Archive for samsung
Tablet shipment figures for the first quarter of 2013 are already here and they present an interesting scenario. For instance, according to a Digitimes report, tablet shipment reached 31.93 million for the first three months of this year, which represents a decline of 26.1 percent on quarter but increased by 66.1 percent on year. However, IDC is reporting an even more optimistic shipment figure of 49.2 million for the quarter.
However, both Digitimes and IDC seem to be unanimous regarding the iPad, reporting shipments of 19.5 million of the Apple tablet during the period. However, while the iPad continues to be at the top of the heap, the trend seems to be on the slide. Apple still has 39.6 percent of the tablet market to itself, though it used to be 43.6 and 58.2 in the last two preceding quarters. Analysts claim it’s quite normal, as Apple generally records a weaker first quarter after strong sales during the holiday season. Apple has recorded a year over year growth of a healthy 65 percent.
Samsung and Asus make up the second and third slot with sales of 8.8 and 2.7 million respectively. The individual figures might not be too inspiring, but both companies have reported 288.7 and 267.6 percent increases in sales respectively compared to the same period a year ago. Microsoft, according to IDC, managed to make it among the top five tablet makers with shipment of 900,000 of its Surface devices.
However, there are some contradictions that come to the fore that pertain to the operating system that dominates the tablet segments. While Digitimes is claiming the Apple iOS accounts for a dominating 61 percent of the total tablets shipped in Q1, IDC is pegging the figure at lower than 40 percent for iOS, with the Google Android making up 56.5 percent of all the tablets shipped. According to Digitimes, Android and Windows make up 31 and 8 percent of the total tablet shipment.
Another interesting finding of the Digitimes research is that the smaller tablets measuring 7 inches or so that are in greater demand, accounting for 56 percent of the tablets shipped in Q1. Tablets measuring 9 and 10 inches make up 22 and 20 percent of the shipments.
A few months ago Apple fired the first salvo in filing a patent for the ebook page turn. It caught the eyes of many developers and companies making Android and iOS apps, in that they might soon have to license the technology from Apple. Samsung obviously could not let Apple get away with monopolizing the animated page turn and filed its own patent for a different way of handling it.
The essence of the new patent is to give users the experience of a real book. Generally it is difficult to give a user a sense that manipulating an ebook is similar to manipulating a real paper book. For example, when detecting user input information about turning pages, the conventional method and apparatuses for displaying an ebook immediately change from a currently displaying page to another page, or scroll a current page in a direction corresponding to the input information to change from the current page to another page. That is, this changing scheme is not really similar to turning a paper page, but is more like browsing a web page. The new patent really kicks it up a notch and gives you a real book experience within the digital edition.
Obviously, the new Samsung patent is way more involved than the Apple one, in terms of technology employed. Apple basically tried to patent the animated page turn, but Samsung goes a step further. They document the entire faux page turn, including peaking at the next page. The race to patent technology in relation to ebooks is heating up.
There have been a silent but far reaching changes in the consumer electronic scene over the last few years. It’s the slow but steady decline of the once mighty Japanese electronics industry; what we see today can be considered just a shadow of what it once was. Unfortunately, the shadow is only growing longer, which implies the sun might well be setting in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The likes of Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, Hitachi, and other popular Japanese brands are fast losing their grip on the electronics scene. In fact, the situation is so drastic that Hitachi has resigned completely from the electronics scene and has instead taken refuge in heavy engineering, once its forte. The company has washed its hands of making entities (read electronics business) and is instead into selling heavy machines as well as taking on the engineering aspect of its products. Hitachi’s current boss, Hiroaki Nakanishi, 66, has claimed the move is paying off as the company is already out of the red and has regained profits.
Things aren’t near as rosy for the others, though Sony is still making a profit, albeit a marginal one by its own standards this year. Sharp, which has been bleeding profusely for the last few years, seems to have reached a terminal phase. It may even cease to exist, unless there is a big cash infusion soon to maintain the company. It might be slightly better for Panasonic, though it also is likely to report a huge loss, something to the tune of about $9 billion.
So why the sudden and violent crash from the high flying 80s and 90s to almost a non-entity in the new millennium? Japanese economist Gerhard Fasol claims it’s the digital revolution that proved to be the too much for the Japan based electronic powerhouses to deal with. Sony, Sharp, and nearly all of its compatriots have excelled in the mechanical side, but found the going tough when computer chips came to take over the working of a device. Of equal importance is the software, again something that the Japanese have traditionally never developed in-house.
