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Dec. 15, 2015, 4:54 PM
- For once, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) are on the same side of a legal battle: ParkerVision (NASDAQ:PRKR) has sued both companies, along with LG and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), in an ITC complaint alleging infringement of four patents. Products declared to be infringing include the iPhone 6, the Galaxy S6, LG's G3, and the iPad Air 2. Import bans (could be a very tough sell) are sought.
- A ParkerVision suit against Samsung, Qualcomm, and HTC remains outstanding. In October, a federal appeals court (the CAFC) denied the company's petition for a rehearing of a non-infringement ruling related to a prior Qualcomm suit.
Dec. 14, 2015, 6:48 PM
- Two months after an ITC administrative law judge ruled Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) didn't infringe two Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) GPU patents and deemed a third patent that they were found to infringe to be invalid, the ITC commission has upheld the judge's findings.
- Nvidia, whose Tegra processors directly compete against Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors and indirectly compete against Samsung's Exynos processors: "While today’s ruling ends this particular case in the ITC, we remain firm in our belief that our patents are valid and have been infringed and will look to appeal the ITC’s decision."
- Samsung has counter-sued Nvidia in both a Virginia court and before the ITC; those cases remain pending. Each company has also sought to have the other's patents invalidated by the USPTO.
Dec. 14, 2015, 6:09 PM
- Three months after Apple unveiled the 3D Touch-capable iPhone 6S and 6S+, the WSJ reports Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy S7 will feature a pressure-sensitive display. Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA), which has been a Samsung touch controller supplier for some time and has forecast phones supporting its ClearForce pressure- feedback technology will launch in early 2016, is a potential supplier.
- The S7 is also expected to sport a reversible USB Type-C port that can "allow for a full day’s charge in under 30 minutes and in some cases significantly faster than that." A retina scanner is also reportedly being considered.
- As with the S6, Samsung plans to offer a curved-screen model (the S7 Edge?) to go with a standard model. After ditching the S5's plastic body for an aluminum frame and glass back with the S6, the S7 is expected to "look largely similar" to the S6.
- IDC estimates Samsung had a 23.8% Q3 smartphone unit share (down 10 bps Y/Y) via 84.5M shipments (+6.1% Y/Y). The company saw healthy initial sales for the S6 earlier this year, but underestimated demand for the S6 Edge and overestimated demand for the standard S6.
Dec. 9, 2015, 3:52 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is setting up a new division to focus on automotive-related technology such as components for driverless cars.
- However, details about the unit were scarce and the company did not say how big the team would be.
- The news comes as Samsung looks to find fresh growth drivers amid slowing smartphone sales and as an increasing number of tech firms look to jump into the automotive space.
Dec. 4, 2015, 1:16 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) will make a $548M payment to Apple by Dec. 14 related to Apple's (AAPL +3.1%) much-publicized 2012 legal win in a California federal court. Apple had previously been awarded $930M, but an appeals court removed $382M in trade dress dilution damages in May.
- Nonetheless, in a joint case statement, Samsung says it "reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement" for its payout should the judgment against it be "reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue."
- Naturally, Apple "disputes Samsung's asserted rights to reimbursement." Samsung has successfully challenged the validity of an Apple pinch-to-zoom patent (the '915 patent) asserted in the case at the USPTO - Apple has appealed the USPTO's decision to a federal circuit court - and has hinted it could appeal the Apple case to the Supreme Court. However, the S.C. only hears a small portion of appealed cases.
- Apple and Samsung have already agreed to drop their non-U.S. legal disputes. Meanwhile, Apple's May 2014 settlement with Motorola Mobility sparked hopes of a deal with Samsung.
- Samsung's payment is equal to less than 0.1% of Apple's current market cap of $662B. Apple is rallying on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.9%.
Dec. 1, 2015, 4:22 AM
- Looking to revive its once-booming smartphone business, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) has appointed a new boss for its mobile division.
- The year-end reshuffle will see president J.K. Shin hand over the reins to Koh Dong Jin, who oversaw the development of Samsung's mobile operating system, Tizen, and its mobile payment system, Samsung Pay.
- The company's smartphone division has been facing tough competition from all sides (on both the high- and low-ends) and profits have been in decline for years.
Nov. 19, 2015, 9:03 AM
- Netlist (NASDAQ:NLST) is partnering with DRAM/NAND flash giant Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) to create server memory modules (under the NV-P name) that pair Samsung's NAND and DRAM with Netlist's HyperVault unified memory architecture (uses NAND as a low-cost, always-on, DRAM alternative).
- The companies will "work to create a standardized product interface to facilitate rapid market adoption," and target "a large group of customers in cloud computing, big data, and server and storage markets."
- As part of a patent cross-licensing deal, Netlist will receive $8M in cash and a $15M investment. The deal also calls for "additional exchange of consideration as progress is made" towards a product launch.
- Netlist has jumped to $1.12 premarket. The deal comes as Samsung rivals Intel and Micron partner to commercialize 3D XPoint, a next-gen non-volatile memory that's much faster than NAND and cheaper/denser than DRAM. SanDisk and HP are working to develop something similar. Target applications include high-speed processing for large big data/analytics datasets.
Nov. 18, 2015, 10:17 AM
- The staff of South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) allege some of Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) IP licensing practices are illegal, and recommends a fine and business practice changes.
- Qualcomm insists its practices are in-line with global norms, and plans to challenge the staff's findings before the KFTC commission. The company has also been dealing with probes from the U.S. FTC and EU regulators; its Chinese dispute was settled in February. EU regulators have been examining the links between Qualcomm's chip and licensing ops; the FTC has been probing the potential violation of obligations to license patents under FRAND terms.
- The allegations come at a time when Qualcomm's relationship with major customer/Korean IT giant Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) has become quite complicated. Samsung opted to exclusively use its Exynos app processors in the Galaxy S6 and Note 5, and also used its own baseband modems in many versions. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 baseband/app processor (next-gen flagship, expected to be manufactured by Samsung) will reportedly go into at least some Galaxy S7 models. However, Samsung recently unveiled the Exynos 8890, a baseband/app processor with custom ARM cores and support for 600Mbps peak 4G download speeds.
- Qualcomm recently officially launched the 820, while promising 30% lower power consumption than the Snapdragon 810 (believed to have overheating issues), significantly improved performance via its custom Kryo CPU cores and Adreno 530 GPU, and up to 600Mbps download speeds via an integrated X12 modem. A recent FierceWireless article (has been taken down) indicated the X16, a modem delivering 1Gbps peak download speeds, would arrive in the summer of 2016.
- Shares have fallen to new 52-week lows.
- Update: Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon notes only some of the allegations made in a 2009 KFTC staff report regarding Qualcomm wound up being accepted by the commission. "At this point, we have no idea what the Commission will determine, nor what remedies might be imposed, and we would expect years of appeals before anything concrete (beyond fines) would occur. Nevertheless, the nature of the charges outlined in the Examiner’s report is likely going to cause additional angst among investors who are already worried about the long-term sustainability of Qualcomm’s licensing business..."
Oct. 29, 2015, 2:10 AM
- Following a better-than-expected third-quarter earnings report, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) said it plans to buy back and cancel 11.3T won ($9.9B) of its stock over the next year in order to boost shareholder value.
- The tech giant's operating profit jumped 82% to 7.4% won ($6.5B) during the quarter, its first on-year profit growth in two years, boosted by a recovery at its mobile division and strong semiconductor sales.
Oct. 16, 2015, 5:13 PM
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) "now has a thousand people or more working to outfit a 2016 iPhone" with its XMM 7360 2G/3G/4G modem, sources tell VentureBeat. It adds Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may dual-source its 2016 iPhone modems via Intel and current supplier Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).
- That meshes with a March VentureBeat report stating the XMM 7360 will go into 2016 iPhones aimed at emerging markets. Though an August Northland Securities report forecast Intel will supply modems for some iPhone 6S/6S+ units, teardowns indicate Apple is solely relying on Qualcomm's MDM9635M modem.
