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Sep. 5, 2013, 2:50 PM
- Countering comments made by SK Hynix (HXSCL.OB) yesterday, Wedge Partners says the fire that broke out at Hynix's Chinese memory fab will cause at least a 2-month production delay, and that Hynix has suspended price negotiations with clients.
- The remarks come as DRAM spot prices jump 20% on account of the fire, and reports emerge several top memory manufacturers have joined Hynix in putting shipments on hold.
- There could be major downstream ramifications: TrendForce thinks 11M notebook shipments and 10M smartphone shipments will be affected within a month if "main production procedures are halted." The firm estimates it will take 6 months for all of the damage to be fixed.
- Prior to the fire, DRAM and NAND prices had been slumping this summer after rallying earlier this year.
- Micron (MU +3%) and SanDisk (SNDK +1.9%) are adding to yesterday's gains. DRAM/NAND giant Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) rose 1.9% overnight in Seoul, while Hynix fell 1.8%.
Sep. 5, 2013, 9:44 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA +0.1%) will have an outsized impact on the global battery industry if the automaker keeps pace with its production forecast, according to VentureBeat.
- As a result of Tesla's aggressive production ramp-up, Panasonic (PC +2.5%) has expanded capacity and Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) is negotiating to produce batteries for Tesla.
Sep. 4, 2013, 2:38 PM
- As expected, Samsung's (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) Galaxy Note 3 phablet has a mammoth 5.7" 1080p display. It also features a 13MP camera that can record 4K video, a split-screen feature called Multi Window (can run different apps or the same one), an improved S Pen stylus, new handwriting apps, and a menu of stylus-related actions (called Air Command) that pops up whenever the stylus is pulled out. (live blog)
- As with the S4, Qualcomm (QCOM +0.9%) will be powering a large chunk of shipped units, no doubt thanks to its 4G baseband edge. While the 3G-only version of the Note 3 uses Samsung's (1.9GHz.., 8-core) Exynos Octa CPU, 4G models will use a (2.3GHZ., quad-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon 800.
- Though featuring a bigger display than the Note II, the Note 3 is a bit lighter. The phone will hit all major U.S. carriers in October. Samsung is looking to both profit from burgeoning phablet demand, and keep competitors such as Sony, Huawei, LG, and (soon) Nokia/Microsoft at bay.
- Also launched: a new Note 10.1 tablet featuring a high-res display (2560x1600), an 8MP camera, a revamped S Pen, and many of the apps/UI tricks found in the Note 3. Though Samsung's tablet share has grown to 18% (per IDC), the iPad still dominates the high-end segment, thanks in part to its edge with regards to tablet-specific apps.
- Samsung is doing what it can to differentiate via unique software/services in spite of its heavy dependence on Google. The S4 came packed with proprietary Samsung tools, but sales have nonetheless fallen short of (high) targets.
- Previous: Samsung launches $299 Gear smartwatch
Sep. 4, 2013, 2:03 PM
- Samsung's (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) anticipated Galaxy Gear has a 1.63" AMOLED display with a 320x320 resolution, an 800MHz. CPU, a 1.9MP camera (supports video recording), a speaker, and two microphones. Also included: a pedometer, a low-power Bluetooth radio for taking calls and otherwise communicating with a paired smartphone, and 4GB of storage. (live blog)
- Many of these details were leaked in previous reports.
- 70 apps are initially supported, including some from well-known developers such as Pocket and Evernote. Samsung fitness/health apps are included, as is the company's Samsung's S Voice voice-recognition platform. Samsung promises a day of battery life under normal use (is that enough?).
- The Verge calls the Gear "a smartwatch like no other," but is critical of "the speed and intuitiveness of the user interface," as well as the device's speaker (not loud enough) and price. Engadget: "As we've come to expect with many first-generation devices, the Gear has quite a few shortcomings, some of which likely have yet to come to light."
- Aside from the aforementioned issues, Samsung has to contend with a growing preference among younger consumers to forgo wearing watches in favor of using their phones to check the time. On the other hand, Samsung and rivals might be able to credibly argue smartwatches offer a faster/more convenient way to take pictures, pull up e-mails, check sports scores, and carry out other basic tasks.
- The Gear goes on sale in the U.S. in early October. For now, it only works with devices running Android 4.3.
Sep. 4, 2013, 3:04 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is due to unveil a smartwatch today ahead of the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.
- The Galaxy Gear is expected to be more of fashion accessory and companion to mobile phones rather than a replacement, with VentureBeat reporting on Sunday that it's likely to be a wearable fitness device to rival Nike's Fuelband or Fitbit Flex. The Gear is seen incorporating a camera and Bluetooth so it can connect to a phone.