“The Sony Walkman is a classic example,” said Gerhard Fasol. “It has no software in it. It is purely mechanical. Today you need to have software business models that are completely different.” No wonder, the once almost indispensable Sony walkman has been taken over by the likes of the iPhone or the iPod. The likes of Apple and Samsung are calling the shots in Sony’s own backyard.
Apart from the devices themselves, the way they are put together is another area where the Japanese giants are counting their losses. The manufacturing base has almost exclusively shifted to China and Taiwan, owing to the economics involved. It costs a fraction of what it would be in Japan to manufacture a device in China and Taiwan. Also, it’s not the best technology that determines a product’s success these days. Instead, a solid sales and marketing strategy has assumed significant importance towards a product’s overall success in the market.
Sony is ahead in the race among its domestic competitors, however, and has already made it known the company intends to be a significant player in the smartphone segment. Its recently launched Xperia Z is rumored to be doing well enough and Sony hopes to replicate the same with its Xperia based tablet offerings as well. It is also working hard to register a presence in the TV segment as well and has recently launched the 84 inch 4K TV, which will display it as leading the technology scene if not drive home huge sales. It will be interesting to note that Apple makes the bulk of its profit from the tablet and smartphone sales, as well as the ecosystem surrounding them. Sony also has a solid presence in the laptop or notebook segment with its Vaio series, though its survival here depends on what notebook/ultrabook/hybrid tablets it launches based on Microsoft’s latest platform, Windows 8. Sony has also stated its next gen PRS-T3 e-reader will be announced soon, another area where the Japanese giant does have a strong presence.
As for Sharp, it’s shaping out to be the LCD panel maker of choice for both Apple and Samsung, both of whom have picked up stakes in the ailing company. Interestingly, Apple’s enmity with Samsung has proved to be a boost for Sharp, as the latter is now slated to supply the panels that Apple had been sourcing from Samsung.
However, Japan still has a vast, extremely talented workforce that it can fall back on. Then the sheer number of highly educated men and women that it can deploy on a given task is another positive quality that can script the next turn around in the country’s favor. It will be interesting to see how things shape up in the next year or two.
Samsung’s contribution to the 8 inch tablet segment, the Galaxy Note 8.0, will finally be making its market debut in the US on April 11th. The price is a bit steep at $400 for the Wi-Fi only model with 16 GB of storage. However, that’s the price without any carrier support, which means the carriers can chip in to sweeten the deal further.
As for its features, the US version of the Note 8.0 is exactly the same as the one Samsung had unveiled at the MWC, with the only change being that its phone call feature has been removed for US consumers. The 8 inch display packs in 1280 x 800 pixels and is receptive to both finger and stylus support, the latter being one of its biggest USPs. At its core lies a Exynos 1.6GHz Quad Core that works together with 2 GB RAM.
Included in the offer are a few other goodies, such as 2 years of free usage of 50 GB of Dropbox cloud storage along with a month of free unlimited streaming from the Samsung Music Hub. Note 8.0 buyers in the US are also entitled to $25 worth of purchase from the Google Play Store.
However, the one thing that seems overbearing is the price tag, which does seem to be a bit on the higher side. The Note 8.0 is already on sale in the UK and will launch in Canada on April 29th.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is one of the most anticipated tablets to hit the streets this year. It has the same sort of S-Pen software that has made the phone a hit in the business world. Getting a little bit more screen real estate than your standard 7 inch device is a big selling factor, as well. The Galaxy Note 8.0 now has an official release date in Canada for April 29th, 2013.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 features a 8 inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It has a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, S Pen stylus compatibility, 1.2MP front facing camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 4,600mAh battery, and Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2). It is poised to be a very solid tablet, despite the $340 price tag.