- The MDM9635M supports 300Mbps peak download speeds, and the XMM 7360 450Mbps peak speeds. Qualcomm, whose high-end modems are generally considered to have a performance/power consumption edge, recently unveiled the X12, which supports 600Mbps peak speeds and will be integrated with its Snapdragon 820 processor.
- Also: VentureBeat reports Apple would like to eventually develop an SoC that features both an A-series app processor and a 4G modem, and which would be manufactured using Intel's 14nm process. The site also suggests Apple is interested in Intel's 10nm process (due in 2017).
- Intel would provide modem IP for the SoC in addition to manufacturing the chip. To date, Intel has paired discrete A-series processors manufactured by Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and TSMC (NYSE:TSM) with 3rd-party modems (in recent years, Qualcomm's). Intel recently bought 3G CDMA modem assets (needed to service Verizon, Sprint, China Telecom, and certain other carriers) from Taiwan's VIA Telecom.
Oct. 16, 2015, 11:44 AM
- Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI) and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) have announced a venture to build products and services for enterprise customers.
- The companies didn't disclose financial arrangements. In the early going, they'll provide software applications and content for the legal and financial sectors on compatible Samsung devices.
- The two said they'll look for ways to build on capabilities in mobile security, electronic devices and information technology.
Oct. 9, 2015, 4:04 PM
- ITC administrative law judge Thomas Pender has ruled Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) didn't infringe two Nvidia (NVDA -0.4%) GPU patents asserted by the latter. He did rule the companies infringed a third patent, but also found it to be invalid, arguing the patent doesn't cover a new invention.
- The case will now go to the full ITC commission. Nvidia sued Qualcomm and Samsung last year, alleging their Snapdragon and Exynos processors respectively infringe the company's IP. It obtained a favorable Markman ruling from Pender in April. Samsung, meanwhile, has countersued Nvidia in a Virginia federal court.
- Update: Nvidia has issued a statement regarding Pender's ruling. "We now intend to ask the full commission (which is made up of six commissioners) to review this initial determination and to confirm the previous judgment of the U.S. Patent Office — that the third patent is valid. If they agree, the ITC would issue an order that would preclude Samsung from importing into the U.S. infringing Samsung mobile devices and smart TVs."
Oct. 8, 2015, 7:23 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is looking to reassure users about its new mobile payment system after a cyber attack on the subsidiary that built the technology.
- A New York Times article yesterday reported that LoopPay, acquired by Samsung in February, had fallen victim to a group of Chinese hackers, which accessed LoopPay's computer network since at least March.
- The South Korean company confirmed the attack but said there was no risk to users of Samsung Pay, which launched in the U.S. on Monday.
Oct. 7, 2015, 2:37 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) shares surged the most in more than two years today after the tech giants's Q3 guidance blew past expectations, suggesting the company is getting back on track after a number of weak quarters.
- Samsung estimated its operating income rose 79.8% on year to 7.3T won ($6.29 B), as a renewed reliance on its semiconductor business offset weak performance at its smartphone division.
- Samsung Electronics +8.7% to 1.251M won.
Sep. 25, 2015, 2:43 AM
- Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus and Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) have unveiled a new version of Gear VR for $99, saying the virtual reality headset would ship in time for Black Friday.
- The new device is 22% lighter and will work with all of Samsung's 2015 line of smartphones, in contrast to the highly anticipated Oculus Rift, which will need to be wired to an expensive gaming computer.
- Users will additionally be able to cast 360-degree videos from Facebook's newsfeed into the Gear VR, and Netflix, Vimeo and Hulu support is also on the way.
Sep. 24, 2015, 5:21 AM
- Ahead of a U.S. launch next week, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) said its new mobile payment service has processed more than $30M worth of transactions in South Korea, although it has only been available in the country for barely a month.
- Samsung Pay is seen as advantageous to rivals Apple Pay and Android Pay, as its magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology is also designed to work with magnetic card readers that haven't yet adopted near-field communication (NFC).
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