new categories — phablets, for example — even as it challenges the Mac maker in other areas.

Do you agree? Is Samsung morphing from imitator to innovator? Please click the link to watch, and then let us know what you think using the comments box below.

if you’re hungering for more information on the Mac maker, The Motley Fool’s senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, has the skinny on the various reasons to buy or sell Apple right now. Click here to get his latest thinking on the stock  and what opportunities are left for Apple (and your portfolio) going forward.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Why Intel Is Poised to Outperform

By Brian Pacampara, Pacampara, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, computer chip giant Intel has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Intel and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Intel facts

 

 

Headquarters (founded)

Santa Clara, Calif. (1968)

Market Cap

$105.7 billion

Industry

Semiconductors

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$53.3 billion

Management

CEO Paul Otellini (since 2005)

CFO Stacy Smith (since 2007)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)

25%

Cash/Debt

$18.2 billion/$13.6 billion

Dividend Yield

4.2%

Competitors

AMD

Samsung Electronics

Texas Instruments

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 98% of the 9,989 members who have rated Intel believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last month, one of those Fools, CardinalRam, succinctly summed up the bull case case for our community:

[Intel] is just beginning to see the impact of the ATOM processor and it will get better over time. I still think this is a 12+ month play. I also think that UltraBook will be successful over the 1-2 year time frame. Then there is the server market — there is little competition to who powers the “cloud.” They probably won’t return to double digit growth, but as undervalued as [Intel] is today and with a [4+% dividend yield], I don’t see how they can’t outperform.

In fact, when it comes to dominating markets, it doesn’t get much better than Intel’s position in the PC microprocessor arena. However, that market is maturing, and Intel finds itself in a precarious situation longer term if it doesn’t find new avenues for growth. In this premium research report on Intel, our analyst runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Click here now to learn more.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Samsung appoints co-CEOs

J.K. Shin Samsung CEO

Samsung Electronics has promoted the heads of its mobile and consumer electronics businesses to share leadership along with the existing boss who oversees components, as the company looks to strengthen the independence of its massive internal divisions.

J.K. Shin

The company said Friday that both J.K. Shin, head of IT & Communications, and Boo-keun Yoon, who leads consumer electronics will be promoted to “CEO,” a role they will share with existing CEO Oh-Hyun Park.

Samsung Electronics dominates in multiple consumer product categories, including mobile phones and TVs, as well as components such as NAND flash, displays, and DRAM. The South Korean giant said in a press release that the personnel moves were aimed at distinguishing its growing handset and television set businesses, which have outgrown its massive component division.

“The new leadership structure will serve to clarify and enhance independent management of the two set divisions, as well as the independent management of the set and component businesses,” the company said in the release.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Price Cut for Kindle Fire Tied to European, Japanese Launch

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Thanks to today’s launch of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) in five European countries and Japan, Amazon claims that now “it is able to lower the price” of the devices in the U.S. At least that’s the story according to Amazon.

And while Amazon tries to link the launch of the tablet into new markets to the U.S. price drop, the full story is likely to be that full-size tablets are not selling well if recent survey data is any guide.

One of every two tablets sold in the fourth quarter of 2012 had a screen size smaller than 8-inches. The big reason: cost. Consumers like tablets, but small beats big and cheap beats expensive. Even market leader Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has experienced heavier demand for its iPad mini that for the larger iPad. Samsung Electronics and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) have also had more sales for the smaller, cheaper tablets.

The WiFi version of the Kindle Fire HD tablet has now dropped in the U.S. from $299 to $269 and the 4G version has dropped in price from $499 to $399. That points to another feature of customer demand. Tablets with WiFi-only sell better than the pricier 4G-enabled devices, which also require expensive data packages.

Amazon’s 7-inch version of the Kindle Fire was already available in Europe. And because Amazon does not reveal sales figures for its devices, we’ll never know for sure the impact of the launch in European and Japanese markets nor its impact on U.S. sales.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, PC Companies, Retail, Technology Companies, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: AAPL, AMZN, GOOG

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Apple vs. Samsung, Round 2 to proceed in California court

A judge in California has ruled that a patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung Electronics will continue, after indicating earlier that she would like to put the case on hold pending resolution of an appeal in another patent dispute between the two companies before the same court.

The two sides will, however, be required “to limit their asserted patent claims and accused products to twenty-five per side,” Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division, wrote in her order. The judge also plans to put a limit on the number of experts produced by each side. Unlike in the other case, the court “will not permit the parties to involve over fifty experts in this litigation,” she wrote.