One of the big hyping factors is that this is one of the few tablets on the market that you can get LTE speed while on the go. Being able to work in a mobile setting is critical for the market Samsung is trying to capture. Primary consumer segments would be disillusioned Blackberry users and the type who do more productivity tasks instead of playing Angry Birds. The extra screen size will also be perfect for graphic novels, comics, ebooks, and digital magazines.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is now finally on sale in the UK, where the Wi-Fi only version has been priced at £339.99. A 4G compatible model will be launched soon, though those who are eager for the wi-fi only Note 8.0 need to head over to the Samsung Experience Store at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center located in central London. Samsung is also offering a few freebies to make the deal more palatable. These include free access to the Samsung Music Hub for a month and free subscription to The Times Newspaper for two months. There is also a £20 Samsung Learning Hub voucher for the taking. For comparison’s sake, the iPad Mini range in the UK starts at £269.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 with its quad-core 1.6 GHz Samsung Exynos 4 CPU and 2 GB RAM has shown impressive performance. The tablet comes with internal storage configurations of 32 and 64 GB, with a microSD card slot as well for extra storage. The tablet offers a 1280 x 800 pixel display along with a 4600mAh battery and a pair of cameras at the front and rear. Then there is the stylus that can be used for taking notes or for drawing directly on the screen. The Note 8.0 runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
Meanwhile, Samsung is also rumored to be developing another 8 inch tablet to take on the likes of the iPad Mini. The tablet will make up the Galaxy tab range and will be priced lower than the Note 8.0. With the Note 8.0 pricing revealed, we at least know the upper limit of what the tablet will likely cost.
A new tablet from Samsung with a HD AMOLED display almost stands confirmed now, with a formal launch likely to happen later in the year (maybe IFA in September). However, official images of the device or information on its specs have been elusive so far, though the efforts of SamMobile has helped illuminate the picture. SamMobile has built a good reputation with reporting future devices from Samsung and has presented an image likely to be that of the upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 Plus.
From the image, what immediately becomes evident is its lineage with the same style cues as seen on the Galaxy SIII, S IV, and the Galaxy Note 8.0 also present on the image purported to be that of the Galaxy Tab 3 Plus. This makes it quite a familiar design that we have seen quite a lot of and could lead to its undoing. Obviously Samsung will pack it with a lot of power, and it seems likely that the tablet will sport an Exynos 5410 Octa processor with eight cores, Power SGX 533MP3 graphics, 2 GB RAM, a microSD slot, an 8 megapixel shooter at the rear, and a 9,000 mAh battery. The display that is sparking the most interest, what with Samsung expected to offer a 10.1 inch of full High Definition AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. That has the iPad 4’s retina display fully covered for sure, though Samsung is also rumored to be into developing an 8 inch version of the same as well.
So that’s plenty of tablet activity coming our way from Samsung.
A smartphone from Amazon has long been a hot topic for rumor mongers. Now that has got a fillip on the back of news about Amazon having poached a smartphone expert who has rendered 2 decades of service at Microsoft. Charlie Kindel’s most recent attachment at Microsoft was the Windows Phone Division. His LinkedIn profile mentioned he had been associated with the Richmond based company since 1990 though he left in 2011 to work on two start up organizations before making it to Amazon. The online retailer, on its part had secured the services of two other senior Windows phone managers in 2012.
Amazon currently offers the Kindle range of ereaders and tablet PCs, the USP for both series being its low initial cost. That the same pricing strategy will also be followed in the smartphone venture is almost a surety. Amazon is up against the likes of Apple and Samsung both of which has a thriving smartphone and tablet business (though it should be mentioned Apple at this moment is far ahead of Samsung in the tablet segment). This makes it almost mandatory for Amazon too to have a strong contender in the smartphone segment as well.
However, a possible timeline for the smartphone’s release continues to be elusive while Kindel described his latest role at Amazon saying he is “hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers.” His newest update on his Linkedin profile has described his role at Amazon as ‘something secret’.
Samsung is reported to be developing a new 8 inch tablet to take on the iPad Mini or Nexus 7. This will be in addition to the Galaxy Note 8.0 the company unveiled at the MWC in February, the pricing for which is still being withheld. Also, according to Sammobile, the tablet will sport a HD AMOLED display that will put it in a better position against the upcoming iPad Mini, which is also expected to carry a retina display. The company was earlier rumored to be working on a 10.1 inch tablet featuring a HD AMOLED display, though the emphasis seems to have shifted to the smaller 8 inch version right now. Also, the 8 inch tablet is likely to be launched at the upcoming IFA event in September, though the bigger 10 inch version will also be up for display, if not ready for launch. Then there also is a tablet in the offing from the South Korean manufacturer that can be considered to be a competitor to the Nexus 10. The biggest USP of the 10 inch Nexus is its resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, which is the highest on any tablet currently available. The last time Samsung has launched a tablet featuring an AMOLED display was the Galaxy Tab 7.7.
