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Love texting? You better skip that new Samsung foldable phone! • SamMobile
"Danny D":
<p>This device is going to be a lot more compact than the original Galaxy Fold, even though it fits in your pocket just fine. However, it’s going to represent a challenge for you if you’re the kind of person who just loves texting. Since the cover display is absolutely tiny, you’ll have to unfold the device every single time you want to not only send a text but just to even see it. So if you’re sending out a hundred texts every day, that’s how many times you have to fold and unfold your device, unless you’re keeping it unfolded for extended periods of time. Just don’t sit on it accidentally, then, because you’re not going to like what happens next.

Sure, the Galaxy Flip Z is going to put a big display between the size of 6.7-6.9 inches in your pocket, but <a href="https://www.sammobile.com/news/live-images-samsung-clamshell-galaxy-fold-2">leaked photos of the device</a> have shown that the cover display won’t be of much use besides showing notification icons. This isn’t a problem with the original Galaxy Fold. It has a 4.6-inch cover display that’s always accessible when the phone is folded. That’s obviously not possible in the first iteration of a clamshell foldable smartphone.</p>


I consider myself warned. But I think Samsung might be setting itself up for trouble here. I've heard that texting and messaging is quite popular among smartphone users.
samsung  foldable 
2 days ago by charlesarthur
(CES 2020) Samsung sold at least 400,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones in 2019: exec • Yonhap News Agency
Joo Kyung-don:
<p>Samsung Electronics Co., sold at least 400,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones last year, the company's mobile business chief said Tuesday, denying earlier media reports that it sold one million foldable handsets.

"I think we've sold 400,000 to 500,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones," Koh Dong-jin, President and CEO of Samsung's IT & Mobile Communication division, told reporters at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas.

Koh's comment confirms Samsung's earlier answer refuting media reports that the company sold 1 million Galaxy Folds in 2019.</p>


The Galaxy Fold first went on sale on September 6 in South Korea, and then in the US later that month; then Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Australia in October, followed by India, and China in mid-December; all told, markets totalling over 2 billion people.

The "1 million" number was the original sales target - though whether that was if the originally planned April launch had gone ahead isn't clear.

I think it was the venerable analyst Michael Gartenberg who once said "any fool can sell 100,000 of anything. The talent comes in selling a million." I think for Samsung you can replace his "100,000" with half a million. The question now is whether there's a wider market prepared to stump up the extra for this.
samsung  foldable 
14 days ago by charlesarthur
Samsung ships over 6.7 million Galaxy 5G devices in 2019 • Digitimes
Rodney Chan:
<p>Samsung Electronics has disclosed that in 2019 it shipped more than 6.7 million Galaxy 5G smartphones globally. As of November 2019, Samsung accounted for 53.9% of the global 5G smartphone market and offered five Galaxy 5G devices, according to the vendor.

…"5G smartphones contributed to 1% of global smartphone sales in 2019. However, 2020 will be the breakout year, with 5G smartphones poised to grow 1,687% with contribution rising to 18% of the total global smartphone sales volumes," said, Neil Shah, VP of research at Counterpoint Research.</p>


That 6.7m (sorry, "over" 6.7m) doesn't sound like a big number to me. Perhaps unsurprising, though, because what's the use case? 5G isn't really going to be transformative for a few years yet. This really is just like the 3G-4G transition.
samsung  5g 
16 days ago by charlesarthur
Samsung denies selling 1 mln Galaxy Fold smartphones • Yonhap News Agency
주경돈:
<p>Samsung Electronics on Friday denied media reports that the company has sold one million Galaxy Fold smartphones globally since the device's launch in September.

Samsung Electronics President Sohn Young-kwon said at a conference organized by US tech media TechCrunch that the South Korean tech giant has sold 1 million Galaxy Folds so far, double the industry's earlier estimate.

But a Samsung spokesman said Sohn may have confused the figure with the company's initial sales target for the year, emphasizing that sales of the tech firm's first foldable handset have not reached 1 million units.

Earlier, Samsung said it expected to sell 500,000 Galaxy Fold globally this year.

Many analysts previously expected that Samsung would sell about 400,000 to 500,000 units of the foldable phone this year.</p>
samsung  foldable 
5 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung is shutting down its custom CPU division • Android Authority
Hadlee Simons:
<p>Samsung filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) letter in Texas, according to <a href="https://www.statesman.com/business/20191101/samsung-to-lay-off-nearly-300-as-it-closes-austin-unit-project">The Statesman</a>, notifying the state that 290 employees will be laid off as part of its CPU unit being shut down. The layoffs reportedly go into effect from December 31.

The Korean manufacturer confirmed the news to Android Authority, while also explaining the reasoning behind the decision.

“Based upon a thorough assessment of our System LSI [large scale integration – ed] business and the need to stay competitive in the global market, Samsung has decided to transition part of our US-based R&D teams in Austin and San Jose,” the company told us in a statement, adding that it remained committed to its US workforce.

It’s unclear what exactly this means for Samsung’s custom CPU plans for 2020 and beyond. Samsung’s Mongoose CPU cores were mostly used in its flagship Exynos processors, starting with 2016’s Exynos 8890 in the Galaxy S7. But our own testing with the Galaxy S10 series revealed that while the Exynos chipset offered better single core performance than the Snapdragon variant, the Snapdragon version beat it in most other key areas.

If Samsung is indeed abandoning its custom CPU cores for flagship phones, then it’s likely that the firm will adopt Arm CPUs or semi-custom versions of these CPUs for future devices. Huawei currently uses Arm CPUs in its flagships, while Qualcomm uses tweaked versions of these cores in its Snapdragon 800-series of high-end processors. Qualcomm in particular previously used fully custom CPU designs for several years before transitioning to a semi-custom model instead.</p>


Surprising: this means that Apple and Huawei would be the only companies designing their own CPU cores rather than using the ARM basics. Samsung is doing a fair bit of retrenching lately, though. Perhaps it decided it could never get ahead of Qualcomm.
samsung  cpu  arm  qualcomm 
11 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Parts suppliers fear about Samsung's phone production outsourcing to China • Korea Times
Nam Hyun-woo:
<p>Small- and medium-sized enterprises supplying smartphone parts to Samsung Electronics are increasingly concerned about the firm's accelerating moves to hire Chinese manufacturers to produce its phones, according to industry officials Monday.

Outsourcing the production of 60 million phones to Chinese makers is seen as a move to lower productions costs and more effectively compete with Chinese smartphone makers in emerging markets, they said.

According to industry sources, Samsung Electronics will outsource the manufacturing of more than 60 million Galaxy M and Galaxy A series smartphones to Chinese original design manufacturers (ODMs) next year. This will account for 20 percent of the company's annual smartphone delivery of 300 million.

ODM refers to a company that designs and manufactures a product, to be rebranded and sold by another company. Unlike original equipment manufacturers, which manufacture products based on the ordering firm's design and specifications, ODMs design the products to be manufactured.

Samsung Electronics has been expanding its ODM smartphone business in recent years. Last year, the company outsourced 3 million smartphones including the Galaxy A6s to Chinese ODMs and is expanding the volume to anywhere between 30 million and 40 million this year, the sources said</p>


I'm confused by this. Samsung <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-samsung-elec-china/samsung-electronics-says-it-suspended-operations-at-china-mobile-phone-factory-idUSKBN1WH0LR">shut down its factories in China at the end of September</a>. Now it's effectively reopening them?
samsung  china 
12 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Space satellite crashes in front yard of Michigan home • ABC News
Libby Cathey:
<p>A Samsung pseudo space satellite parachuted from the sky and fell to the ground on a farm in Merrill, Michigan, on Saturday morning.

Nancy Welke of Merrill told the Gratiot County Herald that she and her husband, Dan, were preparing to let their horses out around 8:45 a.m. when they heard a loud crash in their front yard. Welke looked out the window and couldn't recognize what she was seeing – but some might have characterized it as out of this world.

Outside, Welke found a four-legged object with an aluminum foil-wrapped box and solar panels attached to the top of it. Inside the box were two large cameras and one Samsung cellphone, according to Welke. The contraption had several Samsung plaques on it and wording on the sides of the box read "Space Selfie." It was still humming and flashing when Welke decided to share the strange event on Facebook.

"Unbelievalbe [Unbelievable]," she wrote. "Look what just fell out of the sky and 911 is baffled and it's caught up in our tree."

Around the same time, Gratiot Central Dispatch warned motorists to avoid a nearby area in Wheeler, Michigan, where the "fire department has (the) roadway closed due to a large object caught in live power lines." Some local residents including Welke had their power cut off for a couple of hours while crews removed the large, deflated balloon.

The split space contraction turned out to be a high altitude balloon system – officially known as a pseudo satellite.

A Samsung spokesperson released a statement Saturday to explain the incident: "Earlier today, Samsung Europe’s SpaceSelfie balloon came back down to earth," the statement read. "During this planned descent of the balloon to land in the US, weather conditions resulted in an early soft landing in a selected rural area. No injuries occurred and the balloon was subsequently retrieved. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused."</p>


Could easily have landed on the house, or an animal. Samsung might want to think about how close this PR stunt came to being properly disastrous, in a way that would have made the Note 7's inflammability look like a tea party.
samsung  pr 
12 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung updates software to fix fingerprint recognition problem • Reuters
Ju-min Park and Sangmi Cha:
<p>Samsung Electronics has updated software to fix problems with fingerprint recognition features on its flagship Galaxy S10 and Note 10 smartphones, it said on Wednesday.

Samsung issued an apology via its customer support app Samsung Members and told its Galaxy phone users to update their biometric authentication to the latest software version.

A British user told The Sun newspaper that a bug on her Galaxy S10 allowed it to be unlocked regardless of the biometric data registered in the device.

Samsung has said the issue can happen when patterns appearing on certain protectors that come with silicon cases are recognized along with fingerprints.</p>


Quick fix - but pretty surprising that it got through QA testing.
samsung  fingerprint 
october 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung will fix bug that lets any fingerprint unlock a Galaxy S10 • Engadget
Steve Dent:
<p>The Samsung Galaxy S10's fingerprint reader has been balky from day one, with users reporting it could be unlocked with a 3D-printed fingerprint. Worse, <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/10127908/samsung-galaxy-s10-screen-protector-ebay/">a buyer recently discovered</a> that if you install a third-party screen protector, a non-registered user could unlock the phone. Now, Samsung has acknowledged the problem and promised to patch it soon, according to Reuters.

"Samsung Electronics is aware of the case of the S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch," the company told Reuters in a statement. The problem has been deemed serious enough that an online bank in South Korea, KaKaobank, has advised owners to switch off fingerprint recognition until it's resolved.

It's not clear what's causing the problem, but the Galaxy S10 uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect fingerprint ridges. Plastic or silicon screen protectors can stymie it, so Samsung has been recommending that buyers used approved protective devices. That doesn't explain why the system is allowing access to non-registered fingerprints, however, so Engadget has reached out to Samsung for more information.</p>


Samsung didn't have any more information, other than that it was "investigating this internally". Possibly with flamethrowers. What's unclear is whether the fingerprint registration was done before or after the protector was put on. If the former, then you can break into any S10 by putting a screen protector onto it.
samsung  s10  fingerprint 
october 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review: ‘good’ is as good as it gets • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>the software works by presenting you with a lot of screens you can quickly scroll through. In one direction, you have notifications. In the other, there are a bunch of widgets with discrete pieces of information. I enjoy jamming through these screens more with a physical bezel, but the touch-sensitive one isn’t terrible and much better than not having this kind of control at all.

One of the reasons this interface works is that it’s fast. Especially if you go with a simple watchface that doesn’t have a bunch of information in complications, it’s convenient to just rotate through your weather, calendar, and fitness. (It’s such a good idea that Google lifted it wholesale for Wear OS.) That would never work if the watch were slow. You will have some delays when launching full apps, but the widget system means you don’t have to that often.

I also like that it has Spotify on it, and it’s relatively easy to download Spotify playlists directly to the watch. But the quality of third-party apps drops off steeply from there. There’s no built-in mapping or directions app, and the app store doesn’t have anything good to fill the gap. The third-party app situation isn’t very good at all, but then again, it’s not great on any platform…

…it has an always-on screen option, as all watches should. The screen looks great to me, even when viewing it outdoors in bright sunlight. I left it on and regularly got two full days of battery life, sometimes a little more if I didn’t exercise.

