Posts with tag samsung

Some good news and some bad news

Compromise is at the core of today’s Apple / Samsung patent decision


In the never ending patent battle between Apple and Samsung, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has handed down some good news and some bad news for both sides. According to the folks in high places, Samsung is indeed guilty of infringing certain, specific design patents in a previous (remember, this case is a couple of years old, now) version of Apple’s iPhone – a win for Apple. However, those same folks also decreed that Samsung wasn’t wholly copying the overall look and feel of the iPhone, instead creating an overwhelmingly original design.

This means exactly what it sounds like – Samsung will still owe Apple some money for those infringing design patents, but it’ll owe less – and likely considerably less – than before. Truthfully, this seems like a decent compromise. Apple’s claim that Samsung copied the overall look and feel of the iPhone years ago, an accusation which many claimed ridiculous. Many opponents to Apple’s accusation claim that Apple doesn’t own the concept of a rounded rectangle with a big screen in the middle of it, and today’s decision validates those doubts.

Source: The Verge

That Galaxy doesn't look as promising

Samsung warns profits are down over 60% from a year ago


Samsung, once the poster child for Android smartphones in the United States, is not doing well. Leagues away from the record breaking third quarter revenues of 2013, Samsung is warning that when they reveal their quarterly results for Q3 2014, things are going to be looking a little grim. In fact, the company has just announced that profits are down over 60 percent from that magical quarter last year, and most of the blame seems to be squarely on the company’s smartphone division; just yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Samsung Galaxy’s sales have seen a massive drop-off as of late, with some of the bleeding being attributed to a rise of popularity in the Apple iPhone.

But profits aren’t everything – surely Samsung is fairing better in some areas? Looking at the ever important marketshare figure, you’d be hard pressed to find good news. According to Seoul-based analyst Song Myung Sup, marketshare of Samsung Galaxy smartphones are “fast-falling”, particularly in the company’s homeland of South Korea. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the IDC reports that Samsung has lost nearly 10% of its American marketshare in the last year as of Q2 2014, falling from 32% to 24.9%.

Samsung is no stranger to adversity, but things are looking especially dire for the South Korean company given this troubling news. The real question now is whether or not the company’s just announced Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy Alpha smartphones can help turn the tides, all of which are coming to the United States-based carriers before the end of 2014.

Via: The Verge
Source: Bloomberg, IDC, Samsung

That would be the Note 4, of course

Samsung announces the Galaxy Alpha, and no, it’s not to take on the next iPhone


Samsung has announced the Galaxy Alpha. I mean, I guess that’s news – the device was only rumored up until this point, and it marks the first smartphone to feature Samsung’s new all-aluminum design that the company says will trickle down and up to other products in the company’s portfolio – including, more than likely, next year’s flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S6. It’s an okay, decidedly midrange phone – just like we reported the other day – with a modest dual-core (or quad-core, if you’re in very certain markets) processor, 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel camera, and a 720p 4.7″ display. It comes in Black, White, Gold, and Blue. All fine.

But really, can we stop pretending that this is Samsung’s answer to the next iPhone? I know it’s not, and – yes, I’m talking to you, mainstream media outlets – you know it’s not. The next iPhone will be a high end device with Apple’s fastest A8 processor, their best camera; it’ll be the model with the most RAM, the highest quality displays. It’ll be Apple’s flagship. And the Galaxy Alpha? This isn’t Samsung’s flagship. Not even close.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wrong to say Samsung’s got a competitor up their sleeves slate for release soon. They totally do – it’s called the Galaxy Note 4, and it’s rumored to be coming soon; probably next month. It’ll have Samsung’s fastest processor, their best (and biggest) display, and all the RAM and storage and processing power you could want.

But let’s not compare Apples to Alphas, okay?

This is Samsung's most polished baby

FCC approves Samsung Galaxy Alpha for sale in United States


The United States’ FCC has this week officially approved Samsung’s newest entry to its Galaxy smartphone line, the upcoming Galaxy Alpha – Samsung’s upcoming smartphone built from aluminum – for sale in the United States. This has been revealed by a filing posted to the FCC’s official website just this morning, and outs a few – a very select few – new details about the smartphone, including the presence of both NFC, LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. All pretty common stuff, but what’s far more interesting about this phone is what the FCC didn’t just reveal about the Galaxy Alpha.

