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Feb. 10, 2015, 10:08 AM
- Six months after filing a contract dispute suit with Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) over unpaid Android royalties, Microsoft (MSFT -0.2%) says it has settled the dispute. Terms are confidential.
- Microsoft previously suggested Samsung stopped paying royalties in late 2013, with the electronics giant arguing the Nokia deal (by making Microsoft a phone manufacturer itself) nullifies the 2011 Microsoft/Samsung deal and requires a new cross-licensing agreement to be inked.
- The bottom-line impact of a settlement could be big: Samsung paid $1B in royalties to Microsoft in 2013 (pure gross profit, or close to it), and Samsung, though losing ground in recent quarters, still maintained a 20% Q4 global smartphone share, per IDC.
- Microsoft's total "Windows Phone" licensing revenue (includes Android royalties) amounted to $2.54B in FY14 (ended June '14). Nokia licensing payments (no longer being made) accounted for $382M of the figure.
Feb. 6, 2015, 2:04 AM
- The SEC and the Ontario Securities Commission are investigating whether a recent Reuters report about a possible $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) by Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) was sparked by investor intent on pumping the Canadian smartphone maker’s stock.
- BlackBerry shares, which closed on Jan. 13 at $9.71, shot up 30% on the news to close at $12.60 on Jan. 14, its biggest one-day gain in years.
- Shortly after the rumor, both companies denied holding talks for such a deal.
- Previously: BlackBerry denies talking with Samsung about buyout offer (updated) (Jan. 14 2015)
- Previously: More on BlackBerry/Samsung (updated) (Jan. 14 2015)
- Previously: BlackBerry +20.9%; Samsung reportedly approached about takeover (Jan. 14 2015)
Jan. 28, 2015, 8:20 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) had Q4 revenue of KRW52.73T ($48.6B, -11% Y/Y) and operating profit of KRW5.29T ($4.9B, -36%); the latter was slightly above guidance of KRW5.2T. Net profit fell 28% to KRW5.35T.
- With competition from Apple and Chinese OEMs taking a toll, mobile revenue fell 23% to KRW25T. On the other hand, strong DRAM demand/pricing and NAND growth led memory sales to rise 25% to KRW8.18T. Growing TV panel and mobile OLED panel demand helped display sales rise 9% to KRW7.05T. Consumer electronics sales were flat at KRW14.3T.
- Smartphone/tablet and TV sales are expected to fall in Q1 due to seasonality. TV sales for the whole of 2015 are expected to rise, aided by strong 4K TV demand. Tablet sales are also expected to grow, but no similar forecast is made for phones.
- Mobile and server DRAM demand is expected to remain strong in 2015, with the former boosted by the adoption of high-res phone displays. NAND flash sales are expected to benefit from server/SSD demand, and LSI (logic/foundry) sales by the 14nm process ramp.
- OLED panel shipments are expected to rise in seasonally weak Q1 due to new products (the Galaxy S6?), and grow over the whole of 2015 via the expansion of Samsung's customer base - Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) should be pleased to hear that. A healthy supply/demand balance is expected to remain for LCD panels.
- Samsung ended Q4 with over KRW50T ($46B) in net cash, and KRW17.9T ($16.4B) in investments. Shares are up 0.9% in Seoul.
- Q4 earnings slides (.pdf)
Jan. 26, 2015, 2:56 AM
- According to sources in the semiconductor industry, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) will be the main supplier of processors powering Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next handset model, Maeil Business Newspaper reports.
- The newspaper did not say how much the contract is worth, but Samsung will likely supply 75% of the chip production for the iPhone 7.
- Samsung was the company behind the A7 that powered the iPhone 5S, although it was ditched in favor of TSMC (NYSE:TSM) for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Jan. 22, 2015, 3:17 AM
- LG Electronics (OTC:LGEAF) says it did not encounter any overheating problems with Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) new Snapdragon 810 processor that will be powering its G Flex2 - the curved smartphone that will go on sale later this month.
- The comment came after Bloomberg report yesterday stating that Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) dropped the new Qualcomm processor from its next Galaxy S due to the chip overheating during testing.
- Previously: Samsung drops Qualcomm chip from new Galaxy smartphone (Jan. 21 2015)
Jan. 22, 2015, 1:15 AM
- Citing a "trusted source," BGR has provided a detailed list of specs for Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) upcoming Galaxy S6. Among the specs: A 5.1" quad HD (2560x1440) display, an 8-core CPU (presumably Samsung Exynos) that relies on Samsung/Globalfoundries' new 14nm manufacturing process, a 20MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, and a 5MP front camera with a large f/1.8 aperture (good for low-light shots).
- Samsung's next-gen flagship is also said to use Corning's (NYSE:GLW) Gorilla Glass 4, which was launched only in November and offers improved durability. With other reports stating the S6 will have glass panels on both its front and back (to go with a metal frame), two Gorilla Glass 4 panels might be used.
- Wireless charging is reportedly supported, along with a rapid charging feature that enables four hours of usage on a 10-minute charge. Dougherty thinks IDT (NASDAQ:IDTI) has a decent chance of being the S6's wireless charging IC supplier, and that a design win could yield $112M-$135M in annual revenue.
- Samsung is believed to be prepping both a standard S6 model, and one with curved edges. The S6 is expected to be revealed on March 2, the first day of this year's Mobile World Congress.
- Following a rough 2014, the Korean tech giant appears hungry to deliver new high-end models that stand out relative to the offerings of share-gaining Chinese OEMs. IDC estimates Samsung had a 23.8% Q4 global smartphone share, down from 32.5% a year earlier.