Speaking of exercise, you should think of this as a smartwatch first and a fitness tracker second. Samsung does have a lot of tracking options and Samsung Health is actually better than you might expect, but overall accuracy in terms of steps and distance has been problematic.</p>


No inbuilt mapping/directions app? Poor fitness tracking? You might as well just buy a watch.
samsung  smartwatch 
october 2019 by charlesarthur
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is great... if you live in a bubble • WSJ
<p>Samsung’s relaunched foldable phone fixes some of the first issues but now comes with a long list of warnings about handling the phone carefully. WSJ's Joanna Stern retreats to a sealed dome in the woods to review the innovative device.</p>


Another video review, which has Stern's signature blend of laconic, sardonic, and yes-but-in-the-real-world observation. Unparalleled. She brings out all the Fold's good points - and then points out the bad ones. Perfectly done.
samsung  foldable  review 
october 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung will pay $10 to Galaxy S4 owners for manipulating benchmarks • SamMobile
<p>Back in 2013, Samsung and a few other Android manufacturers were <a href="https://www.anandtech.com/show/7384/state-of-cheating-in-android-benchmarks">caught cheating on smartphone benchmarks</a>. They did this by including code that temporarily increased the speed of the chipset when a benchmark app was running. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was one of the devices to have allegedly engaged in such behavior.

Unsurprisingly, a lawsuit was filed against Samsung in the US in 2014 for misleading the customers. Five years later, the Korean tech giant is settling the lawsuit by paying $13.4m in damages – of which, $2.8m will go towards settlement costs and $10.6m for injunction relief. Taking the total sales of the Galaxy S4 in the US into consideration, this will result in a payout of around $10 for each affected customer. The lawyers will reportedly get $1.5m, while the plaintiff, Daniel Norcia, will receive $7,500 for his efforts.

Details about how to apply for the payout are not yet clear, but it appears Samsung will be reaching eligible Galaxy S4 owners via email, informing them about the settlement along with a link to apply.</p>


Seems like a fair payout, all said. Not bad for the lawyers, who look like the real winners here.
samsung  benchmarks 
october 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review: master entertainer, amateur worker • The Verge
Dan Seifert:
<p>Using DeX on such a small screen is also frustrating due to the amount of scrolling and flipping between windows that’s required to multitask. Virtual desktops would help with this, but DeX doesn’t support them. There is also no window snapping features that I could find; resizing the windows requires tapping and dragging on the screen or using the fiddly trackpad on the keyboard. DeX on the Tab S6 is nice to have in a pinch to knock out an email while on the go, but it’s not something I’d like to use as my primary computer or for any extended length of time.

There are other bugs in Samsung’s software that I’ve found frustrating to deal with. The night mode, which flips the interface to a dark shade in the evening, constantly forgets its settings; the screen brightness will aggressively dim itself to unreadable levels when I hold the tablet in landscape because my hand blocks the light sensor; search in DeX doesn’t work on the first keystroke, requiring me to type “OOutlook” if I want to launch my email app; and I’ll have to frequently reboot the tablet to get the Wi-Fi to work.

Basically, the Tab S6 is a very good tablet to use to watch video, provided you don’t block the light sensor with your palm. If all you want from a tablet is to lean back and watch video on your couch, the Tab S6 is excellent for that.

The problem is that “good for watching video” is about the lowest bar to hit for a tablet in 2019. The iPad was great for watching video almost 10 years ago, and Amazon’s Fire HD 10 will do the job for about a third of the cost of the Tab S6 if that’s all you need.</p>


Amazing that at this point Samsung isn't just cutting its prices to push everyone else on Android out of the market. Instead it sticks with its high-end products, which can't be selling well enough to justify it.
samsung  tablet 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will finally be released in the US on Friday • BGR
Zach Epstein:
<p>The Galaxy Fold will be sold by AT+T, which has proven over the years that it will sell literally any cell phone made by any company regardless of how good or bad it may be. No other US wireless carriers will offer the handset at launch, but an unlocked version will be available in Samsung stores and on Samsung’s website. As far as pricing goes, it’ll cost $1,980 despite a recent rumor that the relaunched Galaxy Fold might end up being a bit cheaper than Samsung had initially announced.

Our advice: save yourself $2,000 and skip it. Word on the street is the redesigned Galaxy Fold can still break if dust or dirt works its way into certain parts of the phone, which is pretty much inevitable despite how careful you might be. And even if that weren’t the case, the Galaxy Fold still has an awful design with massive bezels and a huge notch chomped out of the corner of the main display. The company is working on much better designs for its second-generation foldable smartphone that will be released next year, and several other folding phones are also expected in 2020.</p>


It's going to be fun seeing the reviews, and then the scratched screens after, oh, let's give it two weeks' use.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
The Galaxy Fold is still extremely fragile, and Samsung knows it • The Verge
Chaim Gartenberg:
<p>Samsung’s video exhorts owners to handle their $1,000-plus phones with kid gloves. Some of Samsung’s requests are more logical: the company advises against adding any additional screen protectors (which could interfere with the folding display). Others, though, like not applying “excessive pressure” to the touchscreen when tapping it, are a bit more unusual for a phone. Samsung also cautions that the Fold isn’t water or dustproof and that the magnets that hold it shut can interfere with other magnetic products, like credit credits, hotel room keys, or medical devices.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tZBk_Hb-X0w" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Unfortunately, despite all those warnings, it looks like the new Fold is still almost absurdly easy to break. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZBk_Hb-X0w">As JerryRigEverything shows off in a comprehensive durability test</a>, many of the issues that plagued the first attempt at the Fold are still here: the screen is still extremely soft and easy to scratch; even fingernails are capable of damaging the display. (Samsung’s warning about tapping it too hard makes more sense now.)

JerryRigEverything’s tests also found that it was far too easy for debris to make it inside the display, which is troubling. Other parts of the test were more encouraging. The Fold does hold up admirably against attempts to fold it backward, which is a testament to the level of engineering that Samsung has put into the physical hardware.</p>


"The Galaxy Fold [internal screen] has a hardness comparable to Play-doh, soggy bread or a $2,000 stick of chewing gum," says JerryRigEverything calmly. It's somewhere around 2 on the 10-denominated <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness">Mohs scale</a>. The outside screen (and most smartphone screens) is about 7.
samsung  foldable  hardness 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung might combine Galaxy S and Note lineups next year • Android Police
Corbin Davenport:
<p>Samsung's yearly smartphone strategy has been the same for years — release a new mainstream Galaxy S device in the spring and a more premium Galaxy Note phone in the fall. Now that there are so few hardware and software differences between the two lineups, there has been plenty of speculation that they might be merged, and a new report from Evan Blass is lending more credibility towards the idea.

Evan Blass, better known as @evleaks, said on Twitter, "Samsung is said to be debating future Galaxy branding, including eliminating the distinction [between] the S and Note lines. Could manifest in different ways, possibly [with] a 'Galaxy One' in lieu of an S11. [..] One possibility is to simply fuse them into a single-first half handset, essentially an S-series with an S-Pen." Blass went on to say that if the Galaxy Fold performs as well as Samsung hopes, it could replace the Note lineup as Samsung's latter-year premium flagship.</p>


Or just smooooosh them all into one single release of a giant plastic blob. Smartphone launches really are for the birds now. (Sure, Dan Frommer and John Gruber <a href="https://daringfireball.net/2019/09/drain_all_the_joy">have stats showing lots of people watching them</a>. I don't think this means excitement is mounting year by year (and there aren't year-on-year comparison figures); more that it's becoming easier to access the keynote.

For much the same reason, I'll let the Google Pixel 4 actually appear rather than linking to any of the carefully crafted social media "leaks" (I imagine a marketing meeting: "let's have your program of social media leaks, Derek") leading up to it. It's a smartphone, folks. We've been seeing them in this incarnation for 12 years.
samsung  galaxy  galaxynote 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung and EE bring Galaxy Fold 5G to the UK • Samsung Newsroom U.K.
<p>Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has today announced that the Galaxy Fold 5G will be available to buy from 18th September in the UK via an exclusive operator partnership with EE, as well as from Samsung Experience Stores. The device will also be displayed at Samsung KX, Harrods and Selfridges for customers to experience.
 
The Galaxy Fold 5G, which will be available in Cosmos Black and Space Silver, pushes the boundaries of innovation and introduces a whole new smartphone category. Armed with 5G network capabilities, the Galaxy Fold 5G is a device built for the future…

…The Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G will be available from Samsung at an RRP of £1,900 and all devices will come with wireless Galaxy Buds and a Galaxy Fold 5G Aramid case. EE price plans will be announced in due course.</p>


EE doesn't offer any Sim-only 5G plans, so it's impossible to say what extra you might be paying annually. EE <a href="https://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-phones/pay-monthly/gallery?search=%3A%3Aspeed%3A5G&CTTag=CT_Sal_Note10_EEhomepage_H2_Buynow_Q3_2019">offers seven 5G phones</a>, with the cheapest being £44 per month for a refurbished Galaxy S10.

For comparison, the Galaxy Note10+ 5G costs £1,099 for the 256GB model (with no network connectivity). EE wants <a href="https://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-phones/pay-monthly/samsung-galaxy-note10-plus-5g-256gb-aura-glow/details#choosePlanAnchor">£84 per month for unlimited text, data and talktime</a> at 5G - but it doesn't say how long the contract lasts. 12, 18, 24 months? It's never specified. Let me know if you find out. A 12-month contract would cost £1,008; an 18-month one, £1,512. A 24-month one (which I suspect it is) would be £2,016. Also, the price would rise by inflation (RPI) every March. As ever, it's better to buy the phone and get a Sim.
samsung  foldable 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung's Galaxy Fold will go on sale on September 6 in South Korea: source • Reuters
Ju-min Park:
<p>Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will go on sale on Friday in South Korea, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The highly anticipated device from the world’s top smartphone maker was originally due to hit the US market in April but the launch was delayed by screen defects detected in samples.

The phone will cost about 2.4 million won ($1,980) for South Korean buyers, the source from one of the country’s major mobile carriers told Reuters, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The source did not provide further details.</p>


Not cheap. Not cheap at all. If it isn't robust, Samsung's reputation will take quite a hit.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung plans 6.7in foldable phone that collapses into square • Bloomberg
Sohee Kim:
<p>The South Korean smartphone giant is working on a device with a 6.7in inner display that shrinks to a pocketable square when it’s folded inward like a clamshell, according to people familiar with the product’s development. Samsung is seeking to make its second bendable gadget more affordable and thinner than this year’s Galaxy Fold, they said. The launch of the successor device may, however, hinge on how well the Fold performs after its imminent launch, one of the people said…

…The new foldable phone will have a hole-punch selfie camera at the top of the inner display, just as on the recently released Samsung Galaxy Note 10, according to one person familiar with the device. On the outside, it will have two cameras that face the rear when the phone is open or the front when it’s flipped closed.

“I’m intrigued to see if a manufacturer can deliver a clamshell design that takes the current smartphone footprint and lets you fold in half like a wallet in a similar manner to mobile phones of yesterday such as the iconic Motorola Razr,” said Ben Wood, an analyst with CCS Insight. “That’s what the world is probably waiting for.”</p>


I don't think clamshells were the dominant form factor when it was possible to have them. I never used one, personally. Foldables remain an unknown.
foldable  samsung 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Pre-register for the Samsung Galaxy Fold (again) • Android Authority
C. Scott Brown:
<p>If you had your sights set on buying the Samsung Galaxy Fold, you probably pre-registered to buy the device back in April when the company opened up that system. However, all pre-registrations — and eventual pre-orders — were canceled when things took a turn.

Now, Samsung is re-opening pre-registrations for the Galaxy Fold in the United States.

To be clear, pre-registration is not pre-ordering. With a pre-reg, all you’re doing is letting Samsung know that you are interested in buying the Fold at some point in the future. By pre-registering, you’ll be notified by email as soon as Samsung opens the new pre-order system.

However, it is possible that Samsung could skip pre-orders. The sign-up page doesn’t make any mention about pre-orders at all, so it’s possible Samsung could simply notify people once the device is available for sale.

Unfortunately, there is still no word on the actual re-launch date of the company’s first foldable smartphone. Although the re-emergence of this pre-registration page likely means we’re only a few weeks out, or possibly a month at most.</p>


Taking the temperature before shipping; makes sense. But registration isn't ordering, as Brown points out; so will those who "pre-register" all go on to order? Or might some have second thoughts when they see the (still unknown) price?
samsung  foldable 
september 2019 by charlesarthur
Huawei Mate X release date pushed back, but next version may have even more screens • TechRadar
David Lumb:
<p>The foldable Huawei Mate X is unlikely to come out before November, which means a delay from the previously slated September launch, TechRadar learned at a press event at Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters today.

There's no possibility of a September launch date anymore, which leaves the door open for the Samsung Galaxy Fold to be the first foldable to market. However, Huawei is certain the Mate X will launch before the end of 2019.

We also got wind of more exciting news: the next Mate X could have more screens, and it might come out as soon as next year.

Where will the Huawei Mate X follow-up fit more displays? By swapping out the steel rear cover in the current Huawei Mate X with a glass back, and those glass surfaces could become usable, touchable displays. 

It’s a big engineering challenge to say the least – it might end up being years before the issues are worked out and we get glass backs on foldable phones. We don't even have them on the upcoming Mate X's 8in front display yet.</p>


More screens. Suuuuure. Why not also say it'll be origami and fold into a swan when not in use?

It's been fascinating to watch Samsung and Huawei racing to be second on this. It's like watching two runners, both trying to lose. "Oooh my calf! Agh! No, go ahead, you have it." "Fine, I'll-- aah my tendon! That's it for me I'm afraid!" If foldables are the next big thing, they're suffering a midwife shortage.
huawei  samsung  foldable 
august 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung phone with graphene battery coming by 2021? • SamMobile
"Abhijeet M":
<p>Samsung is reportedly hoping to have “at least one handset either next year or in 2021” with a graphene battery instead of a lithium-ion battery. Yes, many of you are probably shaking your head right now, as we have been hearing about graphene batteries becoming a viable solution for smartphones for years at this point. And the latest rumor, <a href="https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/1160983319825326080">courtesy of leakster Evan Blass (aka evleaks)</a>, suggests that there is still a couple of years to go before we see a phone powered by a graphene battery.

Last year, rumors of Samsung being close to using graphene batteries in smartphones started floating around on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, but as we all know, no such device has made its way to market yet. Why are graphene batteries so important? Well, thanks to a material Samsung calls “graphene ball”, graphene batteries can charge up to five times faster than lithium-ion batteries. The material can also increase battery capacities by 45%, and these batteries can also handle higher temperatures.

All of those benefits would be right at home on smartphones, especially as manufacturers continue to insist on making their phones as thin as possible.</p>


Graphene for the cathode has been suggested as offering huge improvements for some years now. But it's definitely getting closer to full-scale manufacturing implementation.
graphene  samsung 
august 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 5G now best phone camera • Android Authority
C. Scott Brown:
<p>According to the venerable camera review site DxOMark, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G is now the top smartphone camera across the entire industry. It steals the crown away from the Huawei P30 Pro, which held the top spot since its launch in March of this year.

The Note 10 Plus 5G’s score for its rear camera tops the P30 Pro’s rear camera by one point (113 against 112 respectively). Additionally, the front camera on the Note 10 Plus 5G now tops the previous record-holder for the selfie cam, too: the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. That means, according to DxOMark, the Note 10 Plus 5G is now the best overall phone camera you can buy whether you are looking for rear shots or selfies shots.</p>


Nothing against Samsung, or Huawei, but I think these "scoring" systems long ago began looking foolish. DxOMark <a href="https://www.dxomark.com/dxomark-mobile-scores-smartphone-cameras/">insists that its tests are objective</a>, except that "We also get asked how a device’s Overall score can be higher than its sub-scores. The Overall score is not a weighted sum of the sub-scores. It is a proprietary and confidential mapping of sub-scores into a combined score."

That "proprietary and confidential" mapping sounds ever so slightly fishy to me. Why can't they publish it? Are they suggesting manufacturers would tweak their systems to win? And, honestly: the Note10 beats the P30 Pro by one point, less than 1%? The room for improvement is clearly asymptotic.
samsung  camera  huawei  benchmarks 
august 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung is spamming Galaxy phones with multiple Note10 ads • Android Police
Corbin Davenport:
<p>Samsung is once again spamming Galaxy phones with advertisements, this time for the Note10.

This time around, push notifications advertising the Note10 are being sent out by at least three pre-installed applications — Samsung Pay, Bixby, and the Samsung Push Service. Bixby wants you to ask it about the Note10, Samsung Pay is offering points when you look at the phone's product page, and Samsung Push Service just gives you a banner ad with no indication of where it came from. I received the Bixby ad on my international Galaxy S10e, but I haven't personally seen the others.

To make matters even worse, Samsung has blocked disabling these alerts by holding down on them, at least for the Bixby app (again, I can't verify the other types of alerts). To disable the Bixby notifications, you have to open Bixby, tap the menu icon at the top-right, select Settings, and set 'Marketing notifications' to off.</p>


"Marketing notifications" are a thing? That's amazing. But of course nothing stands in the way of the rapacious desire of big corporations to Sell You Stuff.
samsung  galaxy 
august 2019 by charlesarthur
Galaxy Note10 hands-on: Samsung falls behind the competition • Ars Technica
Ron Amadeo:
<p>It's hard to see how the Galaxy Note10 is supposed to excite me. Samsung is supposed to be the "speeds and feeds" company, but the device doesn't have the fastest Qualcomm SoC out there. Qualcomm recently took the wraps off the upclocked Snapdragon 855+ and is already shipping the part in some phones. The Note10 only has a regular old Snapdragon 855, with no extra clocks added.

I can't say the Note10 has the best screen, since faster, high-refresh-rate displays are hitting the market now, and they make a world of difference in the feel of a smartphone. You can get a 90Hz OLED display on the excellent OnePlus 7 Pro, and or a 120Hz OLED on the Asus ROG Phone 2. How Samsung, the smartphone industry's leading display manufacturer, missed the faster refresh rate trend is beyond me. Heck, the OnePlus 7 Pro's 90Hz display is made by Samsung. It's not like the company doesn't have the technology—just reach into the parts bin and put the better screen in your phones!

The Note line isn't the "everything" phone anymore, either—not with the removal of the headphone jack and the waffling over an SD card slot (the larger Note10+ has one, but the still-large Note10 does not). Samsung even killed the rear-mounted heart rate sensor this year, if anyone cares. Power users looking for the smartphone version of a Swiss Army Knife should look elsewhere. The Asus ROG phone actually feels more Samsung-y than this Samsung phone, launching as it has with new display tech, a new SoC, a headphone jack, two USB ports, and a million crazy accessories.

When I reviewed the OnePlus 7 Pro, I said that the pop-up camera, all-screen design, and high refresh rate display made it feel like something manufacturers will spend the next year chasing. After the Note10 launch, I still feel that way.</p>


I like the fact that Samsung has deleted the videos of its ads where it mocked Apple for getting rid of the headphone jack.
samsung  note10 
august 2019 by charlesarthur
Do smartphones need gesture HMI? • Strategy Analytics
Paul Brown on the promised "gesture" control for the forthcoming Google Pixel 4:
<p>Gestures are not something new to smartphones. In 2013, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4 with a host of gestures. However, most of these gestures were cumbersome and inefficient, had low adoption, and many were removed from future Samsung devices.

According to Google’s blog post, the number of initial gestures on the Pixel 4 will allow the user to undertake the following three functions, just by waving your hand:

• Skip songs<br />• Snooze alarms<br />• Silence phone calls

Using gestures to snooze alarms and silence phone calls could be very useful.  These are both tasks that will likely occur when the user is not holding the phone. Waving a hand over the phone when either event occurs is a very simple action, and one that requires less cognitive effort than picking up the phone and pressing buttons (physical or on the touchscreen). However, there may be a concern that the user accidentally silences a phone call when they move their hand towards the phone to pick it up and answer the call. The required gesture and how it can differentiate a user’s intent is key here.</p>


Samsung's S4's "<a href="https://www.experthoot.com/air-gestures-samsung-galaxy-s4/">Air Gestures</a>" were amazingly annoying. As Brown points out, with the Pixel, if the gesture doesn't work when the display isn't lit (eg to skip the song), then you'll need to tap it to then gesture. In which case you might as well wake-and-tap. But if it works when the display is off, the potential for accidental gesturing is huge. I'm not convinced.
samsung  google  pixel  gesture  ux  ui 
august 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 is its latest volley against the iPad Pro • The Verge
Dan Seifert:
<p>For software, the Tab S6 runs Android 9 Pie with version 1.5 of Samsung’s OneUI interface. It also has support for Samsung’s DeX interface, which provides a more desktop-like experience when using the tablet with a keyboard. The new keyboard attachment has a function key to launch DeX quickly. DeX can also be outputted to an external display using the Tab S6’s USB Type-C port.

In terms of size and features, the Tab S6 compares closer to Apple’s most recent iPad Air than the more expensive iPad Pro. But the Air starts at a lower price and has a much more developed operating system and app ecosystem than the Tab S6. As with most of Samsung’s high-end tablet efforts for the past few years, it’s hard to see why anyone would choose the Tab S6 over Apple’s options. We’ll have a better idea of how well the Tab S6 stacks up against Apple and Microsoft’s tablets once we’ve had a chance to put it through a full review, so stay tuned for that.</p>

External display likely coming to the iPad Pro in September with iOS 13, and filesystem access certainly, so not an advantage for long.
iPad  samsung  android  tablet 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Report: Samsung extends shipments lead as Realme enters top ten • Android Authority
:
<p>According to the tracking firm, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series and rejuvenated mid-range smartphones have resulted in a 7.1% year-on-year boost. The Korean manufacturer hit 76.6m smartphones shipped in the quarter, compared to 71.5m devices a year ago. In fact, the firm reportedly accounted for roughly a fifth of all smartphone shipments in this quarter.

Second-placed Huawei didn’t see quite the same level of growth, but it still managed to achieve a 4.6% boost over last year. The Chinese colossus reportedly shipped 56.7m smartphones in Q2 2019, compared to 54.2m in Q2 2018. Counterpoint notes that the effects of the U.S. trade ban weren’t fully experienced in this quarter, but that it expects a steep drop in performance come Q3.

<img src="https://cdn57.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/counterpoint-q2-2019-global.jpg" width="100%" /><br /><em>Source: Counterpoint Research</em>

Apple may have been in third place, but it saw a rather big 11.9% drop in shipments compared to Q2 2018. The firm shipped 36.4m phones in this quarter, as opposed to 41.3m a year ago. This performance means Xiaomi is roughly one percentage point away from passing Apple in terms of market-share, according to Counterpoint. Then again, Q2 isn’t traditionally Apple’s best quarter, as it launches its iPhone series in Q3 or Q4 anyway.</p>


Samsung's <a href="https://images.samsung.com/is/content/samsung/p5/global/ir/docs/2019_2Q_conference_eng.pdf">financials</a> show its mobile revenue grew by 7%, but profits dropped by 11%; it blamed this on sluggish demand in the premium market and "intensifying competition in the low- to mid-range market", plus the expense of clearing inventory of old models. Not seen it blame the latter before. Huawei's problems lie ahead, though.
samsung  smartphone 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
The Galaxy Fold’s exact release date might’ve finally leaked, and it’s horrible news • BGR
Zach Epstein:
<p>According to South Korean financial news site The Investor, Samsung plans to release the Galaxy Fold during the third week of September, between September 18th and September 20th.

Ouch.

Smartphone launches typically take place on Friday, so September 20th is the most likely release date. Regardless of which of those three days Samsung lands on though, it likely won’t matter. Do you know what else is probably going to happen that week? Yup, Apple will probably release its new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max, and iPhone 11R. In other words, there might not be a worse week during the entire year for Samsung to release a new smartphone, let alone a $2,000 flagship phone.

Based on Apple’s iPhone release schedules in the past, September 20th will indeed be the exact day Apple chooses to release its new iPhone 11 lineup. Aside from the iPhone X that was delayed until November, Apple typically chooses the second to last Friday in September to release new iPhone models. That was the case with the iPhone 8 last year, the iPhone 7 the year before, and the iPhone 6 back in 2014. The iPhone 6s launched on the last Friday of September in 2015, but only because the month ended on a Wednesday the following week.</p>


The problem is, the launch will go under the radar but when the flaws start showing up, it'll be a couple of weeks down the line, in a relative news drought.
samsung  foldable 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Rumor: Samsung may drop initial Galaxy Fold launch for smaller markets • SamMobile
"Adnan F":
<p>Rumour has it that Samsung has decided to drop the initial Galaxy Fold launch for smaller markets. The company was previously testing the latest firmware for all markets where the Galaxy Fold was going to be released. It suggested that Samsung would make the device available in quite a few markets at the same time. That would have certainly made sense.

Fans have already been made to wait for a long time. They were really looking forward to the company’s foldable smartphone but have been unable to even get their hands on a demo unit. However, it’s possible that Samsung may only launch the Galaxy Fold in a limited number of markets at first.

Some of the markets where firmware testing has been scaled back include countries like Italy and the Netherlands. The latest firmware is currently being tested for major markets like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and India (where we recently spotted the Galaxy Fold being tested out in the wild). This is different to how Samsung normally tests firmware for new flagship devices. For example, the latest Galaxy Note 10 firmware is being tested across all markets. This suggests that there won’t be any unnecessary launch delays in some markets.</p>


"Fans have already been made to wait for a long time"?? It's been three months, tops. I think the Note will come out first.
samsung  foldable 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone mocked by WSJ • Korea Times
Baek Byung-yeul:
<p>Regarding the report [by Joanna Stern testing the Galaxy S10 and others on 5G], Samsung said that there is no malfunction on the devices and they are designed to switch back to LTE network when they reach a certain temperature.

"With 5G, data is transmitted at higher quantities and speeds, which causes the processor to consume more energy. While Samsung provides a variety of thermal management technologies, the phone will switch back to 4G when the device temperature reaches a certain threshold," a Samsung official said. "This is not new, and it is by design to minimize energy usage and optimize battery performance so consumers can stay connected."

The company added its 5G smartphone comes with "its latest vapor chamber cooling technology and AI software that continuously optimized battery, CPU, RAM and even device temperature based on how people use their phones."

An IT industry official here criticized the article saying it is inequitable only to blame the device.

"At a time when the 5G network coverage is still limited, the issues regarding overheating can happen, but the story is mainly focusing on making a fool of the device," said the official, who wanted to remain anonymous.

"The overheating issue happens because there is not enough network coverage for the 5G service. We saw the same issue when 4G service was launched. When there is not enough network coverage for the latest network service, these kinds of issues always happen."</p>

There’s an equally offended, and hilarious, <a href=“http://www.koreaittimes.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=92002”>article at the Korea IT Times</a>. Notice how neatly they avoid the issue of “these things get damn hot when they’re on 5G.”
Samsung  5G  temperature 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 photos leaked • CNBC
Kif Leswing:
<p>The images reveal that the Galaxy Note 10 will not include a headphone jack, following a trend set by Apple in 2017, when it removed headphone jacks from its “X” line of iPhones.

It will include a triple-lens camera, according to the photos. The documents indicate that this specific model will not support 5G, but Samsung is expected to release multiple models of this device.

Samsung didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The Galaxy Note is positioned by Samsung to compete directly against Apple’s iPhones in the United States in the premium smartphone market. Its distinguishing feature is a stylus that Samsung calls “S-Pen” and a large screen. It’s typically released in the late summer.

Last year’s model, the Galaxy Note 9, sported a starting price of $999 when it was released last August.

Samsung shipped more smartphones than any other company in 2018, beating Apple and Huawei, according to data from research firm IDC.

It appears that either the FCC or Samsung made a mistake when uploading the document with the photos. The photos are no longer available on the FCC website but have been <a href="https://fccid.io/A3LSMN975F/RF-Exposure-Info/SAR-Report-Appendix-B-Plots-4339170">saved on sites that mirror the database</a>.</p>


Shock news: it's a not particularly elegant black slab. The triple cameras are arranged in a vertical line on the back. Release on August 7.
samsung  galaxynote 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung shuts down its AI-powered Mall shopping app in India • TechCrunch
Manish Singh:
<p>Samsung has quietly discontinued an app that it built specifically for India, one of its largest markets and where it houses a humongous research and development team. The AI-powered Android app, called Samsung Mall, was positioned to help users identify objects around them and locate them on shopping sites to make a purchase.

The company has shut down the app a year and a half after its launch. Samsung Mall was exclusively available for select company handsets and was launched alongside the Galaxy On7 Prime smartphone. News blog TizenHelp was first to report the development.

At the time of launch, Samsung said the Mall app would complement features of Bixby, the company’s virtual assistant. Bixby already offers a functionality that allows users to identify objects through photos — but does not let them make the purchase.</p>


Amazon had something similar on the Fire Phone. Strange, because it seems like a useful app, yet keeps dying a death.
samsung  ai  bixby  shopping 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Fake Samsung firmware update app tricks more than 10 million Android users • ZDNet
Catalin Cimpanu:
<p>Over ten million users have been duped in installing a <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=samsungupdate.com">fake Samsung app</a> named "Updates for Samsung" that promises firmware updates, but, in reality, redirects users to an ad-filled website and charges for firmware downloads.

"I have contacted the Google Play Store and asked them to consider removing this app," Aleksejs Kuprins, malware analyst at the CSIS Security Group, told ZDNet today in an interview, after <a href="https://medium.com/csis-techblog/updates-for-samsung-from-a-blog-to-an-android-advertisement-revenue-goldmine-of-10-000-000-166585e34ad0">publishing a report on the app's shady behaviour</a> earlier [on July 4].

The app takes advantage of the difficulty in getting firmware and operating system updates for Samsung phones, hence the high number of users who have installed it.

"It would be wrong to judge people for mistakenly going to the official application store for the firmware updates after buying a new Android device," the security researcher said. "Vendors frequently bundle their Android OS builds with an intimidating number of software, and it can easily get confusing."</p>


Was still there on Friday evening. I think it might have been a mistake to publish his report on a huge public holiday in the US.
samsung  fake  firmware  app  google 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung accused of false claims about smartphone water resistance • SamMobile
SamMobile:
<p>an IP68 rating certifies that the device can be submerged in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. However, the official classification mentions that it must be fresh water since the tests for assigning these ratings are conducted in lab conditions. The devices are not tested in a swimming pool or the beach.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s issue is that Samsung’s advertisements show that the devices will be fine with exposure to all types of water, including ocean water and swimming pools, and that they “would not be affected by such exposure to water for the life of the phone.” The claim here is that Samsung showed people in its ads using the devices in pools and beaches even though the IP68 certification explicitly mentions fresh water. It has collected 300 examples of such ads.

The consumer watchdog adds that Samsung has denied warranty claims for customers whose phones were damaged after being used in water. It then points out that Samsung’s own website mentions that the new Galaxy S10 series is “not advised for beach or pool use.” Thus the ACCC is now initiating court action against Samsung and will be seeking penalties.

“Samsung stands by its marketing and advertising of the water resistancy of its smartphones,” the company said in a statement</p>


Yeah, good luck with that. The ads are bad enough, but if it denied warranty claims, there's no defence.
samsung  waterproof 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold: the foldable phone is about to launch • Bloomberg
Sam Kim and Sohee Kim:
<p>Samsung Electronics Co. has completed a two-month redesign of the Galaxy Fold to fix embarrassing screen failures that forced its delay, people familiar with the matter say, allowing the Korean giant to debut its marquee smartphone in time for the crucial holiday season.

The world’s largest smartphone maker is now in the final stages of producing a commercial version but can’t yet pin down a date to begin sales, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified describing an internal effort. Samsung pulled the device after several publications including Bloomberg News reported problems with test versions, such as screen malfunctions that emerged after a film on the display was peeled off.

Korea’s biggest company is trying to move past yet another product faux pas. It has now stretched the protective film to wrap around the entire screen and flow into the outer bezels so it would be impossible to peel off by hand, said the people, who have seen the latest versions. It re-engineered the hinge, pushing it slightly upward from the screen (it’s now flush with the display) to help stretch the film further when the phone opens.</p>


So the first Galaxy Fold that people buy will be the Galaxy Fold 2. All the people whothumped their money down for the first, unreleased, one should count themselves lucky. And still no date. I wonder if Huawei's problems have eased the pressure on Samsung to get this out of the door.
samsung  foldable 
july 2019 by charlesarthur
Rumor: Samsung’s next foldable will be a clamshell device • Android Authority
Scott Adam Gordon:
<p>Samsung is already working on its next flexible display smartphone, according to speculation from ETNews. In an article published yesterday, the website suggested Samsung’s next folding screen device would be a clamshell-style product with an outward-facing, 1in display.

The phone would seemingly be more portable than the Galaxy Fold, which functions as a hybrid between phone and tablet. The future foldable is tipped to be about the size of a regular flagship, with its display coming in at around 6.7in when unfolded. The Galaxy Fold has a 7.3in screen when unfolded and a nearly 4:3 aspect ratio.

ETNews didn’t say whether the 1in screen on the outside would be touch-enabled, but it did say it would offer limited functionality. It might operate something like the always-on displays found on other Samsung phones.</p>


One inch seems awfully small for a screen. The idea is that it folds in the middle from top to bottom, so that.. well, I'm not really sure how this benefits humanity, but apparently we don't have enough folding phones in our lives. Not that actually we have any yet, of course.
samsung  foldable 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple was right again: here’s why a Galaxy Note 10 without a microSD slot isn’t a big deal • BGR
Chris Smith:
<p>[XDA Developers organiser Max] Weinbach says the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Pro will have expandable storage, whereas the Note 10 will not. That would be a strange thing for Samsung to do, but the larger dimensions of the Note 10 would explain why Samsung might do it. Also, Samsung likes money too, so it would definitely welcome your extra cash for versions with more internal storage.

When Samsung did the same thing with the Note 5 a few years ago, the cheapest version of the phone shipped with 32GB of storage. But Samsung flagships now start at 128GB of memory, which is a significant upgrade — that goes for the Note 9 and the Galaxy S10. Add to that USB-C connectivity and speedy internet support (up to 5G), and you’d have more ways to move data at high speeds and free up your local storage than we had four years ago.

Yes, Samsung brought the microSD card back after backlash from consumers. But the absence of microSD storage shouldn’t be a deal-breaker in 2019. By the way, the Galaxy Fold that’s still delayed would have shipped without a microSD slot too, but the foldable phone packs speedier storage. And built-in flash memory is always faster than expandable storage.

Finally, by removing ports and buttons from its flagship phones, Samsung might be able to manufacture more durable handsets than before. Sooner or later, the microSD card is bound to disappear from more flagship devices, not just Samsung’s. The iPhone never supported microSD cards, and Google’s Pixel doesn’t do it either. OnePlus has been selling phones without microSD support for years, well before significantly bumping up onboard storage, and Android fans have been buying them like crazy.</p>
samsung  storage 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold is now ready for launch: Samsung Display exec • Korean Investor
Kim Young-won:
<p>Samsung Electronics’ first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will launch soon, as “most” issues linked to the screen have been solved, a Samsung Display executive has revealed.

“Most of the display problems have been ironed out, and the Galaxy Fold is ready to hit the market,” said Samsung Display Vice President Kim Seong-cheol in his speech at a conference held by industry organization The Korean Information Display Society on June 18 in Seoul.

Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, is the main supplier of the folding screen.

The Fold was initially scheduled to hit the shelves in April in the US and in May in Korea, but the launch has been delayed after reviewers complained of flickering screens and creases in the middle of the screen made after repeated folds.

It is rumored that the launch will take place in July before the tech giant unveils its flagship for the latter half, Galaxy Note 10, but the tech giant has denied the rumor.
</p>


<em>Most</em> of the display problems. Most of them. OK, not all of them. Quite a lot of them. Nearly all. <em>Most</em> of the problems with the thing that is what you look at and manipulate every moment you're using it. Yeah, those problems? Most of them are gone.