Apple, which brought the cases against Samsung, wants them to proceed in parallel, while an attorney for Samsung, which has countersued, stressed the overlap between the cases. Both companies have included some of each other’s recent product introductions to the list of infringing products in the lawsuit.

Wants to cover new products

Samsung filed in November to amend its infringement contentions to include the iPad mini and latest versions of the iPod touch and iPad, among other changes, as the products were released by Apple after Samsung submitted its original infringement contentions on June 15, and a motion to supplement on October 1 that added the iPhone 5 to products that allegedly infringe its patents.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

BlackBerry Staring Down Samsung's Barrel

By 24/7 Wall St.

BlackBerry Z10

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The wait is almost, nearly finally over for the U.S. launch of the latest smartphone from BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY), the touchscreen Z10. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said today that the phone would be shipping to customers on March 22, and for those who can’t wait, pre-ordering begins tomorrow.

Samsung Electronics hasn’t been resting on its laurels, though, and the Korean firm will introduce its latest mobile phone on Thursday. Every expects the new Samsung phone to be called the Galaxy S IV (or S4 depending on where you look). Samsung may have scheduled its announcement to cast a shadow over the BlackBerry launch, and if the new Samsung device can delay purchases of the Z10 then Thursday’s launch will have done its work.

Samsung shipped more phones with the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) than any other device maker last year, although it still trails the iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) by about 17% in the market share sweepstakes. Samsung has already poached half of BlackBerry’s market share and anything it can do to keep the Canadian firm from gaining share back is worth a try.

Investors like what’s going on with BlackBerry, though. Shares are up about 12% at $14.59 in a 52-week range of $6.22 to $18.32.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, Technology Companies, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, T

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Google trims another 1200 jobs from Motorola Mobility

Motorola Mobility is cutting 1200 staff members, in addition to a reduction of 4000 staffers it announced in August, in order to focus on high-end devices.

“These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer,” said Motorola spokesperson Katie Dove in an email. “It’s obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition.”

Motorola’s mobile business has been overwhelmed in the smartphone market by larger players such as Samsung Electronics, Apple, Sony, Huawei Technologies, and ZTE. Samsung, the largest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter, like Motorola makes phones using Google’s Android operating system.

The revenue of Motorola’s mobile business as a result of knocks in the market was US$1.51 billion, or 11 percent of parent Google’s consolidated revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012. It also had an operating loss of $353 million in the quarter. Apple in contrast posted revenue of $54.5 billion and net profit of $13 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 29.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Foxconn still in talks for Sharp stake, despite Samsung deal

Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group said it was still negotiating a deal for greater cooperation with Sharp, despite the Japanese display maker securing a $110 million investment to supply LCD panels to rival Samsung Electronics.

Sharp’s agreement with Samsung was no surprise to Foxconn, which had received prior notification of it, said the company’s parent Hon Hai Precision Industry in a statement on Wednesday. “We thank Sharp for treating our bilateral relations with respect,” it added.

The company declined to comment on the Samsung deal itself, but said talks to deepen relations between Foxconn and Sharp continue. It added that a deal made last year for Foxconn and Sharp to operate a factory together in Japan is producing “fruitful results.”

The Taiwanese manufacturing giant, best known as the assembler of Apple’s iPhone, was expected to secure a 10 percent stake in Sharp last year for $800 million. But so far, the two companies have failed to reach an agreement after Sharp saw its stock price plummet as a result of its ongoing financial woes.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Apple, Google Still Top Smartphone Market

By 24/7 Wall St.

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In a refrain we’ve all heard more than once already, research firm comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) reported today that the U.S. market share leader among smartphone manufacturers is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and the leader in operating system platform market share is Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG). No big surprises there.

On a rolling average basis for the months of November, December, and January, Apple claims 37.8% of the handset market, up 3.5% from its October 2012 average of 34.3%. Samsung Electronics finished second, up 1.9% in January, from 19.5% to 21.4%. HTC Corp., Motorola (now part of Google), and LG Electronics rounded out the top five, with only LG posting a small (0.3%) share gain.

On the platform side, Google’s Android operating system took the top spot with a 52.3% share, down from 53.6% in October. Apple’s iOS platform picked up 3.5% in market share, to move from a 34.3% share to a 37.8% share. Apple took share from each of the top five platform providers: Google, BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Symbian. Only Apple and Google posted double-digit market shares.

The U.S. release of BlackBerry’s new operating system and touchscreen handset is set for next week, but any impact won’t show up until the March report which is due in April. The news is not so good for Microsoft, which had high hopes for its Windows Phone 8 platform.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, PC Companies, Research, Technology Companies, Telecom Tagged: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, MSFT, SCOR

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance