Posts Tagged ‘Samsung’


The report alleged the phones were crashing due to faulty memory chips and criticised its repair policies.

Samsung, which generates nearly 14% of its overall revenue from China. said it would provide free repairs for the seven models mentioned in the report.

In a separate development Samsung was also fined by Taiwanese authorities.

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission levied a fine of fined 10m Taiwanese dollars ($340,000; £210,000) over allegations that Samsung had paid money to people to criticise rival’s products.

Growing scrutiny
China is the world’s second largest economy and the most populous country,

The combination of a growing economy, rising income levels and a large consumer base has made it a key market for leading global firms.

However, as foreign companies continue to grow their business in China, they have come under increased scrutiny.

Samsung, which is the latest foreign firm to be criticised in the Chinese media, said in statement that it “sincerely apologises” to Chinese consumers for inconveniences caused by the company’s “management problems” and that it welcomed the media scrutiny.

The models mentioned in the China Central Television (CCTV) report on Samsung, which was aired earlier this week, include the Galaxy S3 and the Note2 phones.

Earlier this week, a separate report on CCTV claimed that Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, was charging higher prices in China than in other major markets.

It alleged that Starbucks earned higher margins in China due to its pricing.

In April, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook apologised to Chinese consumers following two weeks of criticism by state-owned media over its repair and warranty policies,

The media accused the firm of arrogance, greed and of “throwing its weight around”.

Taiwan trouble
The fine in Taiwan came after an inquiry by the Fair Trade Commission alleged that Samsung had hired the services of an advertising firm, OpenTide Taiwan, to help it with online marketing.

Sun Lih-Chyun, vice chairperson and spokesman, told the BBC’s Cindy Sui in Taipei that its investigations had indicated that OpenTide had hired students and bloggers to post remarks about Samsung and also criticise rivals’ products.

He added that OpenTide gave weekly and monthly reports to Samsung, on online remarks, which indicated that Samsung was fully aware of what was going on.

OpenTide was also fined 3m Taiwanese dollars by the commission for its role.

The allegations had first come to light in April this year.

At that time, Samsung had called the incidents “unfortunate” and said they had gone against the company’s “fundamental principles”.In early 2013, Samsung was fined by Taiwanese authorities for an advert that misled consumers about the camera on the Galaxy Y Duo.

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Curved screen smartphones seem to be the next big thing in the technology world. Close on the heels of Samsung announcing its curved smartphone, comes the news that its south Korean rival LG too plans to launch a curved screen smartphone in November.

According to media reports, LG is working on a 6-inch curved smartphone being dubbed as the G Flex, which the company plans to bring launch next month. The phone is speculated to have an OLED display and use LG’s new Plastic OLED (POLED) technology.

For users, a curved display does not mean that that they will be able to bend these smartphones. Curved display means screens which will be slightly curved but not bendable.

Recently, Samsung Electronics said it will introduce a smartphone with a curved display in October. Apple’s much-rumored smartwatch too is expected to sport a flexible display.Curved display is already commercially available in large-screen televisions. Samsung and its home rival LG Electronics had started selling curved OLED TV sets this year priced at about $9,000

LG launched its G2 smartphone in India today, bringing yet another powerful handset to the already burgeoning Indian smartphone market. This device is a powerful competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z1, HTC One and Nokia Lumia 925.

It has all the makings of a champion, from a powerful chipset, gorgeous screen, unique software, and a great camera. No doubt, LG G2 has us intrigued, especially when it comes to design. The company has done away with hardware keys altogether, placing the power and volume keys at the back instead of left or right side as it happens in conventional design.

We were not sure if this new positioning for the keys will make smartphone usage easier, or if it will make it much too difficult to hold the phone, let alone operate it with one hand. We played with the device for some time at the launch event to see what the LG G2 is all about. Here is what we experienced ..

LG G2 looks much too similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4 despite a minor difference between screen size (5.2-inch for G2 vs 5-inch for S4). However, a closer look reveals that the new LG phone bears some differences compared to the now six-months-old S4, such as on-screen keys, no hardware buttons on the sides and overall a bigger device.