I'm trying to imagine what sort of mindset you need to go onto a stage and say those words. To be quite truthful, I'm finding it difficult.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung accidentally makes the case for not owning a smart TV • The Verge
Jon Porter on Samsung's <a href="https://twitter.com/samsungsupport/status/1140409768743452672?s=12">bizarre tweet</a> suggesting owners of its smart TVs should do a virus scan every few weeks or so:
<p>There haven’t been any recent security vulnerabilities reported for Samsung’s smart TVs, but back in 2017 WikiLeaks revealed that the CIA had developed a piece of software called “Weeping Angel” that was capable of turning Samsung’s smart TVs into a listening device. Less than a month later a security researcher found 40 zero-day vulnerabilities in Samsung’s smart TV operating system, Tizen. At the time, Samsung released a blog post detailing the security features of its TVs, which includes its ability to detect malicious code on both its platform and application levels.

Virus scans are another reminder of how annoying modern smart TVs can be. Sure, they have pretty much every streaming app under the sun built in, and Samsung’s models can even be used to stream games from a local PC. But they also contain microphones that can be a privacy risk, and are entrusted with credit card details for buying on-demand video content. Even when everything’s working as the manufacturer intended, they can be yet another way of putting ads in front of you, either on your home screen or even in some cases directly into your own video content.

Samsung’s little PSA about scanning for “malware viruses” (eh hem) might be a sound security practice on a Samsung smart TV, but it’s also an excellent reminder for why you might not want to buy one in the first place.</p>


The microphones are obviously for voice commands. The world is full of microphones.
security  samsung  tv  virus 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Smartphone shipment forecast cut to 1.35 billion for 2019 as uncertainty prevails • Canalys
<p>The latest numbers show that smartphone shipments will reach 1.35 billion units in 2019, a year-on-year decline of 3.1%. Due to the many uncertainties surrounding the US/China trade talks, the US Executive Order signed on 15 May and subsequent developments, Canalys has lowered its forecasts to reflect an uncertain future.

Canalys' base assumption is that restrictions will be imposed stringently on Huawei, once the 90-day reprieve expires, having a significant impact on its ability to roll-out new devices in the short term, especially outside of China. Canalys anticipates that Huawei is taking steps to mitigate the effect of component and service supply issues, but its overseas potential will be hampered for some time. The US and China may eventually reach a trade deal to alleviate the pressure on Huawei, but if and when this will happen is far from clear.

Canalys' published forecasts reflect what will happen should there be no major political changes. "It is important to note that market uncertainty is clearly prompting vendors to accelerate certain strategies to minimize the short- and long-term impact in a challenging business environment, for example, shifting manufacturing to different countries to hedge against the risk of tariffs. But with recent US announcements on tariffs on goods from more countries, the industry will be dealing with turmoil for some time," said Nicole Peng, VP, Mobility.

"We expect the other major smartphone vendors will have short-term opportunities while Huawei struggles. Samsung will be the biggest winner, thanks to its aggressive device strategy and its ability to quickly ramp up production, through the Korean firm may struggle to entirely fill the shortfall," said Rushabh Doshi, Research Director, Canalys. "It will take other vendors until late 2019 to react to the new opportunities. Samsung's control over component supply gives it a major advantage."</p>
huawei  samsung  smartphone 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
The Galaxy Note 10 won't have a headphone jack or physical volume and power keys (rumour) • Android Police
David Ruddock:
<p>Speaking to a source familiar with the company's plans, Android Police has learned that Samsung will likely begin its wind-down of the headphone jack - and even physical keys for functions like volume and power - with the Galaxy Note 10. The Note 10 will have no 3.5mm connector, and exterior buttons (power, volume, Bixby) will be replaced by capacitive or pressure-sensitive areas, likely highlighted by some kind of raised 'bump' and/or texture along the edge (i.e., a faux button). We don't know if it's Samsung's intent to carry over both of these changes to the Galaxy S11 in 2020.</p>


Slightly delayed courage?
samsung  headphone  buttons 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold reportedly won't ship in June • Android Police
Taylor Kerns:
<p>The integrity of the Samsung Galaxy Fold's design was shown to be questionable (at best) shortly after pre-release models reached the hands of the first round of reviewers. Debris made its way into their screens, causing several early hardware failures, and release was delayed from April 26 to an unspecified later date. AT&T made it seem like the new date would be mid-June, but a new report out of Korea contradicts that.

According to the report, quality control is taking longer than Samsung expected. An unnamed official with the company is quoted as saying the release date is still undecided, and that the company will make an announcement to that end in the next few weeks. The report also notes that with Huawei's ongoing difficulties caused by US sanctions, Samsung isn't as concerned about beating that company's foldable phone, the Mate X, to market.</p>


I think the Huawei saga has a lot of Samsung engineers breathing huge sighs of relief. There's really no pressure on them to hurry this, and they ought to take the time to get it right. (Mumble mumble Apple keyboard designs mumble mumble.)
samsung  foldable 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung and Huawei agree to settle patent disputes • Android Authority
Williams Pelegrin:
<p>Samsung and Huawei have reportedly agreed to finally bury the hatchet and settle their years-long dispute over smartphone patents. The Guangdong High People’s Court in southern China mediated the settlement, according to Nikkei.

The terms of the alleged settlement have not been made public, but it’s believed that they include some sort of cross-licensing patent deal. The patents that are part of the supposed deal include those for basic technologies, with no further specifics mentioned.

It’s suggested that Samsung and Huawei are only settling now due to them wanting to pour more resources into the stagnant smartphone market. Even though Huawei now owns a company-record 17% of the market, Q1 2019 marked the sixth straight quarter of declining overall smartphone shipments. Meanwhile, Samsung saw a 10% decrease in market share year-over-year.</p>


They aren't settling to "pour more resources into"; they're doing it because wasting money on lawyers when your profits are shrinking is daft. Slightly different when Apple and Samsung were going at it: the market was on the rise and there were big prizes to be won. Purely at a guess, the patents cover modems (Huawei) and screens (Samsung) and cameras (both).
huawei  samsung  patents 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Electronics says no anticipated shipping date yet for Galaxy Fold • Reuters
<p>Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it cannot confirm the shipping date for its foldable device Galaxy Fold yet and apologized to its pre-order customers in the United States for the delay.

The world’s top smartphone maker delayed global sales of the splashy $1,980 foldable phone after reviewers discovered problems with its display, dealing a setback to Samsung and its efforts to showcase its innovation.

“If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st, your order will be canceled automatically,” the South Korean tech giant’s US subsidiary told Galaxy Fold pre-order customers in an email late on Monday, which was confirmed by a Samsung spokeswoman.

As per US regulations, Samsung was required to notify customers that the pre-orders would be canceled in the event the product had not been shipped by May 31, it said in a separate statement to Reuters.</p>

Which is going to come first, Brexit or the Galaxy Fold actually going on sale and arriving in punters' hands?
Galaxyfold  samsung  foldable 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
You're holding it wrong — touching the corner of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e reportedly kills Wi-Fi performance • Android Police
Ryan Whitwam:
<p>The Samsung Tab S4 is a nice piece of hardware if you're into Android tablets, but it's very expensive. The new Tab S5e has some of the S4's features but drops the price to $400. It turns out it also drops the WiFi signal when you touch the corner. Maybe we're all just holding it wrong.

Based on reports from multiple users, the tablet's upper left corner (in portrait) needs to remain unobstructed to maintain WiFi performance. The Tab S5e is a large-ish 10.5-inch tablet with a widescreen ratio. So, it's a bit ungainly to hold in portrait orientation. However, in landscape, the aforementioned corner is where you'd naturally want to place your hand.

Users on Instagram have shown that WiFi connectivity can drop completely when touching the corner. Meanwhile, SamMobile has confirmed there's an issue by eliciting a 50% drop in signal strength when covering the corner. The issue brings to mind Apple's "you're holding it wrong" incident with the iPhone 4.</p>

Though I bet many more iPhone 4s were sold than Galaxy Tab S4Es. Wonder if this person also worked on the Fold?
samsung  design 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Smartphone shipments experience deeper decline in Q1 2019 with a clear shakeup among the market leaders • IDC
Worldwide volumes down 6.6%; stagnation rules the day:
<p>"The less than stellar first quarter in the United States can be attributed to the continued slowdown we are witnessing at the high end of the market," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Consumers continue to hold on to their phones longer than before as newer higher priced models offer little incentive to shell out top dollar to upgrade. Moreover, the pending arrival of 5G handsets could have consumers waiting until both the networks and devices are ready for prime time in 2020."

Samsung saw volumes drop 8.1% in 1Q19 with shipments of 71.9m. The results were enough to keep Samsung in the top spot of the market, but Huawei is continuing to close the gap between the two smartphone leaders. Despite challenging earnings in terms of profits, Samsung did say that the recently launched Galaxy S10 series did sell well during the quarter. With the 5G variant now launched in its home market of Korea and plans to bring this device and other 5G SKUs to other important markets in 2019, it will be equally crucial for Samsung not to lose focus on its mid-tier product strategy to fend off Huawei.

Huawei moved its way into a clear number two spot as the only smartphone vendor at the top of the market that saw volumes grow during 1Q19. Impressively, the company had year-over-year growth of 50.3% in 1Q19 with volumes of 59.1m units and a 19.0% market share. Huawei is now within striking distance of Samsung at the top of the global market. In China, Huawei continued its positive momentum with a well-rounded portfolio targeting all segments from low to high. Huawei’s high-end models continued to create a strong affiliation for the mid to low-end models, which are supporting the company's overall shipment performance.

Apple had a challenging first quarter as shipments dropped to 36.4m units representing a staggering 30.2% decline from last year. The iPhone struggled to win over conusmers in most major markets as competitors continue to eat away at Apple's market share. Price cuts in China throughout the quarter along with favorable trade-in deals in many markets were still not enough to encourage consumers to upgrade. Combine this with the fact that most competitors will shortly launch 5G phones and new foldable devices, the iPhone could face a difficult remainder of the year. Despite the lackluster quarter, Apple's strong installed base along with its recent agreement with Qualcomm will be viewed as the light at the end of the tunnel heading into 2020 for the Cupertino-based giant.</p>
Smartphone  apple  huawei  samsung 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Here's why we think Galaxy Folds are failing • iFixit
Kevin Purdy:
<p>Knowing how OLEDs react to prying, moisture, oxygen, or nearly anything, it’s plain to see—from reviewers’ photos alone—that the Fold is literally inviting trouble into its fragile innards.

In pictures posted in The Verge’s hands-on impressions (before their Fold review unit broke), you can clearly see gaps at the top and bottom of the hinge when the full screen is open. A close-up of the hinge on its side, with accumulated pocket detritus, makes it even clearer. And the back of the Fold, even with the hinge closed or partially open, doesn’t look airtight.

“These are some of the biggest ingress points I’ve seen on a modern phone,” [iFixit lead teardown engineer Sam] Lionheart said. “Unless there’s some kind of magic membrane in there, dust will absolutely get in the back.” It’s important to note, too, that Samsung has offered no IP rating for the Fold. [IP rating indicates protection against dust and/or water ingress.]

Bohn finds it baffling the way his Fold unit broke. Especially because the first time he saw a “bump” under the Fold screen was late one night. After consulting with Samsung, he closed the phone and put it aside until the morning. The next day, examining the phone, Bohn saw two bumps under the screen.

“It seems odd to me that it appeared where it did,” Bohn said. “It’s hard to believe that I would not have noticed a piece of debris inching its way up from the bottom.” To us, this suggests the debris, both pieces, may have gotten in from the back hinge. Backing this up is Swiss reviewer Lorenz Keller, who tweeted at Bohn that his Fold also developed a bump, at a point that was the mirror opposite of Bohn’s defects. Keller’s bump eventually went away, which may be the result of the hinge being open enough to allow debris back out.</p>


Maybe test it outside the lab next time before setting a release date. Though Samsung is presently suggesting it will go ahead with the launch, in June. Sounds hopelessly optimistic: these are fundamental design faults.
samsung  foldable  design 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Innovate? Big tech would rather throw us a broken Samsung Galaxy Fold • The Guardian
I wrote a thing:
<p>are there no new boundaries to explore in technology other than phone-tablets? (And why is nobody calling the Fold a “phablet”, a word coined when phones started to grow to the size of bread slices?) Again and again, technology companies show a peculiar deafness to users’ desires. Facebook has the rare distinction of having been cited in a United Nations report on genocide, and was used by Russia to try to steer the US presidential election. So what’s it doing about that? Good news: political ads will in future have teeny-tiny labels you can click to find out who funded them. That’s going to fix it all!

It doesn’t end there, unfortunately. Anyone who has visited San Francisco, at the upper end of Silicon Valley, knows it desperately needs a solution to homelessness: which is why millions of dollars are being poured into scooter startups so that moneyed people can get away from them faster. Similarly, America’s health system is absurdly expensive, so tech companies have invented systems that let you scan a cheque and email the image rather than posting the thing, thus saving you the cost of a stamp.

Somewhere, it’s all gone a bit off-kilter.</p>
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung's reputation founders on rush for lead in folding phones • Bloomberg
Sam King, Mark Gurman and Min Jeong Lee:
<p>Initial prototypes would crack like a dried sheet of paper if folded about 10,000 times, people familiar with the matter said. Still, Samsung recognized its potential. It started to recruit mechanical engineers who could devote themselves to building a hinge the size of a finger, after the company realized the key to preventing cracks was to evenly distribute pressure. Engineers were encouraged to file as many patents as possible to prevent competition from creeping into a market that didn’t exist at the time, the people said, asking not to be identified as they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.

All seemed on track till last week, when reports of damage to review models started to surface, from a malfunctioning screen after a thin film was peeled off to a display that flickered wildly. Samsung retrieved the units but initially maintained the product would launch as planned on April 26. On Monday, executives convened at their headquarters and debated for hours before finally pulling the plug, the people said.

In initial investigations, Samsung engineers determined that removing the top layer of film -- something they hadn’t anticipated users would do - damaged the product, people familiar with the matter said. Its designers had been preoccupied with perfecting the so-called crease where the device folded, they said.</p>


<a href="https://daringfireball.net/2019/04/know_when_to_fold_em">John Gruber's article about this screwup</a> points out that someone in QC must have noticed. So did marketing override them? Or did they not notice, which would be worse?
samsung  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold smartphone release delayed • WSJ
Timothy W. Martin:
<p> Samsung Electronics is delaying the rollout of its Galaxy Fold smartphone until at least next month after some tech reviewers said their test devices had malfunctioned.

The Galaxy Fold, the industry’s first mainstream foldable-screen device, was slated to start selling in the US on Friday, with a price tag of nearly $2,000. But Samsung, citing the problems reported by reviewers, said Monday it plans to announce a new release date for the phone in the coming weeks.

“Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge,” the company said. “There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Samsung’s plans to delay the phone’s release, with people familiar with the matter pointing to problems affecting the handset’s hinge and its main screen.</p>


Huawei's isn't due until the autumn. I don't think it's going to make a lot of noise about it. I highly recommend Joanna Stern's <a href="https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/this-was-supposed-to-be-a-samsung-galaxy-fold-video-review/0208CCB5-1915-4ACC-B389-75631AE6EF32">video non-review of the Fold</a>.
samsung  galaxy  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold review: broken dream • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>On an objective basis, using the same standards we apply to any smartphone, the screen on the Galaxy Fold is bad. And that is wild to say because, again, subjectively, I deeply enjoy using it.

The biggest issue everybody wants to know about is the crease. There’s just no pretending that it isn’t there or that you don’t see it or feel it when you run your finger across it. Especially when you’re looking at it from an angle, it’s just a really obvious line through the middle of the screen. What’s worse, it’s a really obvious line that has two different color temperatures on either side of it when you look at it from an angle.

But when you start using the Fold, it tends to disappear. I stopped seeing it; it is actually difficult to spot when you’re looking at the Fold straight-on, which means that my subjective experience is just that it’s a great little 7-inch tablet. The screen is just slightly smaller than the iPad mini’s, but the Galaxy Fold has radically smaller bezels.

If that were the whole story, I’d tell you that the crease is a sort of modern version of the notch: a thing that is annoying but ultimately something you can get used to. I could tell you that it’s one of the things that is just going to happen on a folding phone, then move on to say that the colors are super vivid, the text is sharp, and it gets plenty bright.

But I can’t tell you that because the crease is just the start of this screen’s issues.</p>

Bohn basically assumes that Samsung is going to figure out why multiple review screens failed before it starts selling them to consumers but even so essentially says it's not worth buying. Samsung has postponed its launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Over to you, Huawei.
samsung  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold is the Homer Simpson car • UX Collective
Patrick Thornton:
<p>[Entering data] is becoming more and more common for healthcare, architecture, and some other professions. Having a small, foldable tablet might be more convenient than other existing small tablets. The quarter-assed phone on [the Galaxy Fold] might be good enough just for fielding work calls and other work activities.

If Samsung wanted to first start by targeting specific professional markets with this, they might get great feedback and begin to be able to refine this for consumer use. That does not appear to be their strategy here.

Also, with 79% of smartphone users using a protective case. How is that going to work for a device like this? It seems to me that either a mobile product like this needs to be very durable and impact resistant, or it needs to allow for use a case.

The last part of the Design Critique Rubric is to determine whether or not a user-centered design process was followed when building a product. A user-centered design process focuses product design and development on figuring out users’ problems and designing solutions to those.

At first glance, this does not appear a user-centered design process was followed (it’s hard to imagine the phone part of this being well received by users). I’m willing to put it through the full rubric once this device ships, but until then, I don’t see strong evidence of a user-centered design process.</p>


Foldables already start to look like a technology solution in search of a problem. But that's Samsung's approach. It pioneered big screens because it made screens; that turned out to be a good idea. It pioneered foldables because it could make foldable screens. Well.. (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPc-VEqBPHI">Watch this</a> if you're not familiar with "Homer Simpson's Car".)
samsung  design 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold screen breaking and flickering for some reviewers • CNBC
Todd Haselton:
<p>Samsung’s $1,980 Galaxy Fold phone is breaking for some users after a day or two of use. A review unit given to CNBC by Samsung is also completely unusable after just two days of use.

The phone has only been given to gadget reviewers, but some of the screens appear to be disconnecting and permanently flashing on or off.

The Verge’s Dieter Bohn posted earlier on Wednesday that his phone appears to have a defective hinge with a “small bulge” that he can feel that’s causing the screen to “slightly distort.” Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says his “review unit is completely broken just two days in,” but noted he accidentally removed a protective film on the screen.

YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee also removed the film and experienced a broken display. A Samsung spokesperson had warned on Wednesday not to remove the protective layer.

However, CNBC didn’t remove that layer, and our screen is now also failing to work properly.</p>


It seems to have a <em>really</em> high failure rate among reviewers. A $2,000 phone that doesn't last a week? This is going to be a Note 7 fiasco if this is repeated among buyers.
galaxyfold  samsung  foldable 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung fights back in EU as iPhone XR tops UK charts • Kantar Worldpanel
<p>The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar, for the three months ending March 2019, shows Android accounted for 79.3% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets.  Android’s strong performance was primarily thanks to Samsung holding share steady and solid gains from Huawei and Xiaomi.  iOS saw its share fall by two percentage points to 20.1% in Europe. However, the American market proved a brighter spot for Apple, as it boosted its US share in the quarter to 45.5%, an increase of 6.5 percentage points on the year.   

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar, comments, “Samsung’s share of the big five European markets held firm in the latest quarter, aided by something of a renaissance in Italy and Spain.  The launch of its flagship Galaxy S10 series also helped the manufacturer to consolidate its number one position in Europe, and it should expect sales to continue well into the next quarter. </p>

The XR as bestseller, and the increase in share, somewhat puts the line that Apple's finished to light. But note that Kantar doesn't indicate sales volume, only share.
Iphone  samsung  android 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on: 10 minutes with this futuristic beauty • SamMobile
"Martin R:
<p>the magic starts when you unfold the Fold, and the first thing I noticed is how the thing suddenly snaps open. That’s the hinge in the middle of the screen doing its job; the hinge on the unit I played with had some wiggle to it, but Samsung assured me this would not be the case on the final product. And once unfolded, the device fit very well in my (rather large) hands and I never felt like I’d drop it. One thing I don’t like is how the Fold has a square form factor like the iPad, as you’ll see those hideous black bars when you watch videos. The bezels, however, are minimal, except for the part around the cameras, although I think that will be a non-issue after a few days of regular use.

And now, about that elephant in the room: the folding screen and the crease in the middle that has been talked about in recent weeks. Well, the crease was certainly there on the demo unit, but it’s barely noticeable when you look at the Fold from the front. However, you won’t be able to unsee the crease once you look at the device from an angle when the screen is off. Samsung said this crease would be less noticeable on the final product, and I certainly hope that’s the case.

Something that struck me is how, glassy the screen felt. The Galaxy Fold uses a plastic display, but there’s some kind of coating on top that makes it feel like glass, and I loved that. Also impressive is how the Fold’s display opens to a full 180 degrees. I was worried that would be hard because of the book-like implementation of Samsung’s foldable device, just like an actual book can start to tear in the middle if you try to make the two sides of the book lay completely flat. But there’s no such problem on the Fold, and it feels almost magical to use.</p>


Let's come back in nine months or so and find out how people are using it.
foldable  samsung 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Electronics flags earnings miss as chip prices slide • Reuters
Ju-min Park and Heekyong Yang:
<p>Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday first-quarter profit would likely miss market expectations due to falls in chip prices and slowing demand for display panels, in an unprecedented statement ahead of its earnings guidance.

The announcement came after the Apple Inc supplier and rival told shareholders last week that slack global economic growth and softer demand for memory chips, its core business, would weigh on operations in 2019.

“The company expects the scope of price declines in main memory chip products to be larger than expected,” Samsung said in a regulatory filing pre-empting its earnings guidance due next week.

Samsung did not elaborate on the purpose of its filing. A company official confirmed the global leader in smartphones, televisions and computer chips had not previously provided comment before its official earnings estimate.

The firm was forecast to post a 7.2 trillion won (US$6.4bn) operating profit for the January-March period, according to Refinitiv SmartEstimate, more than 50% below the 15.6 trillion won recorded in the same period a year ago.

Its sales were expected to fall to 53.7 trillion won from 60.6 trillion won a year ago, Refinitiv shows.</p>


Chips and displays have been the driver of Samsung's profits for a while now; memory chips have seen a glut worldwide, though.
samsung  profit 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Galaxy S10 owners report issues with Android Auto • SamMobile
"Josh L":
<p>A number of Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ owners have taken to Samsung’s US Community Forum to vent their frustration that their handset won’t work with their vehicle’s Android Auto in-car infotainment system, throwing all sorts of strange error messages before crashing in most instances.

The bug doesn’t seem to follow a specific pattern — some users explained how Android Auto won’t recognise their handset, falling at the first hurdle; while others said it starts to function like normal, detecting their device, only to crash a couple of minutes later or when a command is issued.

There doesn’t appear to be a workaround for the bug, either. Reinstalling Android Auto on the handset has next to no effect, nor does a factory reset, <a href="https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/Galaxy-S10/Android-auto/m-p/476728?fbclid=IwAR3Xg39vmYJUeOq4Xtdq1y4YtES9v4ggwlhrSrH-kFBqpDXLpMgggIdPIn4">according to users on the US Community Forum</a>, hinting that Android Auto isn’t compatible with some builds of the device’s firmware.</p>


Seems like Samsung rushed a bit. I'd love to see some numbers on how many cars have a) Android Auto b) Apple CarPlay c) both and how much they're used in them. Bluetooth does an adequate job for most, I think.
samsung  s10  androidauto 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy S10 face unlock can be fooled by a photo, video, or even your sister • Android Police
Ryne Hager:
<p>Both The Verge and Lewis Hilsenteger (Unbox Therapy) were able to trick the S10's face recognition tech with a video played back on another phone. In the case of the latter, this is explicitly on a device smudged with fingerprints and dust, etc., only a couple of inches away. There should have been plenty of indirect cues there — focus distance, sufficient resolution to see pixel-level details, overlaid static features — to indicate that something might be off, but the S10 paid such details no mind.

Italian tech outlet SmartWorld was able to fool it with a static image, as well.

You may not even need a photo or video to trick the S10's facial recognition tech. Jane Wong, of great social app teardown fame, was able to fool her brother's recently purchased Galaxy S10 with her own face; a mere family resemblance was reportedly enough to confuse it.</p>


Come on. That is shamefully bad. It would be better not to ship something so woeful. Touch ID is more than five years old, Face ID is more than a year old, and Samsung offers this bag of insecurity?
samsung  security  facebook 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Galaxy S10 review: The best phone of 2019 • Android Central
Andrew Martonik:
<p>Samsung's move to an in-display fingerprint sensor is the only controversial decision it made this year. Actually, the only controversial things Samsung has done in the last handful of years have all related to biometric security. Moving the fingerprint sensor to a nonsensical place, and trying to rely on iris scanning were solid blunders in their own right. (Iris scanning is gone now, by the way.) And now, we have another attempt: an in-display fingerprint sensor. This isn't the first we've seen, but it is the first using this type of technology: ultrasonic, using sound waves, rather than optical, which uses a camera.

I'll lay it out simply: the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is better than the optical ones I've used (primarily, the OnePlus 6T), but it is not as fast, accurate or easy to use as a modern capacitive fingerprint sensor. That shouldn't really come as any surprise, as capacitive sensors are a mature technology while the in-display sensors are still relatively new. But it's worth making clear.

There is no situation in which the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor has been faster or more consistent than the Galaxy S9's rear-mounted capacitive sensor. That's incredibly unfortunate.

Having the sensor in the display adds the benefit of being able to unlock your phone while it's sitting flat on a table or when you're holding it loosely and can't reach where a rear sensor would be. But the sensor requires far more effort to find the "sweet spot" where you know it'll unlock right away. I found myself pressing harder on the screen to flatten out my print, which helped, but the zone where the sensor will read is smaller than you'd think. </p>


Which would explain why Apple went for Face ID a whole 18 months earlier. This technology still isn't ready. That aside, Samsung's doing the usual upgrade thing, and reviewers seem happy.
samsung  fingerprint 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Five reasons foldable phones are a bad idea • ExtremeTech
Ryan Whitwam:
<p>Smartphones used to come in all shapes and sizes — there were phones with keyboards, phones with rotating cameras, and phones with 3D screens. Smartphone design has standardized around the flat, glass slab in recent years, but things are starting to get weird again. Multiple smartphone makers seem to think 2019 is the time to make science-fictional folding phones a reality.

Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X look cool in demos, but foldable phones are probably a long, long way from being any good. Here are five reasons the current crop of devices is going to be bad.</p>


Briefly: plastic is plastic ("You encounter a lot of things throughout the day that are harder than plastic, but few that are harder than Gorilla Glass. While your flat smartphone can ride around in your pocket or bag with keys, pens, and coins, a foldable phone might come out looking likes a scuffed mess. Oh, your phone folds inward like the Galaxy Fold? Good luck never getting dust trapped in there when you close it."); they will break; the designs are still clunky; they're too pricey; app support will never arrive.

Of the five, the last one - app support - is what's probably going to make these "meh" on Android. As Whitwam says, "Android apps didn’t work well on tablets, and there’s no reason to think it’ll be any better with foldables."

If Apple does a foldable, on the other hand, you know developers will be falling over themselves to support it in surprising ways. The potential for games where the fold is the horizon is huge, for example.
foldable  samsung  huawei  apps  android 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung expects Galaxy Fold supply to be limited, hints at luxury launch • The Verge
Tom Warren:
<p>“We’ll have less supply than we would of the S10 at launch, and also how it goes to market is really important to us,” explains [Samsung UK director of product, services and commercial strategy Kate] Beaumont. “This is a super premium device, and we want to make sure it has a concierge-like service and experience, so it’s not going to be on display in all stores. You’re not going to see it on the stands, we want to make sure it’s a very personal experience. There will be quite intensive aftercare that goes with it as well."

That means you won’t be walking into your local store to try out the Galaxy Fold, and then sign a contract and walk off. It sounds like Samsung is taking a similar approach to how Apple launched its $10,000 Apple Watch Edition, with supplies restricted to select retailers.

…“We considered a lot of options [for the fold direction - innie v outie],” says Beaumont. “There’s things like if you want to put a case on it, usability, durability, and we feel that having the screen on the inside is the best way to protect that screen. We have the technology to do a fold that is very very tiny, as of course if you have the fold on the outside it doesn’t take quite the same amount of research and development to get that device to fold as it does something that is folding with a much lower angle degree on it.”</p>


Neat bit of shade on Huawei there. (Of note: Apple's Watch Edition was discontinued after v1.)
samsung  fold  huawei 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s foldable phone is the Galaxy Fold, price $1,980 • The Verge
Tom Warren:
<p>Samsung has built a sturdy backbone to the device, with a hinge system that has multiple interlocking gears. All of these gears are hidden at the rear of the device, and allow the Galaxy Fold to transform from tablet to phone modes. At the rear of the device there’s also a triple-camera system that will be used for both tablet and phone modes. There’s a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, alongside 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras at the rear, and a 10-megapixel cover camera for selfies. Samsung is also creating four different colors for the Galaxy Fold, but it’s the main tablet display that’s key here.

Samsung is allowing the Galaxy Fold to run three apps at once on this Android device, and it’s using an app continuity system to adjust these apps when you move between tablet and phone modes. Apps like WhatsApp, Microsoft Office, and YouTube have all been optimized for the new display and modes, and Samsung has been working with Google to ensure Android 9 Pie fully supports this display.

Samsung demonstrated a variety of apps running in this mode, and the switching from phone to tablet and vice versa. It looks rather smooth in the software right now, but it’s fair to say that the Galaxy Fold looks far better when it’s folded out than being used as a traditional phone. The phone display is clearly designed to be used with one hand, but it’s flanked by large bezels that aren’t found on the tablet mode. We’ll need to get a closer look at the Galaxy Fold to find out exactly how this impacts the device usability, though.</p>

Sooo.. an iPad you can fold up?
Samsung  foldable 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung gives up on Blu-Ray, will not release any new players in the US • Gizmodo
Tom McKay:
<p>This is not entirely surprising. The 4K UHD Blu-ray market is growing fast, but disc sales in general fell by double digits (11.5% in Q3 2018, per Variety) and the growth of streaming may have left the format without much of a future. Last year, competitor Oppo also dropped out of the Blu-ray market. As Engadget noted, the Digital Entertainment Group said that 2.3m devices capable of playing 4K Blu-rays were purchased in the U.S. in the first nine months of 2018, “but those included game consoles that might never play a disc-based movie.”

Meanwhile, subscription video services reach many times that number of households (Netflix alone is in the 150m range). It seems like there is a significant number of consumers who don’t think they need an expensive Blu-ray player to enjoy movies (as Forbes noted, well over half of disc sales are still DVDs). Additionally, Samsung’s devices didn’t support Dolby Vision, just HDR10 and HDR10+, further limiting their appeal to a subset of the Blu-ray market.

In any case, Blu-rays are not quite going the way of the dinosaur yet—indeed, they remain the best way for home viewing as close to movie-theater quality as possible—but they are being undercut by the rise of streaming.</p>


Not surprising when you consider this graphic (taken from The Verge, same story) and try to find Blu-ray viewing. It's the light green bit.

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/e5FHosXB8C9POqQ0aLRumewIIiw=/0x0:994x680/1720x0/filters:focal(0x0:994x680):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13843316/nielsen_population_time_spent_on_tv_entertainment.jpg" width="100%" />
samsung  bluray  dvd 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
UK smartphone shipments fell 14% in Q4 2018 • Strategy Analytics
<p>Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple shipped 3.0 million smartphones and captured a dominant 41% marketshare in the UK during Q4 2018. Apple has a prestigious brand and extensive retail presence across the UK market. Despite a slight decline from a year ago, Apple’s grip on the UK smartphone market remains fairly tight and the iPhone has two times more marketshare than closest rival Samsung.”

Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung clung on to second place with 19% smartphone marketshare in the UK during Q4 2018, down from 21% a year ago. Samsung’s UK smartphone marketshare has more than halved during the past six years. Samsung is facing intense competitive pressure from Huawei, who is targeting Samsung’s core segments in the midrange and premium-tier with popular models such as the P20. Huawei’s UK smartphone marketshare has leapt from 8% in Q4 2017 to 12% in Q4 2018. Huawei is growing fast in the UK, due to heavy co-marketing of its models with major carriers like EE.”</p>

One other thing: Q4 is the biggest sales quarter of the year. Huawei is clearly eating Samsung's breakfast, lunch and tea.
Smartphone  uk  apple  samsung  huawei 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
US market sell-through drops 10% YoY in 4Q18 • Counterpoint Research
<p>Research director Jeff Fieldhack stated, “We saw the same trends in 4Q as we saw during the whole year. Holding periods continued to creep longer. Upgrade percentages during the quarter were down and could be down as much as 3% on the year. Phone churn continues to be impressively low and was under 1% at three of the four major carriers. Lastly, carriers were more disciplined in their marketing spend and focused on EBITDA margins over winning net adds at all costs. These all contributed to lower smartphone sell-through numbers.”

Fieldhack added, “Prepaid did not consume the number of handsets in 2018 it consumed across 2017. Prepaid used to have a holding period well under one year. Today, holding periods are closer to postpaid holding periods due to the higher quality of devices. Devices with large displays and batteries, with lower-cost mid-tier processors, are the workhorses within prepaid. These devices have the longevity of higher ASP postpaid devices. In addition, the evolution of the refurbish and repair ecosystem makes it easier for consumers to either purchase a high-quality used device or repair a current device. We estimate the US absorbed almost 11.5m refurbished smartphones in 2018. These are meaningful numbers of consumers deciding not to buy new.”</p>


Then again, Apple had 47% of the market there, according to Counterpoint. Samsung was next with 23%. The biggest grower? You probably won't guess.

<img src="https://www.counterpointresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Press-Release-Jan29-OEM-Deltas.png" width="100%" />
us  oem  apple  samsung  smartphone 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung used my DSLR photo to fake their phone’s “portrait mode” • DIY Photography
Dunja Dudic:
<p>Curious as I am, I performed a reverse image search a few days later, just for fun. I thought that, even if I get to see the image online, it could be included in a blog post about outdoor activities, nature, autumn… Maybe even makeup. But to my surprise, there was only a bunch of search results related with Galaxy A8 Star. I clicked on the first link, scrolled down, and saw this:

<img src="https://s23527.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/samsung-website-1.jpg.optimal.jpg" width="100%" />

My first reaction was to burst out into laughter. Just look at the Photoshop job they did on my face and hair! I’ve always liked my natural hair color (even though it’s turning gray black and white), but I guess the creator of this franken-image prefers reddish tones. Except in the eyes though, where they removed all of the blood vessels.

Whoever created this image, they also cut me out of the original background and pasted me onto a random photo of a park. I mean, the original photo was taken at f/2.0 if I remember well, and they needed the “before” and “after” – a photo with a sharp background, and another one where the almighty “portrait mode” blurred it out. So Samsung’s Photoshop master resolved it by using a different background.</p>


I bet the Photoshopper was not pleased with the challenge of cutting around her many fine strands of hair. Which you can tell, because they gave up on the right-hand side of the picture.

But come on, Samsung. This is just crappy.
samsung  fake  photo 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
South Korea charges 11 with selling Samsung technology to China • Bloomberg
Sam Kim:
<p>The chief executive officer of a Samsung supplier and eight of his employees received 15.5 billion won ($13.8m) after conspiring with two representatives of the Chinese company to transfer organic light-emitting diode knowhow, according to a statement from prosecutors in Suwon. The names of the companies and individuals weren’t disclosed.

Intellectual property theft is a national concern for South Korea as it tries to maintain its narrowing technology lead over China. The mainland is pouring billions into becoming self-sustaining in areas such as memory chips and displays, two fields where Samsung is the world leader. Curved-edge OLED screens have become a signature feature of the Suwon-based company’s high-end Galaxy smartphones, including the Note 9.