Jan. 21, 2015, 7:29 PM
- Though both companies have issued statements denying M&A talks, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is "actively pursuing a plan to take over or buy a significant stake in BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)," Canada's Financial Post reports.
- The paper has obtained a document prepped for Samsung by i-bank Evercore that "outlines the case for, and the potential structure of a possible purchase of BlackBerry." Though the doc was created in Q4 2014, a source says Samsung remains interested. “I can tell you Samsung is contemplating a purchase. It’s still being pursued right now. Samsung is still evaluating their options."
- BlackBerry soared a week ago after Reuters reported Samsung had proposed buying the company for a price between $13.35-$15.49/share. Shares quickly gave back most of their gains after BlackBerry denied having talked with Samsung about a buyout offer. Samsung later provided its own denial.
- BlackBerry has jumped in AH trading to $10.65.
Jan. 21, 2015, 3:18 AM
- Dealing a blow to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) says it will not use the company's processors for its next version of the Galaxy S, Bloomberg reports.
- Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, tested a new version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, known as the 810, but decided not to use it.
- The new Galaxy S is expected to debut in the first half of this year.
Jan. 20, 2015, 1:42 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is considering a stock split, making shares easier to buy and attracting more retail investors, as sliding profits continue to put pressure on the firm.
- Samsung shares remain well off last year's peak of 1.495M won ($1,380) following a series of quarterly profit declines, but its newly launched $2B share buy-back program and planned dividend increase has helped them recover from multi-year lows.
Jan. 16, 2015, 5:27 PM
- SamMobile (pretty accurate with Samsung scoops) reports Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is "ditching the swipe-based fingerprint sensor" found on the Galaxy S5 and Note 4 (among other products) in favor of a touch-based sensor similar to Apple's Touch ID.
- Like Samsung's existing sensors, the touch area sensors will be built into home buttons. "You wouldn’t have to swipe your finger on the sensor anymore; instead, you would just place your fingertip on the home key – at any angle – then lift it off, and that’s it."
- Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA) supplies the fingerprint sensors for S5/Note 4; the company could get an ASP boost from Samsung's adoption of a touch area sensor. During its FQ1 CC (transcript), Synaptics mentioned it expected to start initial production of a touch area sensor in FQ2 (calendar Q4), and "to see phones in the market in early calendar 2015," customer launch timings permitting.
- Synaptics' FQ2 report arrives on Jan. 29.
- Update: It's possible Synaptics rival Fingerprint Cards (FPC - recently partnered with Atmel) has the S6 design win. In September, FPC said it had won a fingerprint sensor design win for "a home button by a Global Tier 1 OEM customer in a flagship model with a target launch date in Q1 2015."
Jan. 14, 2015, 5:38 PM
- In response to Reuters' report, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) says it "has not engaged in discussions with Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry."
- BBRY -11.2% AH. Shares are still up 15% from yesterday's close.
- Update: The Globe and Mail reports BlackBerry has "shunned a handful of takeover overtures in recent months as its board of directors and largest investor continues to support a restructuring strategy that they expect will deliver greater shareholder value than current acquisition offers."
Jan. 14, 2015, 4:14 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) proposed acquiring BlackBerry (BBRY +29.8%) for a price between $13.35-$15.49/share, according to a Reuters source. BlackBerry closed yesterday at $9.71, and has closed today at $12.60. Shares are up another 3.2% AH to $13.02.
- According to documents, Samsung's proposed acquisition range implies an enterprise value of $6B-$7.5B, after factoring $1.25B in convertible debt. Execs from both companies reportedly met last week.
- Reuters states Samsung is interested in BlackBerry's patent portfolio. BlackBerry could also mesh with Samsung's efforts to grow its enterprise presence, strengthen its embedded/IoT offerings, and (though this is easier said than done) lower its Google dependence. The companies announced a BES12-focused enterprise partnership in November.
- Previously: Samsung reportedly approached BlackBerry about acquisition
- Update: BlackBerry denies having talked with Samsung about a buyout offer.
Jan. 14, 2015, 3:50 PM
Jan. 14, 2015, 2:42 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) has launched the first smartphone that runs its homegrown Tizen operating system, a major step in advancing an alternative to Google's dominant Android platform.
- The newly released Z1 went on sale in India today for 5,700 rupees ($92) each.
- Up until now, Tizen-powered smartphones faced a series of delays, including the postponed release of the Samsung Z, which was scheduled to go on sale in Russia in 2014.
Jan. 13, 2015, 2:20 PM
- Northland Securities reports Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is purchasing more DRAM equipment, and plans to ramp capacity. The firm thinks Micron (MU -2.3%) is likely to see the most pressure from Samsung's move, since it's a high-cost producer. (source: Notable Calls)
- Micron is adding to the Monday losses it saw on account of SanDisk's Q4 warning. Shares also sold off in July in response to Samsung capacity expansion fears, but later recovered .
- Goldman has been voicing concerns about rising DRAM capex for a while. Micron, for its part, struck a positive tone during last week's FQ1 CC about DRAM supply/pricing, and has long been arguing the industry's consolidation has changed its dynamics.
- Samsung had an estimated 41.7% Q3 DRAM market share. SK Hynix (HKSCF) had 26.5% of the market, and Micron 23.7% (source: Statista).
Jan. 8, 2015, 2:11 AM
- Confirming its first year of annual profit decline since 2011, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) announced today that its fourth-quarter profit likely fell 37.4% Y/Y, hurt by falling sales at its smartphone division.
- Earlier this week, Samsung pledged to reinvent itself by focusing on the "Internet of things", and promised that all of its devices would soon be connected to the Internet.
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