The screen of LG G2 is as good as it gets, with beautiful and vibrant colours and crisp text and videos. Around the screen are very thin bezels, helping the phone keep dimensions to a minimum.

Coming to the buttons on the back. Below the camera you will find here keys – Volume Up, Power/Lock and Volume Down, in that order. After using the phone for about 15 minutes straight, it stopped feeling outlandish as we could get a hang of the keys and using them to do common tasks. More on what these keys do below.

Overall, we like the design and look of the G2. The only grouse? Plastic does not feel fantastic, especially after having used the glass-bodied Optimus G earlier.

While you can press the power key on the back to turn on the phone, another option is to tap on the touchscreen twice quickly. This is same as the functionality we have seen in some of the newer Nokia and Samsung phones.

Inside, the software is similar to the Optimus UI we have seen in previous LG phones. However, this time it looks a little less childish, which is the only issue we had with the Android skin.

The phone seems extremely fast, a result of the combination of the light Optimus UI and powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset. All tasks we performed in quick succession went off without a hitch, showing exactly how powerful the chipset is.

We checked out some of the software features of LG G2. Many we had seen in previous phones (placing phone next to the ear to answer calls without pressing any keys in Samsung Galaxy S3 and supersensitive touchscreen in Nokia Lumia 920).

One feature that caught our eye was Slide Aside, where you can use a three-finger swipe from right to left to push a running app to the sidelines. This feature allows users to move or retrieve a maximum of three running apps from the sides. Though not as good as Samsung’s multi app view, it is still worth checking out.

Using G2 for a little more time gave us an idea of how to use its rear-positioned keys for doing more. While the volume and power/lock functions were quite expected, we also used it to access QuickMemo app and turn on the camera when the phone’s screen was turned off. However, you cannot take screenshots with the handset without using both your hands, something we can easily do with a single hand in other Android phones. During our short time with the G2, we found it to be a very capable smartphone that can stand neck-and-neck with any top-end smartphone in the market. Its unconventional design is quite good and does not hinder functionality, even though it does not add much value to the usage.

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch pairs with devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at launch

AT&T officially announced its pricing plan for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, which goes on sale this Friday at the carrier’s online and brick and mortar stores, and also at RadioShack.

The carrier will sell the phablet, which also packs in high-end specs and an improved stylus for more multitasking than in previous versions, for $299 with a new, two-year service agreement. If that number’s a little too daunting up-front, AT&T’s Next program lets you pay in $35 monthly installments.

In addition to the Note 3, the $299.99 Galaxy Gear smartwatch extends the phone’s capabilities to your wrist, in addition to the usual smartwatch capabilities, including a pedometer. While the Gear will only support the Note 3 at launch, in the future it will also pair with the Galaxy S4, Note 10.1 tablet (2014), and other select Samsung products

It sure seems like Samsung is clearly annoyed by the fact that rival Apple is getting all the credit for rolling out a gold smartphone.

The electronics company took to its blog to argue that it was first with a gold phone and that it wasn’t following Apple’s move. Since Apple rolled out the gold version of the iPhone 5s Sept. 10, it has been hugely popular and sold out at many stores as soon as it was released.

Samsung said it launched the gold version of its flagship smartphone in the United Arab Emirates back on Aug. 27. It started selling the devices in stores on Sept. 8 and later took the device to Kuwait and Qatar too.

“On 8th September 2013, the first Samsung #GalaxyS4 Gold Edition was already available in stores. The 8th comes before the 10th,” Samsung said on a caption for a picture posted on Facebook on Sept. 26, referencing the iPhone 5s announcement date.

To further drive the point that Samsung is not an Apple copycat, the company lists eight other gold cell phones it has released since 2004.

“See below to check out some of the phones we’ve released in gold in the past (just off the top of my head),” Samsung said on its blog.It’s doubtful Apple will get in on this who-was-first fight, but we’ve reached out to the Cupertino, Calif., tech company just in case.

