Mon, Jul. 13, 2:58 AM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) grabbed 92% of the operating profit of the world's top eight smartphone companies in Q1, financial firm Canaccord Genuity calculates, up from 65% a year earlier.
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) took 15% in this year's period.
- The reason why Apple and Samsung earned over 100% combined is because some rivals only broke even or lost money.
- Apple's dominance of profit share comes despite the company selling under 20% of smartphones and because its devices are much more expensive than those of its competitors.
- The story is similar in the PC industry, although not as extreme. Apple enjoyed over half of industry profits last year despite its Mac line taking a market share of just 6%, Bernstein Research estimates.
Fri, Jul. 10, 7:30 PM
- Not content with the 2K-resolution displays found on the Galaxy Note 4 and S6, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) plans to develop an 11K-resolution display sporting a whopping 2250 pixels per inch (ppi), roughly 4x that of the S6's 577. The company hopes to show off a prototype in time for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
- For a standard smartphone display, the human eye would have trouble detecting an increase in resolution from 2K to 4K, never mind 11K. However, Samsung suggests its goal isn't to provide sharper text or videos, but to enable quality glasses-free 3D effects.
- No word on whether the display will be an LCD or OLED. Given the higher materials costs involved with higher-resolution displays, Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) could benefit if 11K displays are ever mass-produced.
Fri, Jul. 10, 7:55 AM
- In a break from tradition, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is moving up the autumn launch of its Galaxy Note phablet to mid-August, WSJ reports.
- The move is part of a bid to give the device some breathing room before mid-September, when Apple typically unveils its refreshed iPhone.
- The step could also give Samsung a chance to inject some life into its mobile operations after a rough second quarter.
Tue, Jul. 7, 2:08 AM
- Plagued by a supply shortage and tepid demand, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is anticipating a seventh straight quarter of profit declines, reinforcing worries that Galaxy S6 sales fell short of expectations.
- Operating profit for the second quarter likely fell 4% from a year earlier to 6.9T won ($6.1B), while revenue for the period likely dropped 8.3% to 48T won.
- The declines come amid robust growth in Samsung's semiconductor operations, leaving most of the blame on the the company's once-highflying mobile division.
Wed, Jul. 1, 3:24 AM
- A South Korean court has rejected an appeal from activist fund Elliott Associates to block the merger of two Samsung group companies - Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T - saying that the proposed deal did not represent an illegal transfer of value to investors.
- The deal would allow the heirs of patriarch Lee Kun-hee, who remains hospitalized since a May 2014 heart attack, to consolidate stakes in affiliates like smartphone maker Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) and keep control of the Samsung group.
- Elliott, which has a 7.1% stake in Samsung C&T, argued the merger should be ruled invalid because it undervalued the company.
Mon, Jun. 29, 4:19 AM
- South Korea's Samsung Bioepis, a developer of generic versions of biotech drugs, is considering a Nasdaq IPO that could be worth around $1.3B.
- Ninety percent of Samsung Bioepis is held by Samsung Biologics, which is in turn owned by affiliate Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) as well as Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T (which are currently battling activist Elliott Associates over their proposed merger).
- U.S. listings are rare for South Korea firms as they tend to trade at discounts to global peers. It would be the first on Nasdaq since 2006.
Tue, Jun. 23, 5:19 PM
- Echoes of the Apple/IBM deal? Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) plan to offer "a series of enterprise-ready industry-specific mobile applications that will run on the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform and address key workforce management and business tasks, such as business intelligence, field and customer service, inventory management and sales catalog, pricing, ordering, and invoicing"
- The apps will run on Android and other mobile operating systems; companies will be able to customize them, as well as integrate with back-end systems. Red Hat/Samsung also plan to provide developer tools to create an ecosystem around their offerings, and delivery/support services.
- Red Hat's mobile app platform was officially unveiled earlier today. It leverages last year's acquisition of enterprise mobile app platform owner FeedHenry, as well as Red Hat's JBoss middleware line and software supporting the open-source OpenShift cloud app platform (PaaS).
- Samsung has also partnered with BlackBerry as part of its efforts to grow enterprise mobile sales.
Mon, Jun. 8, 3:16 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) plans to offer a mobile payments function in a smartwatch to be launched in the second half of the year, Electronic Times reports.
- The South Korean firm has previously said its Samsung Pay mobile payments service, which supports NFC technology, will become available for "select partners" in July.
Thu, Jun. 4, 9:59 AM
- Alcoa (AA +0.1%) says it is supplying aerospace-grade aluminum to Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) for its Galaxy S6 and S6 edge models, enabling the smartphone maker to produce more durable and sleeker phones.
- Alcoa says phones made with 6013 Alcoa Power Plate are 70% stronger than standard aluminum.
- The announcement fits Alcoa's strategy of moving away from costly traditional smelting and refining toward more value-added businesses such as automotive and aerospace.
Wed, Jun. 3, 8:03 AM
- Following much speculation, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) says it doesn't have plans to merge with sister company Samsung SDS, as the controlling Lee family looks to streamline its sprawling web of companies.
- "The management wants me to express clearly that we do not have a plan to merge with SDS," Robert Yi, Samsung Electronics' head of investor relations, said at a company event in Seoul.
- Previously: Samsung merger to strengthen heir's grip on conglomerate (May. 26 2015)
Fri, May 29, 6:56 PM
- Though reviewers argued buyers should stick with the standard S6, recent Korean meetings indicate Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy S6 Edge "has continued to exceed expectations," says Susquehanna's Mehdi Hosseini. He sees the curved phone accounting for 40%-50% of Q2 S6 shipments in spite of supply constraints, and over 50% in 2H15.