According to leaks provided by industry insiders, we’re getting a pretty good look at what the Galaxy Alpha is actually packing on the inside of the upcoming all metal smartphone.For one, this is not going to be a flagship device, barely rivaling even the Galaxy S4’s specifications. For starters, the Galaxy Alpha packs a somewhat more sanely sized 4.7 inch screen, but its the resolution that’s a killer here – whereas most flagship devices come packed with resolutions around 1080p, the Galaxy Alpha’s screen will only come with a 720p display.

The processor on board will be a fairly run of the mill quad-core setup, however some markets will have access to an enhanced octa-core Exynos 5 processor. The camera seems to be the most high end thing about the Galaxy Alpha other than the aluminum design, packing a supposedly rather impressive 12-megapixel shooter with autofocus and perhaps even digital image stabilization.

We’re expecting the Galaxy Alpha to launch on most major carriers in the United States within the next couple of weeks, with an announcement expected just about the same time as the also-rumored Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s next true flagship device. Leaked photos of the Galaxy Alpha were posted by @culeaks, one of which can be seen above.

Source: culeaksFCC

Nice, but doesn't tell the whole story

Samsung announces the Galaxy S5 mini


Samsung has announced the latest in their attempt to sanely-size their increasingly oversized phablet flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S. And as per usual, the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini has the looks of its larger sibling, but not exactly the specifications to back those looks up. Inside the familiar body we’ve got a still-not-small 4.5-inch display, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a 8-megapixel camera.

There’s also a 1.4GHz processor running the show under the hood, which is pretty puny compared to the flagship Galaxy S5’s 2.5 GHz processor. The good news, however, is that its running the latest version of Android to date – Android 4.4 – and it comes complete with the fingerprint sensor as well as the heart rate monitor.

As for availability, the phone will be on sale in early July in Russia and will presumably be hitting other markets later this year. Like its full sized sibling, the phone comes in Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold colors.

Source: Samsung

But I wanted a Moto 360

LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live available for pre-order today


If you’re in on Google’s smartwatch platform, Android Wear, and ready to lay down that debit card information and get an early adopter’s unit in your hands – or, err, on your wrist – as soon as possible, you’ll want to keep refreshing the Google Play Store. Google just announced at I/O 2014 that the new LG G Watch will be up for sale on the Play Store today, presumably following the conclusion of the keynote event. The LG G Watch is the first officially licensed Android Wear device, Google’s adoption of Android for the wearable space. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the G Watch in action – this is the same smartwatch Google announced alongside the Android Wear platform earlier this year.

But never one to sit out of the festivities, Google also announced that a previously unheard of smartwatch by Samsung will be available for pre-order today, the Samsung Gear Live. If you’ve got a vision of a Galaxy Gear running Android Wear in your head, that’s pretty much right. It looks extremely similar to Google’s established Gear watches, albeit running Google’s take on the smartwatch platform rather than the sometimes bizarre Gear platform.

If you were looking to get in on the Moto 360, the first Android Wear smartwatch with a circular display, get ready to be disappointed. Unfortunately for all of us (this writer included), Google says the Moto 360 won’t be available until “later this summer.” But Mom, I want it nooow.

Source: Google Play

Techie approved

Samsung releases Galaxy S5 Developer Edition for Verizon

samsung galaxy s5 verizon

We’ve been lucky that big hardware manufacturers have been pretty good at releasing alternative versions of their flagship phones for those of us who enjoy tweaking our phones for every last bit of power, and today Samsung is continuing that trend for anybody on Verizon’s cellular network. The company has today released the Galaxy S5 “Developer Edition” for Verizon.

The Developer Edition Galaxy S5 is virtually identical to the standard Galaxy S5 model, Verizon branding and all. What you are getting for your cash (and there is a lot of cash involved, as the device must be bought outright at $599) is an unlocked bootloader, which users can use to install other operating systems on the device, such as the ever popular CyanogenMod.

The new device is only compatible for Verizon’s network and is carrier locked, so don’t even think about buying one and bringing it to some other network. But if you meet the qualifications and you got the cash, you can buy the new Galaxy S5 Developer Edition right now by heading over to Samsung’s order page in the source link below.

Via: Engadget
Source: Samsung

Rather serious camera issues

Some Galaxy S5 units affected by camera issues

galaxys5featuredFirst, we learned that the Galaxy S5 can be spoofed by fake fingerprints and now we have news that the impressive 16-megapixel sensor is having some rather serious issues.