- The concept faces a number of hurdles, including the need for much smaller batteries than phones and better displays, as well as use cases.
- Samsung is also slated to unveil the Galaxy Note 3, which is set to compete with the iPhone 5.
- You can watch the product launches - due to start at 7 am ET - on Samsung's YouTube channel.
Aug. 30, 2013, 12:16 PM
- Intel (INTC) is expected to unveil a new lineup of Haswell processors on Sept. 1, reports Digitimes, citing sources from the upstream supply chain. Intel will debut 13 processors for PCs including the high end Core i7-4771, mid-range i5-4440 and i3-4340, as well as the entry-level Pentium G3430. Intel is also slated to release 24 Haswell models for laptops including the Core i7-4610Y, i5-4300Y, Pentium 3560Y and Celeron 2955U.
- Intel's Haswell-E server CPUs are rumored to ship beginning 2H 2014. This hasn't stopped Samsung (SSNLF.PK +2.5%) from mass producing DDR4 RAM modules in 16GB and 32GB varieties, which will be supported for the first time by Haswell-E. Whether the Broadwell consumer line, due 2H 2014, will support DDR4 is in the air.
- Separately, Intel will reportedly unveil its Bay Trail-T platform at the Intel Developer Forum on Sept. 10-12. ASUS, Acer, and Lenovo will showcase tablets based on the MID platform. The tablets are expected to hit shelves in late-Oct.
- Previous: Intel planning flurry of mobile CPU launches in 2014/2015
Aug. 30, 2013, 10:13 AM
- Phablets overtook both tablets and portable PCs in the Asian market during Q2, according to IDC. 25.2M smartphones with 5"-7" screens were shipped during the quarter, compared to 12.6M tablets and 12.7M portable PCs. The rise in popularity of the phablet is breath-taking: shipments grew 100% Q/Q and 620% Y/Y.
- Phablet pioneer Samsung (SSNLF.PK) has lost its gargantuan grasp of the market. The Galaxy Note model held 90% of the market in Q4 2011. But the Note series accounted for less than 50% in Q2, as "low-cost local players ... have swooped in to offer big screens."
- Acer (ASIYF.PK) entered the phablet market in June with the Liquid S1, which sports a 5.7" display, an Android OS, and a Mediatek quad-core 1.5 GHz processor. Nokia (NOK) plans to launch its own 6" phablet in Sept.
- Although Asia is the front-runner in phablet adoption, Barclays sees global shipments climbing from 143M this year to 228M by 2015.
Aug. 21, 2013, 4:19 AM
- The iPad's market share in China tumbled to 28% of the computer-tablet market in Q2 from 49% last year, IDC estimates, affected by the growth of cheaper devices running Google's Android. Shipments of the Apple (AAPL) product rose to 1.48M units from 1.15M.
- Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) share increased to 11% from 6% as deliveries surged to 571,000, from 133,000.
- Third-placed Lenovo (LNVGF.PK) experienced a drop in share to 8% from 9% even as shipments more than doubled to 413,000, from 204,000.
Aug. 21, 2013, 3:15 AM
- Facebook (FB) has got together with Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Qualcomm (QCOM), Nokia (NOK) and other technology companies to launch a project called Internet.org that aims to make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the earth's population who are not yet connected.
- The group also includes Ericsson (ERIC), Opera Software and Taiwan's MediaTek.
- The effort mirrors Google's Project Loon, an attempt to bring Web access to remote regions via the use of balloons.
- Around 5B people aren't yet connected to the Internet, which is a mighty number of potential Facebook users. (PR)
Aug. 20, 2013, 11:48 AM
- Source tell GigaOm prototypes of Samsung's (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) Galaxy Gear smartwatch have ~2.5," 320x320, OLED displays. Counting the case, the device has a 3" diagonal.
- The Gear is also said to have a dual-core, 1.5GHz. Samsung Exynos CPU, Bluetooth and NFC chips (the former provides smartphone connectivity, the latter authentication/syncing), and an accelerometer that allows the watch to instantly turn on "when it is moved up towards the eye."
- Touch/swipe gestures will reportedly be supported, but (in what's probably a smart move) text input won't be. Built-in Samsung apps will handle notifications and watch/phone interactions.
- SamMobile reported yesterday the Gear will be announced on Sep. 4, and go on sale in Oct. All signs point to Apple's much-rumored iWatch being a 2014 event.
Aug. 19, 2013, 2:37 PM
- The Korea Economic Daily reports Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) is working on a 12" tablet that will likely have a "higher than full HD resolution." The WSJ recently reported Apple has ordered display prototypes for a ~13" iPad.