- Hosseini's forecast for total 2015 S6 shipments remains at 48M. With the S6 Edge typically costing ~$100 more than comparable standard S6 models, a mix shift towards the edge stands to boost Samsung's ASPs/margins.
- Positive comments are also made regarding Samsung's chip ops: Yields for Samsung's recently-launched 14nm manufacturing process have improved, and the company is forecast to get 70% of Apple's A9 CPU orders (with TSMC getting the rest). Development of an integrated Exynos baseband modem/app processor is said to be nearing completion.
- The comments come ahead of Samsung's June 3 analyst day.
- Last month: Galaxy S6 demand much higher than expected
Tue, May 26, 3:49 AM
- Samsung Group has announced the merger of two major affiliates, as it reconstructs itself to smooth the path for management succession within the founding Lee family.
- The all stock deal, approved by the boards of both firms, would see Samsung's de facto holding company Cheil Industries acquire building firm Samsung C&T (which has a key stake in Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF)) for 8.9T won ($8.1B).
Mon, May 18, 11:04 AM
- A federal appeals court (the CAFC) has upheld the patent infringement violations found by a San Jose jury in Apple's (AAPL +0.4%) 2012 infringement suit against Samsung (OTC:SSNLF). However, it has reversed the $382M in trade dress dilution damages awarded to Apple (part of the $930M awarded overall), which will now be reconsidered by the San Jose court.
- Apple and Samsung's bitter legal war has been gradually dying down: Last year, the companies agreed to drop all suits outside of the U.S. That occurred shortly after Apple was awarded $120M in a U.S. infringement suit (separate from the 2012 complaint), much less than the $2B it originally sought.
- Separately, Whale Wisdom's Daniel Collins reports (following a review of Q1 13F filings) the number of Apple shares held by firms with over $100M under management fell by 4% in Q1 to 3.38B. 1,064 firms cut their positions, and 862 added to theirs; 121 created new positions, and 69 closed out.
- David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management were among the major hedge funds to cut their Apple stakes. Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors liquidated its stake, while Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates upped its position. Carl Icahn's position was unchanged at 52.8M shares.
- Overall, 2,193 13F filers owned $421B worth of Apple shares - both figures are market highs. 1,186 firms counted Apple as a top-10 holding.
Fri, May 15, 4:59 AM
- Samsung Group appears to be in the final stages of its succession process, with the conglomerate saying that heir apparent Jay Y Lee will become chairman of two key foundations, Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation and Samsung Foundation of Culture.
- The entities own shares in Samsung Life Insurance Co and enable the Lee family to control the group despite a relatively small stake.
- Lee, who is vice chairman of flagship company Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), will take over from his father Lee Kun-hee, who has been hospitalized for a over a year after suffering a heart attack, at the foundations.
- The younger Lee is eventually expected to succeed his father as Chairman of the whole group.
Thu, May 14, 7:19 PM
- 5B non-smartphone connected devices will be sold by the end of 2018, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) predicts at a press event highlighting its efforts to profit from the IoT chip market's rapid growth.
- Qualcomm notes it expects to get over 10% of its FY15 (ends Sep. '15) chip sales for devices other than mobile phones. The company has cumulatively sold chips for 20M Web-connected cars, and its Atheros Wi-Fi/Bluetooth unit sold chips for 120M connected home devices last year.
- Qualcomm/Atheros used the event to show off a pair of IoT-focused Wi-Fi chips - the QCA401x and QCA4531. The 401x, aimed at giving embedded device makers a small/low-power solution that can be quickly designed into hardware, comes with a built-in microcontroller and a communications protocol stack. The 4531 is aimed at more powerful devices: It contains a 650MHz. CPU, supports embedded Linux, and can function either as a Wi-Fi node or hub/access point.
- Like Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, and Texas Instruments are also going after the IoT chip market with some mixture of CPU, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth offerings, as well as integrated SoCs and modules. Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) recently launched Artik, a family of IoT hardware modules containing a CPU, memory, and related software tools. One Artik module supports Bluetooth, and another both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Mon, May 11, 2:17 PM
- After growing 19.1% Y/Y in Q4 (and seeing stronger growth earlier in 2014), Chinese smartphone shipments fell 4.3% in Q1 to 98.8M units, per IDC. Higher penetration rates, carrier subsidy cuts, and an inventory buildup near the end of 2014 contributed to the drop.
- IDC: "China is oftentimes thought of as an emerging market but the reality is that the vast majority of phones sold in China today are smartphones ... convincing existing users as well as feature phone users to upgrade to new smartphones will now be the key to further growth in the China market."
- Analysts have already noted Chinese smartphone demand has softened. Demand is expected to improve in 2H15, as inventories are cleared and 4G phone sales continue growing. IDC expects "relatively flat" growth for the whole of 2015.
- With strong pent-up demand for larger iPhones providing a lift, IDC estimates Apple's (AAPL -0.9%) share rose to 14.7% (#1 overall) from 12.3% in Q4 and 8.7% a year ago, via 14.5M shipments (+62% Y/Y). Revenue share was likely well over 30%, given sub-$150 Android phones account for a large portion of local sales. Apple, for its part, has reported its Greater China revenue (iPhone or otherwise) rose 71% Y/Y in Q1 to $16.8B (29% of total revenue).
- Xiaomi continues growing rapidly: IDC estimates its share rose to 13.7% (#2) from 9.2% a year ago. Fellow local Android OEM Huawei saw its share rise to 11.4% (#3) from 7.8%. Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), however, saw its share fall to 9.7% from 19.9% ahead of the Galaxy S6 launch. Lenovo/Motorola's (OTCPK:LNVGY) share fell to 8.3% (#5) from 10.3%. Everyone else had 42.2% of the market.
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