The issue, which seems to only be affecting Verizon devices, causes units to pop up with a random “Camera Error” with seemingly no reason behind the issue. Once this error is received, the camera sensor becomes permanently disabled with none of the usual software tricks working. The only way to fix the problem is to get the device swapped under warranty, which Samsung will do if you call a number or if you go to a carrier.

According to The Verge, the issue isn’t too big yet but it’s still something to be aware of.

Source: The Verge

Not a great phone

The new Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 has a built in projector


If you’re the type of person who really enjoys the thought of having a built in projector in your smartphone, Samsung has got you covered – introducing the new Samsung Galaxy Beam 2, Samsung’s latest and not-so-greatest Android smartphone. The twist here, if you haven’t figured it out already, is the built in projector capable of beaming a blurry, dim projector image onto a wall – for like, conferences and stuff.

If you’re interested now, you might not be after hearing about the specs and availability. The Galaxy Beam 2 will only grant you a low end 1.2 GHz quad core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a measly 800 x 480 4.6 inch display. Oh, and there’s no LTE here – we’re talking about a 3G only handset.

The Galaxy Beam 2 is only hitting China at the moment, with no word on an international release anytime in the distant or not too distant future. Hey, there’s always the Beam 3, right?

Source: Samsung

Security at its finest

Samsung’s new fingerprint scanner easily spoofed

glam_galaxy-s5_groupThat fancy fingerprint scanner in your new Samsung Galaxy S5? Turns out, it’s easily spoofed from nothing more than a photograph of your fingerprint.

A German security team, Security Research Labs, was easily able to spoof the system due to the way it’s implemented in other devices which makes it a higher risk. The video, embedded after the break, not only shows the team gaining access to the device by using a fake fingerprint but it also shows them gaining access to PayPal which also supports the new sensor and is just as easily faked out as the rest of the phone.

Interestingly, Ars Technica reports that this spoofing method doesn’t work against Apple’s Touch ID system but does work on the S5. Given that the team acquired the fingerprint simply by taking a photo of a fingerprint left on a screen, it’s very easy to replicate this attack and gain access to everything, especially when you consider just how many smudges are often left on a phone screen.

The video showing off this spoofing attack is embedded after the break.
Source: Ars Technica

And discounts on their new wearables

AT&T taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S5

glam_galaxy-s5_groupIf you’re one of the Android crowd, you’ll have been waiting for this announcement on when you can order the Samsung Galaxy S5. Tomorrow, if you want to pre-order yours and your carrier is AT&T, you’ll be able to do so as they’re the first to accept pre-orders for the device. AT&T’s two-year contract price is $200 or if that isn’t your thing, $650 off-contract.

For that money, you can get a black or white device, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, a 2.5GHz quad-core processor and Android 4.4 which is all good for the definitive, top-of-the-line Android smartphone. If you’re willing to spend a little more money, you can also get a discount on either of Samsung’s latest smartwatches.

Also beginning tomorrow and lasting until June 5th or while supplies last, if you buy a Galaxy S5 through AT&T they’ll give you $50 off a Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo smartwatch. All of this can be yours if you pre-order through AT&T tomorrow, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the other carriers pitch similar offers when they announce the S5. Pre-orders placed through AT&T will ship in “early April”.

Source: AT&T (PR Newswire)
Via: The Verge

Step up, step sideways

Samsung announces Chromebook 2, a new $320 Chromebook with faux leather trimming


Good news, Chromebook fans – Samsung has just announced their new, next generation Chromebook machine. Called the Chromebook 2, the new machine boasts a modest spec upgrade alongside a whole new design.

Heavily borrowing from the company’s Note III design language – faux-leather and fake stitchings in tow – the Chromebook 2 comes in two sizes, an 11-inch model and a 13-inch model. The 11-inch model starts at $320 while the 13-inch model comes in at $400, however both share the same specifications otherwise. Both new models come with the same eight-core processor found on the company’s new Galaxy S5 smartphone, however instead of Android 4.4 running the show there’s – of course – Chrome OS instead.

Both models also come with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, while the 11-inch version comes with eight hour batter life. The 13-inch model is a little improved with eight and a half hours of battery, making the thirteen inch model the clear winner in terms of value once you add in its full HD 1080p display.

The Chromebook 2 should be on sale sometime next month, while the original Samsung Chromebook will be sticking around at a new, lower price point – so if you’re eager to get your hands on one of three cheap, powerful Chromebooks, soon you’ll have more options than ever.

Source: Engadget
Image Source: @evleaks