Aug. 28, 2014, 4:45 AM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) and LG (OTC:LGEIY) will face off at a trade show in Berlin next week, showing off their new smartwatch models.
- Unlike its previous versions, Samsung's new "standalone" watch will support 3G wireless networks and be able to make and receive calls without having to be tethered to a smartphone. The watch, called the "Gear S," will run on the company's Tizen operating system.
- LG’s new smartwatch, called the "G Watch R," will be powered by Android and have a rounded 1.3-inch plastic OLED screen.
Jul. 8, 2014, 4:40 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF), Intel (INTC) and Dell have teamed up to create a standard by which household gadgets communicate with each other, called the Open Interconnect Consortium. The partnership also includes chipmakers Broadcom (BRCM) and Atmel (ATML).
- The new consortium will rival the AllSeen Alliance, a similar framework supported by Qualcomm (QCOM), LG (LGEIY), Microsoft (MSFT) and other companies.
Jul. 8, 2014, 2:43 AM
- AT&T (T) says it will be the first U.S. wireless carrier to sell LG's (LGEIY) smartwatch - known as the "G Watch". The device was made in partnership with Google (GOOG, GOOGL), and will be available for pre-order starting on July 8 for $299.
- Demand for wearable devices is skyrocketing. Juniper Research forecasts the value of the wearable device market this year at $1.5B, up from $800M in 2013.
May 23, 2014, 1:45 PM
- Korea's ETNews.com reports Samsung (SSNLF) and LG (LGEIY) are interested in adopting sapphire cover glass for their phones, and recently asked sapphire wafer/ingot makers to submit samples.
- The site adds the companies were previously reluctant to adopt sapphire due to its steep cost, but have changed their minds following Apple's embrace of the technology.
- Like much of the industry, Samsung/LG have been avid users of Corning's (GLW +0.5%) Gorilla Glass. Sapphire cover glass is thinner, stronger, and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass, but also much more costly for now. Samsung took a 7.4% stake in Corning last year as part of a deal to sell its stake in the Samsung Corning JV.
- GT Advanced (GTAT +8%), currently quite busy ramping sapphire production for Apple, has shot higher on the report. Though GT has said its Apple deal "will be subject to certain exclusivity terms during the duration of the agreement," there could still be a long-term opportunity to service other OEMs. Moreover, stronger industry demand stands to improve GT's pricing power.
- SA author Matt Margolis notes the Apple exclusivity deal doesn't cover GT's sapphire laminate solutions (enabled by its Hyperion tech).
- Sapphire wafer vendor Rubicon (RBCN +4.8%) is also up sharply, aided by an Oppenheimer upgrade.
Mar. 21, 2014, 7:01 AM
- Could President Obama one day give up his BlackBerry (BBRY) addiction?
- The White House is testing Samsung (SSNLF) and LG Electronics (LGEAF) smartphones in a development that could threaten one of BlackBerry's last and most high-profile strongholds, the WSJ reports.
- Still, the testing is at an early stage and any use of Samsung or LG handsets is still "months away," while there's no indication - yet - that Obama will switch phones.
- Apple's iPhone is not being assessed.
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:09 AM
- Microsoft (MSFT) is expanding the number of manufacturers of Windows phones by enabling the latter to use cheaper components with the software.
- Companies that Microsoft is working with include Lenovo (LNVGF), Hon Hai Precision Industry (HNHAY), LG Electronics (LGEAF), ZTE and India's Xola and Karbonn.
- Microsoft provided details at the Mobile World Congress.
- Meanwhile, Nokia (NOK) is launching three Android phones even though the company's handset unit is being sold to Microsoft and the latter is looking to facilitate cheaper Windows phones. The Nokia X will cost €89 and will integrate Microsoft services such as Bing and Skype. The home screen will use tiles, as in Windows phones. Meanwhile, the Nokia X+ is priced at €99 and the XL, with a bigger screen, at €109.
- See Nokia to launch Android phones in China.
Jan. 28, 2014, 3:45 AM
- World smartphone shipments topped 1B for the first time in 2013, rising 38% to 1.004B units, research firm IDC estimates.
- Q4 shipments grew 24.2% to 284.4M.
- Total handset volume increased 4.8% in 2014 to 1.82B units. Q4 shipments +0.9% to 488.4M.
- "Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost," IDC says. "Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments."
- Smartphone vendor shipments in 2013: Samsung (SSNGY) +42.9% to 313.9M, market share 31.3%; Apple (AAPL) +12.9% to 153.4M, market share 15.3%; Huawei +67.5% to 48.8M, market share 4.9%. (PR)
- Other relevant tickers: GOOG, MSFT, SNE, LGEAF
Nov. 15, 2013, 2:58 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY) widened its lead over Apple (AAPL) in the smartphone market in Q3, with Gartner estimating that Samsung sold 80.36M smartphones vs 55M a year earlier and Apple 30.33M vs 24.62M.