While specs are anybody’s guess right now, the tablet will assuredly sport a quad core chip and Android Jelly Bean as the OS with maybe a 2 GB RAM. A stylus can be ruled out as Samsung has kept it exclusive to its Note series of devices. It is also likely that Samsung will keep two lines of tablet series, the Galaxy Tab as well as the Galaxy Note. Finally, if Samsung is indeed in the process of developing a new 8 inch tablet to put up against the iPad Mini, it will probably be cheaper in an attempt attempt to undercut the next gen mini iPad.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Tablet PCs are all the rage these days and none are more aware of this fact than desktop PCs and netbook devices. While the former is already predicted to be over shadowed by the tablets within this year itself, research firm IDC is claiming netbook PCs will be outsold by tablets in 2014. Of course, these are estimates and are based on the growth rate the tablet segment has been experiencing over the years. The tablet growth story can be pegged at 78 percent over the previous years and a record 128 million plus tablet devices were sold in 2012. IDC is predicting the year 2013 could end with sales of more than 190 million tablet devices, which will mark a growth of 48.7 percent. It is interesting that the entire notebook segment itself seems to be in the midst of a transformation, what with smart new hybrid tablets coming on to the scene. These are essentially tablet PCs but with attachable keypads that transforms them into notebook devices. The segment has already been galvanized with the emergence of the Windows 8 platform.
The entire smart connected device market grew 29.1 percent over 2012, while the entire segment now is worth a staggering $576.9 billion. The tablet market share, as per IDC is likely to grow to around 16 percent by 2017, up from 10.7 percent in 2012.
In another interesting development, Apple has managed to close the gap with its arch rival Samsung on account of strong demand for its iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini. While Samsung still leads the smart connected device market with a share of 21.6 percent, the same for Apple now stands at 20.3.
Samsung has launched a new enhanced version of its Ativ Smart PC Pro 700 that now comes equipped with LTE 4G radio for enhanced connectivity. Needless to say, the added functionality comes at a price. Quite a hefty one at that, with it being around $400 more than its Wi-Fi only version. The Ativ Smart PC Pro 700 in its non LTE avatar commands a price tag of around $1,199.99, though the same with LTE radio built in goes for $1,600.
Everything else with the hybrid tablet remains much the same. This includes an Intel Core i5-3317U processor with Intel 4000 graphics, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of flash memory. The 11.6-inch touchscreen display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The tablet runs Windows 8 with Samsung claiming the tablet is able to support 8 hours of operation on a single charge. Also, of course, the tablet comes with a keyboard dock that allows the tablet to be used as a netbook device as well.
We already know Samsung is reported to launch the Galaxy Tab 3 at the IFA event in September, though new input from SamMobile further whets our appetite with reports of there being a high end tablet in the making as well. The new tablet, dubbed Galaxy Tab 3 Plus, is likely to sport a 10.1 inch display, though it could even be as big as 11.6 inches. However, the screen dimension apart, the real treat could the the display, as unconfirmed but reliable sources point out the new tablet could feature a High Definition Super AMOLED display. The same sources also state the tablet will be built around the 5th generation octa core Exynos chip, which is likely to power it with enough horsepower to be pitted against the likes of the Apple iPad. The latter is also slated to launch its 5th gen iPad during June or thereabouts.
The best tablet Samsung now offers in the 10 inch category is the Nexus 10, which blows away the competition with its performance and range topping display. However, only the the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with an AMOLED display, which has already impressed with its deep black and colors that are rich and vivid.
Watch this space for more updates as it becomes available.
Rumor has it that Samsung is keen to offload its Liquavista acquisition to Amazon for an amount that is not likely to exceed $100 million. The move comes in the wake of the South Korean manufacturer shifting its focus increasingly towards tablet computers and smartphones, while dedicated ebook reading devices aren’t as lucrative. Samsung had acquired the Netherlands based digital publishing company that specializes in electrowetting display technology in early 2011, though we have yet to see any product based on it entering large scale production.
“We are currently reviewing many plans, including the sale, but nothing has been confirmed yet,” Chenny Kim, a spokeswoman for Samsung.
Interestingly, while ebook readers represent a declining trend, basic LCD based displays continue to be in vogue while others seem to be shifting towards oblivion. A clear advantage with the Liquavista display is that it allows for good readibility even in direct sunlight while also consuming the least amount of energy in the business. However, that does not seem to be enough to incite excitement among both manufacturers and consumers. What remains to be seen if Amazon will bite the bait given less of consumer acceptance of ebook reading devices, while it is pushing for greater sales of its Kindle Fire tablet range.