Samsung announced a new 98-inch model of its S9 line of Ultra HD TVs at the IFA electronics show on Thursday

Pushing to make the industry dream of 4K TVs a market reality, Samsung unveiled a mammoth new 98-inch S9 model on Thursday at the IFA electronics show and, perhaps more notably, an OLED prototype with the higher screen resolution.

TV makers, eager to find a new selling point for TVs now that flat panels are no longer a novelty, are hoping that quadrupling the number of pixels to the 4K range — 4,096×2,160 is one option — called Ultra HD or UHD. That’s a notable change, as long as you’re sitting close enough to your TV, but the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) shift is potentially bigger since it uses a higher-contrast technology with much deeper blacks than today’s LCD panels.

OLED has proved hard to bring to market, though, which is why it’s significant that Samsung showed the OLED UHD TV. It’s only a proof of concept, not a real product, but it indicates that the company is getting a grasp on manufacturing. It “demonstrates our technology leadership,” said Michael Zoeller, Samsung’s European marketing director for TV and audiovisual products.

The company said the technology “represents an unprecedented leap forward for picture quality and sharp contrast with its self-emitting pixels and natural motion,” but the real proof of its merits will come when somebody can buy it, and buy it in a large enough size that the 4K resolution isn’t just pixel overkill.

Closer to store shelves is the 55-inch Curved OLED, a TV with a conventional HD resolution of 1080p but an unconventional bowed shape. It’s already on sale in South Korea, but it costs more than $13,000.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the future is not flat,” Zoeller said. “Its curve makes the perceived size of the image larger,” and the OLED technology means “there is life in every pixel.”

In the 4K flat-panel realm, Samsung debuted its new 98-inch UHD screen. It’s a relative of the gargantuan 110-inch S9 TV unveiled at CES in January, but the 98-incher will presumably have a price between that top-end model and the smaller 85-inch alternative, the UN85S9.

Samsung also announced European pricing for two smaller UHD models, the 55-inch and 65-inch F9000 TVs, that cost 4,000 and 6,000 euros, respectively (that’s about $5,270 and $7,912 in U.S. currency). They’re now on sale.

Updated TVs are nice, but the news pales in comparison to Wednesday’s headline news from Samsung’s first press conference, the $300 Samsung Galaxy Gear, a smart watch that pairs with Samsung phones and comes with several apps.Also prominent was the announcement of the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1, a stylus-equipped phablet and tablet, respectively.

The Philips 9000 Series is Philips’ first foray into Ultra High Definition television, unveiled at technology show IFA 2013 in Berlin.

There are two UHD TVs in the 9000 range: a 65-inch model and 84-inch model, both displaying 3,840 x 2,160 pixels of eye-popping detail.

Both TVs are LED-backlit and have three-sided Ambilight, which projects light from three sides of the TV to complement the colours on the screen. The 65-inch model boasts a 15W speaker and two 6W speakers, while the 84-inch version pumps out sound from two 25W speakers and two 20W speakers.

4K is still very much in its infancy, so there’s very little actual 4K stuff to watch in eye-frazzling detail. So the 9000 TVs attempt to improve on the detail of high definition films and TV by upscaling Blu-ray, DVD or HD TV channels.

One way you can see the eye-popping detail of which the TV is capable is with photographs. Photographs taken by even today’s average compact cameras and camera phones pack in way more detail than HD video, so you can view photos of 8-megapixels or more in stunningly crisp detail.

Which means you’ve just paid five grand for a photo frame.

You can also connect to the Web and access apps and online services such as Netflix, YouTube and Skype alongside Philips’ usual smart TV features, as well as Miracast and SimplyShare to connect to your phone and tablet.

And the 4K TVs also do 3D, because nobody demanded it. Like most high-end TVs today, the Philips 4K models can convert regular two-dimensional films and TV to 3D.And the price? The new Philips models are more expensive than Sony and Samsung models already on the market: the 65-inch 65PFL9708 costs 4,999 euros, and the 84-inch 84PFL9708 will set you back 14,999 euros.