- SamMobile reports Samsung will unveil its rumored smartwatch, expected to be called the Galaxy Gear, on Sep. 4 (ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show), and will begin shipping the device in October. The site also reports (in-line with previous rumors) the Galaxy Note 3 (believed to have a 5.7" 1080p display) will be launched on Sep. 4, and begin shipping the same month.
- The Verge more or less backs up SamMobile's report about the Galaxy Gear, while adding the Gear will only be able to make phone calls when paired with a smartphone (Bloomberg previously called the device a "smartphone-like wristwatch").
- Meanwhile, U.S. carriers are about to begin selling Samsung's Galaxy Mega, which pairs a mammoth 6.3" display with mid-range specs (720p resolution, dual-core CPU, 8MP camera).
Aug. 16, 2013, 7:14 AM
Aug. 9, 2013, 5:34 PM
- The ITC declares several older Samsung (SSNLF.PK) phones (estimated to make up less than 1% of the company's phone sales) infringe on two Apple (AAPL) patents covering swipe/scrolling gestures and headset detection circuitry. Samsung was cleared of infringing two other patents.
- The phones are subject to import bans, unless a Presidential veto arrives. Such a veto recently prevented an ITC ban on older iPhones/iPads ruled to be infringing Samsung's standards-essential IP from going into effect.
- A federal appeals court ruling on an Apple request to ban over two dozen Samsung phones (generally older models) remains pending.
- Separately, an NY judge has denied Apple's request to temporarily suspend a July ruling in which the company declared guilty of conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices.
Aug. 9, 2013, 10:45 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and affiliate Cheil Industries (a maker of OLED materials) are buying German OLED materials/tech provider Novaled for €260M ($347M).
- Cheil's CEO promises the deal will yield major OLED R&D synergies. Samsung says it's paying ~10x revenue.
- Universal Display (OLED +13.4%) shares, which dove last week on a Samsung/Novaled report, and partly rebounded after analysts argued Novaled's offerings are complementary, is below yesterday's AH highs, but remain sharply higher in response to its Q2 beat and strong full-year guidance.
- Universal mentioned on its Q2 CC sales of green host materials (used in newer Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S4) rose 192% Q/Q and over 6x Y/Y to $9M. Likewise, green emitter sales rose 186% Q/Q and over 8x Y/Y to $13.1M. Red emitter sales totaled $3.6M, +25% Q/Q but -29% Y/Y.
- The company added product mix and price cuts impacted its materials gross margin, and that there could be some additional margin pressure if host materials sales "proportionally grow faster" than emitter sales.
Aug. 9, 2013, 3:35 AM
- Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) are due to face each other today in two rounds of their long-running global patent battle.
- A federal appeals court is due to decide whether to ban over two dozen Samsung mobile devices after a jury last year found that they breached a number of Apple patents. In the case, the jury ordered Samsung to pay $1B in damages, an amount that a judge reduced to $599M.
- Over at the International Trade Commission (ITC), officials are set to discuss whether to uphold a preliminary finding that Samsung's products violated Apple patents. If the ITC does stick with the initial verdict, it could order a ban on the devices.
- A decision to bar Samsung products could boost Apple in its various patent disputes with other companies as well as with Samsung. However, given that the White House last week overturned a prohibition on certain Apple products, any ban on Samsung may not be implemented.
Aug. 5, 2013, 11:38 AM
- IDC estimates Apple's (AAPL) 14.6M calendar Q2 iPad sales were good for a 32.4% tablet share, down from Q1's 39.6% and the year-ago period's 60.3%. Android (GOOG) tablets are given a combined 62.6% share, up from 56.5% in Q1 and 38% a year ago.
- Apple is still the market's biggest OEM. #2 Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is assigned an 18% share on 8.1M shipments vs. a 17.9% share in Q1 and just 7.6% a year ago.
- Windows 8/RT (MSFT) are given a 4.5% share on 2M shipments vs. a 3.7% share on 1.8M shipments in Q1. Over the weekend, Microsoft cut Surface Pro prices by $100 through Aug. 29.
- Strategy Analytics has estimated the iPad had a 28.3% share in Q2 vs. 47.2% a year ago, and Canalys has given it a 42.7% share vs. 71.2% a year ago. The firms respectively peg Android's share at 67% and 53%.
- IDC thinks total tablet shipments (not the same as end-user sales) rose 60% Y/Y in Q2 to 45.1M. That's a marked slowdown from Q1's 142% growth. The firm sees 2H tablet launches fueling a growth pickup Strategy Analytics and Canalys both put Q2 shipment growth at 43%.
- IDC has estimated 2013 tablet shipments will rise 59% to 229.3M.
- Previous: Retina iPad Mini, new Nexus 7, Kindle Fire leak
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