- The Korean company's market share held steady at 32.1% while Apple's dropped to 12.1% from 14.3%.
- Overall, the number of smartphones sold increased to 250.2M from 171.65M.
- By operating system, Google's (GOOG) Android accounted for 205M devices, or 81.9% of the market, Apple's iOS 30.33M, or 12.1%, and Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8.9M, or 3.6%.
- The total number of cellular phones sold rose to 455.6M from 431M. Samsung was in first place with 117M units and Nokia (NOK) second with 63M. (PR)
Oct. 28, 2013, 6:36 PM
- There's still a significant backlog of iPhone 5S (AAPL) orders, even though supplies are rising every week, says Tim Cook on the CC. Likewise, though Cook is upbeat about FQ1 iPad sales, he says it isn't clear retina iPad Mini supplies (reportedly constrained) will match demand during the quarter.
- Also: 1) Greater China sales (+6% Y/Y) benefited from an earlier Chinese iPhone launch. 2) Cook says education market sales topped $1B for the first time, and estimates Apple has a 94% tablet share in the vertical. 3) DRAM and NAND flash memory costs rose in FQ4. DRAM costs are expected to rise again in FQ1, while NAND costs are expected to be flat and other commodity costs lower.
- Strategy Analytics has plugged Apple's FQ4 iPhone sales (33.8M) into its spreadsheet and released its Q3 smartphone estimates. The firm believes industry shipments rose 45% Y/Y to 251M, after rising 47% in Q2.
- Apple, whose iPhone units rose 26% Y/Y, is given a 13.4% unit share, -220 bps Y/Y. Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY) is assigned a 35% share, +210 bps, and estimated to have shipped 88.4M smartphones. Huawei (5.1%), LG (LGEIY, 4.8%), and Lenovo (LNVGY, 4.3%) round out the top-5.
- AAPL -0.1% AH. Apple deferred revenue remarks have calmed investors worried about FQ1 gross margin guidance.
- CC live blogs: I, II. More on Apple.
Oct. 27, 2013, 4:07 AM
- H-P (HPQ) has sued manufacturers of optical disk drives for allegedly conspiring to fix the price of their products from 2004-2010.
- The defendants, which control 90% of the market, include Toshiba (TOSBF), Samsung (SSNLF), Sony (SNE), Panasonic (PCRFY) and Philips (PHG).
- The suits follows a long probe by the Department of Justice into price-fixing and bid-rigging. Hitachi-LG Data Storage (LGEIY), another of the defendants, and four of its executives have pleaded guilty to breaches of antitrust law, while the DOJ named H-P as a victim.
- H-P, which purchased billions of dollars of drives, is seeking unspecified triple damages and injunctive relief.
Oct. 7, 2013, 11:17 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB), by far Universal Display's (OLED +3.7%) largest customer, says it has begun mass-producing a 5.7" 1080p flexible OLED panel, and soon plans to launch a phone that makes use of them. A variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (has a 5.7" 1080p display) is a good possibility.
- OLED-Info.com estimates the manufacturing line being used by Samsung can produce a few hundred thousand flexible 5.7" panels per month.
- Meanwhile, LG Display (LPL -0.9%) says it will start mass-production of a 6" curved OLED, while deeming it "the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones." A source tells Reuters LG Electronics (LGEIY.OB) will use the panels to launch an expected curved display phone next month.
Oct. 2, 2013, 9:34 AM
- LG Electronics (LGEIY.OB) has lifted the wraps on a curved smartphone with a flexible OLED display called the LG Z, according to ZDNet Korea. The device is reportedly in mass production, will be announced in the immediate future, and has a release date set for later this month.
- The phone's 6" OLED display will "be rigid, much like [LG's] curved OLED televisions," LG tells The Inquirer.
- LG is in a race with Korean rival Samsung (SSNLF.PK), which has plans of its own for a smartphone with a curved display to be released in Oct. The Inquirer speculates Samsung's rendition would be a variant of the Galaxy Note 3.
Jan. 7, 2013, 5:45 AM
South Korea's LG Group intends to increase its investment in its electronics ops by almost a third this year to 13.4T won ($12.6B), with the money to go towards ramping up production of LCD and OLED panels, as well as to R&D for phone software, TV sets and flexible displays. LG also aims to spend 3.5T won on its chemical business.| Jan. 7, 2013, 5:45 AM
Nov. 27, 2012, 3:25 AMThe latest trial in the global patent wars is due to get underway today in San Diego, where Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is suing Apple (AAPL) and LG Electronics for allegedly infringing IP related to video-compression technology. Alcatel-Lucent is seeking a "reasonable royalty" based on what it would have been paid had Apple and LG agreed to a licensing deal before supposedly breaching the patents. | Nov. 27, 2012, 3:25 AM