The Z1 handset with the QX100 lens attached weighs 349g (12.3oz)

Sony has confirmed plans to sell two stand-alone lenses that connect to smartphones by wi-fi, allowing them to take higher-quality photos.

The devices are compatible with Android and iOS handsets and mark the creation of a new product category.

The Japanese company announced the products alongside a new smartphone which features a 20.7 megapixel camera and a larger-than-normal image sensor.

The launches should help the firm challenge Nokia’s top-end handset.

The Finnish company – which is in the process of being taken over by Microsoft – unveiled the Lumia 1020 in July. Reviews have suggested that it has the best smartphone camera on the market, but were critical of its price,

Sony told the BBC it would target its Z1 handset at a wider audience than what it called the Lumia 1020’s “super-premium category”.

It confirmed details of the devices at the Ifa consumer tech show in Berlin – much of the information had already leaked via tech news sites.

One analyst suggested the lenses in particular would struggle to find buyers.

“The concept is interesting, but when you think about using it, will users want to carry them around?” asked Francisco Jeronimo, mobile devices research manager at tech consultancy IDC.

“The problem is that for those wanting top-quality photographs, the experience of having a DSLR [digital single lens reflex] offers a better experience than a phone with an add-on camera.

“Meanwhile having the lens attached to a phone makes it feel quite bulky compared to a compact camera or stand-alone handset.

“If the lenses were priced under £100, then I could see photography geeks buying it, or operators bundling it with the phone, but these lenses will be quite expensive.”

Sony itself acknowledged that it did not know how strong demand would be.

“Always we’re discussing: ‘How many pieces should we prepare,'” Yosuke Aoki, a digital imaging spokesman for the firm, told the BBC.

“We’re waiting for after the Ifa announcement to see what the feedback will be to the models.”

Making a statement

Sony is bundling movies and games with the Z1 to help it compete

The QX10 lens offers a 10x optical zoom and 18.2MP resolution which Sony says makes it ideal for taking shots of distant landmarks or close-ups of people. It will cost about £170,

The QX100 features a smaller 3.6x zoom but a bigger sensor with a resolution of 20.2MP. Its aperture goes as wide as f1.8 – allowing more light in – meaning it should be more adept at taking photos in low light or with a very shallow focus. It also offers manual focus as an option which is not possible on the other lens. It will cost about £380.

Once fitted with a battery and memory stick, the QX10 weighs 105g (3.7oz) and the QX100 179g (6.3oz).

Both devices:

  • include technology that compensates for shaky hands
  • activate a link-up to a phone or tablet if it has an NFC (near field communication) chip
  • can attach to different-sized handsets via an extendable clip, or – in the case of the Z1 – using a special case
  • can be operated while a short distance away from the smart device

Neither:

  • has a built-in screen.

Sony Mobile’s head of sales and marketing said they were intended to send a message to consumers, including those who would never buy them.

“It’s a statement as one piece of many things that are starting to come together under the umbrella of Sony,” said Dennis van Schie.

“The PlayStation 4 is coming out. In 4K [ultra-high resolution] TVs, we’re the leader – from the formats to the cameras to recording capabilities [that will appear] quite soon in mobile.

“Now we’re the first ones to dare to create a lens-type camera with a new kind of user interface. It contributes to what Sony is standing for.”

Sony posted a 3.5bn yen ($35m, £23m) profit in the April-to-June quarter, reversing a 24.6bn yen loss the previous year.

Stronger sales of smartphones helped achieve the turnaround.

However, IDC says the firm still only had a 4.1% share of global smartphone shipments over the three months, putting it behind Samsung, Apple, LG, Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE.

Additional value

Nokia has boasted that its Lumia 1020 with a 41MP sensor is the best smartphone camera on the market

Sony is hoping the new water-resistant Z1 handset will help it boost that figure.

It says the device features an exclusive sensor which is the same size as that found in its Cybershot cameras.

It also features new software including the ability to provide live video streams to Facebook, and Info-eye – an app that provides information about books, wine and landmarks among other objects the phone is pointed at.

The company is also taking advantage of its other assets to help the device stand out from the Android crowd. UK shoppers are promised five Sony movie downloads and a selection of free PlayStation mobile games.

“They’ve done quite a good job of differentiating the phone,” said Mr Jeronimo.

“That’s what operators want – to be able to provide additional value from what Sony offers.”That’s why they are looking at Sony as a better prospect for the future than other vendors like Blackberry and HTC.”

Samsung has signed a deal with an anti-virus firm to offer improved protection to its Galaxy-branded Android devices.

It will use San Francisco-based Lookout’s software to scan handsets and tablets for threats.

The feature will be targeted at business users as part of the firm’s forthcoming Knox security product, which was announced in February.

Numerous studies have indicated that many hackers have focused their efforts on Google’s Android system.

Analysts said the move was designed to reassure companies that Samsung’s Android phones were a safe alternative to the Blackberry and Windows Phone platforms which have promoted their enterprise security facilities as key features.

More malware
Lookout’s chief executive blogged that malware protection had become increasingly important at a time more employees were linking their own devices to office networks.

“One in three companies now allow employees to bring their own devices to work, and whether or not it’s allowed, employees are doing so and company data is being accessed outside of the corporate network, potentially putting that data at risk,” wrote John Hering.

The company said its servers would scan Samsung’s mobile devices against known malware that could be introduced via email attachments, webpages or file-sharing services.

Other anti-virus firms have also been quick to play up the threat to Android devices.

Kaspersky recently announced that it had detected 57,000 new examples of malware specifically targeting the operating system since the start of the year.

McAfee has also warned that new types of spyware and code designed to bypass bank ID protection had helped swell the amount of Android malware by 35% in the April-to-June quarter.

The US government has also issued its own alert suggesting 79% of all malware threats to mobile operating systems were directed at Android in 2012.

“Android is the most insecure mobile system of all the mobile ones, and that’s been made more difficult because it’s so fragmented,” said Richard Absalom, an analyst at telecoms consultancy Ovum.

“It’s not just that that people are still running old versions of the software, but that Samsung and other vendors are forking the OS in different ways.”

Google itself has taken steps to address the problem. Earlier this month it banned apps from its Play store that make changes to a device without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

But one expert suggested the firm had still not gone far enough.

“New variants of Android malware are found every day, with most designed to steal money from users by signing them up for expensive premium rate SMS scams,” independent security analyst Graham Cluley told the BBC.

“Much of the Android malware has disguised itself as fake versions of popular apps like Angry Birds or Instagram, and although its normally encountered in unofficial app stores they have also managed to intrude into Google’s official Play store on a worrying number of occasions.”

Defence-approved
Samsung began offering its Knox product to selected Galaxy S4 handsets in May and has promised it would be extended to other devices.

The Pentagon is among organisations to have authorised the use of handsets which include the feature.

“This approval enables other government agencies and regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services to adopt Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets,” the South Korean firm said at the time.

Ovum suggested the latest announcement would help give the company an edge over other Android manufacturers such as Sony, HTC and LG.

“What Samsung is doing here is seeing a gap in the market,” said Mr Absalom.

“Blackberry’s share within enterprise is dropping and Windows Phone isn’t picking up as fast as Microsoft might have hoped.”Samsung is the biggest individual smartphone manufacturer out there and it thinks it can now make a major play in the corporate market.”

 

2013 appears to be the year of the alternative smartphone OS, with Tizen, Ubuntu Touch, and Firefox OS throwing their hats in the ring.

By the end of this year, big name mobile operators like Telefonica and manufacturers including Samsung will have worked together to get devices running those operating systems into the market.

But it’s not just the big guys who want to upset the Apple-Android duopoly. Finnish startup Jolla is taking aim too.