The US is also concerned about what it considers a state-backed campaign of technology theft by China. Earlier this year a former Apple Inc. engineer was arrested in the US on charges of stealing driverless car secrets. Earlier this month Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. and Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp. were indicted on charges they conspired to steal trade secrets form Micron Technology Inc…

…The South Korean supplier transferred “3D lamination” technology and other equipment to the Chinese screen maker between May and August, violating a non-disclosure agreement with Samsung, according to the prosecutors. They were caught while loading additional pieces onto a ship headed for the mainland, they said.

Prosecutors said the supplier sold the technology after its sales dipped and that the CEO set up a fake company headed by his sister-in-law. They accused him of building the equipment at another factory in an attempt to cover up the alleged plot.</p>
china  smartphone  samsung  oled  ip  theft 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung CEO seeks breakthrough with Galaxy 10, foldable phone • Korea Herald
Song Su-hyun:
<p>[Samsung CEO Koh Dong-jin] recently said in a corporate message to executives and employees of the information technology and mobile communications division of Samsung that he felt “sorry about the currently struggling status of the Samsung smartphone business and will do my best to overcome the crisis with the upcoming Galaxy 10 and foldable phones.” 

The message comes amid rumors concerning his position, as the tech giant approaches its year-end personnel reshuffle and organizational restructuring.

Koh was reportedly criticized for weakening competitiveness of Samsung phones by Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who ordered improvement in camera technology for the smartphones after personally visiting a shop in Europe. 

“Koh’s message appeared to show how much of a critical position Samsung’s mobile business is in at the moment. The atmosphere within the company is currently serious as we hear outside criticism toward the products,” said an insider.

Samsung recorded 2.2 trillion won ($1.95bn) in operating profit for mobile business in the third quarter, down more than 30% from the previous quarter. </p>


Samsung is <em>struggling?</em> That's news to me.
samsung  smartphones 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung Infinity Flex display: folding phone concept revealed • Gearbrain
Alistair Charlton:
<p>After months of rumors, teasers and anticipation, Samsung has finally revealed its first folding smartphone — but there's a catch.

Shown off by CEO and president DJ Koh during the opening keynote of the annual Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the Infinity Flex Display is only a prototype for now, and won't be ready to buy until 2019.

The concept comes just days after Royole announced the FlexPai, which the company claims is the world's first smartphone to feature a folding display, and early adopters should receive in late-December.

Unlike the production-ready FlexPai, Samsung is not ready to reveal its finished product just yet. The device shown on stage was bulky — especially when viewed in the closed position — but Samsung reassured the audience that "there's a device inside here and it is stunning."

Regarding durability, Samsung says the display can be folded "hundreds of thousands of times" without being damaged. The company also said the display is the thinnest it has ever made. Mass production, Samsung says vaguely, will begin "in the coming months."</p>


Vague. Very vague. Meanwhile...
samsung  foldable 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung's quarterly earnings show increased overall profit, but continued decline in mobile • Android Police
Ryne Hager:
<p>Samsung published its third-quarter financials yesterday, and results are mixed. Although profits and revenue are up (both year over year and quarter over quarter), the mobile division continues the decline set last quarter. Interestingly, that's not as a result of sales, but rather increased marketing costs and unfavorable currency developments. Nonetheless, it expects those mobile earnings to decrease further next quarter, even as smartphone shipments rise…

…Samsung's third-quarter IT & Mobile Communications (read: phone) profits are always on the lower side in Q3, and at 2.22 trillion KRW (~$1.98bn) that's a decline both quarter over quarter, year over year, and the lowest numbers Samsung has seen since Q1 2017. Interestingly, this isn't a result of a decline in flagship sales, but rather mid and low-end devices.

The company expects phone sales to rise for Q4/the end of the year, but since those late-year sales require correspondingly higher marketing costs, profitability won't be as high.</p>


Analysts reckon Samsung's phone sales declined quite sharply in Q3 on a year-over-year basis. Things are getting compressed in the phone market.
samsung  smartphone  profit 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Global smartphone shipments down 6.0% in Q3 2018 as the leading vendor and the largest market face challenges • IDC
<p>While the overall smartphone market has declined for four straight quarters, two things stand out as major factors in the third quarter. Samsung, the largest smartphone vendor in terms of market share, accounting for 20.3% of shipments in 3Q18, declined 13.4% year over year in the quarter. And secondly, China, which is the largest country market for smartphone consumption, accounting for roughly one third of global shipments, was down as well for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Samsung had a challenging quarter with shipments down 13.4% to 72.2m units shipped. The market share leader continues to feel pressure from all directions, especially with Huawei inching closer to the top after its second consecutive quarter as the number two vendor. In addition, growing markets like India and Indonesia, where Samsung has held leading positions for many years, are being changed by the rapid growth of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo.

Meanwhile, China’s domestic market, which represents roughly one third of all smartphones consumed, has been in decline since the second quarter of 2017, and 3Q18 was the sixth consecutive quarter where the market sees contraction. China was down 11% in the first half of 2018 (1H18), and the challenges continued into 3Q18. Overall IDC expects this decline to decelerate with the market returning to flat growth in 2019.</p>


Apple down to third place, with a 13.2% share (46.9m); Huawei was 14.6% (52.0m). Xiaomi, which a couple of years ago was struggling, is now 4th, with 9.7% share (34.3m). Chinese smartphone companies thriving even as China sales slow.

The smartphone boom is over. What follows now flows from that.
smartphone  apple  samsung  huawei  xiaomi 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
New iPhones, new Galaxies: who's the bigger copycat? • Yahoo News
David Pogue is a brave, brave man:
<p>First, I made up a list of every major feature that’s standard on smartphones today. Pinch-to-zoom. Auto-rotating screen. Slow-mo video. Word suggestions above the keyboard. A quick settings panel. Voice assistant. Voice calling. Private browsing. And on and on.

Second, I hunted down the first appearance of every feature by poring through old user manuals, Wikipedia, tech reviews, and how-to books. With help from my assistant Jan Carpenter, we eventually filled in a spreadsheet, which you can see here.

I turned the data over to David Foster, infographics lead for Oath Studios, who designed the timelines you see below. Each one shows clearly not just which company wins each horse race, but how long it took its rivals to copy each feature. The timeline bars also provide a fascinating look at how smartphones have evolved since the iPhone’s debut in 2007.

Now, a few notes on this project’s limitations:

• I’ve restricted the game to three players: Apple, Samsung, and Google. Some features may have appeared first in phones by smaller companies, but most of the “you stole that!” accusations involve the Big Three. Especially when it comes to software features (Apple’s iOS vs. Google’s Android) and hardware features (Apple’s iPhone vs. Samsung’s Galaxy S series).<br />• Not all features get stolen. Nobody ever copied Apple’s Force Touch screen idea (detects how hard you’re pressing) or its Emergency SOS siren (to use when you’re being mugged). Similarly, to this day, only Android offers desktop widgets and multiple user accounts on the phone. And Samsung, through the years, has introduced dozens of features that nobody chose to imitate (built-in heart-rate sensor, auto-scrolling based on your head tilt). This story is about features that have become universal, so those features don’t appear here.<br />• Also not included: Features that existed before the smartphone era, like downloadable ringtones. They weren’t Apple’s, Samsung’s, or Google’s ideas in the first place.
Even with all of this research and documentation, I’m sure there will be much to argue about. Does Samsung’s easily fooled face recognition get credit for being first, when Apple’s later implementation, which uses depth cameras that can’t be fooled by a photo, is far better? Should a company get credit for being the leader, when the feature it introduced seems obvious and inevitable (say, an on-screen keyboard)? Should a feature be listed if two companies introduced it more or less simultaneously?

In all three cases, I’ve answered “yes” as I built this study.</p>

RIP your mentions, dude.
Apple  google  samsung  copying 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung unveiling a foldable smartphone this year • CNBC
Arjun Kharpal:
<p>Samsung will unveil details of a foldable smartphone later this year, the CEO of its mobile division told CNBC, amid rumors that such a device was in the works.

DJ Koh said that "it's time to deliver" on a foldable device after consumer surveys carried out by Samsung showed that there is a market for that kind of handset.

Speaking to CNBC, Koh was tight-lipped on how the folding screen could work but ran through the design thinking of the upcoming smartphone, particularly how Samsung is trying to differentiate the experience from a tablet once it is unfolded.

"You can use most of the uses ... on foldable status. But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they (consumers) buy it?," Koh said at the IFA electronics show in Berlin last week.

"So every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end customer. So when the end customer uses it, (they think) 'wow, this is the reason Samsung made it'."

The device may sound similar to a traditional flip phone which relied on a hinge to connect the two parts of the handset. But Samsung is likely to focus on creating an actual screen that bends. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that an upcoming foldable smartphone would use a single screen.</p>


He's going to reveal <em>details</em> of the phone later this year? Not the phone? Wow, it's almost as if Samsung is trying to distract from the launch of another phone. The Galaxy Note?
samsung  foldable 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is crazy powerful. Can you handle it? • WSJ
David Pierce:
<p>I’ve found the S Pen a handy tool in conjunction with another of the Note 9’s best features, called DeX. By connecting the phone to a display using an adapter or cable, you can turn the Note into something resembling a desktop. Last year’s dock is no longer required.

All your apps still run, but they open on the external display in an environment more like Windows, with a tool bar and plenty of space for multitasking. Some apps resize to fit the larger screen, including Microsoft Office Adobe Photoshop Express, or even Google’s Chrome browser. Connect a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth, or use the phone itself as a trackpad. You can even unlock the phone—and use it as a phone—while it powers the desktop environment.

<img src="https://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/B3-BL599_0819PT_M_20180817173732.jpg" width="100%" /><br />PHOTO: EMILY PRAPUOLENIS/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The amazingly versatile Note 9 comes closer than anything I’ve tested to fulfilling my one-true-computer dream. But Samsung doesn’t always implement these features well.

When I pull out the S Pen, the Note 9 offers six things to do, with dozens more available in settings. I get multiple notifications and warnings every time I open DeX. Apps often have to close and reopen to work on the larger screen.

I’ve long complained about Samsung’s unnecessary duplication of Google’s apps, but the Note 9’s bigger issue is that over the past week, it just wouldn’t leave me alone. It bombarded me with pop-ups, new-feature alerts and options I apparently needed to turn on.

Samsung says the barrage is an attempt to help Note users figure out their powerful new device, and the pop-ups mellow out eventually. Yet even when I clicked through the initial wave, I still felt pestered: The Note’s notification tray fills with status reports on things I don’t care about.</p>


The Note is niche in a way that the iPhone X isn't; it's almost surely overserving most of its users. Apart from those who really, really need a pen on their phone.
samsung  note9 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Yup, the Galaxy Note 9 will be really expensive • BGR
Chris Smith:
<p>It was only the other day that we showed you a Galaxy Note 9 leak from Europe that said the phone might cost €1,029 (128GB) and €1,279 (512GB), making the new Samsung flagship the most expensive handset in Samsung’s history. That’s $1,204 and $1,497 at current rates, although you shouldn’t expect a direct conversion for the US price of the handset.

A second report from the region indicates the price leak is accurate, providing an even higher entry price for the handset.

Yesterday’s report from Italian site Tutto Android said these leaked prices might increase by the time the phone is released next month. German blog WinFuture, an accurate source in the past, offers a similar pricing structure.

The site says the Galaxy Note 9 will be available in 128GB and 512GB storage options, which is certainly an improvement over previous models. The cheaper model will sell for €1,050 ($1,229), while the 512GB version will cost €1,250 ($1,463).</p>


At this point, though carefully dripped-out leaks, pretty much everything is known about the Galaxy Note 9 - the price, shape, colours of the device - apart from what colour the pen will be. Even so, it feels like this will test the willingness of its customers to pay for that top-end feel.
galaxynote  samsung 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Xiaomi expansion into South Korea heaping pressure on Samsung • Digitimes
Colley Hwang:
<p>China-based Xiaomi launched its latest smartphones including the flagship Hongmi Note 5, in Seoul, South Korea, priced KRW200,000-300,000 (US$190-285), in cooperation with local telecom carriers SK Telecom and Korea Telecom. Their competitive pricing of less than US$300, far below Korea-based vendors' smartphone ASP of over US$500 in 2017, has quickly caught much attention in the Korea market.

Xiaomi's operating profits have always been below 5%, but the slim-profit strategy is also the China-based smartphone vendor's strongest weapon in its foray into new territories. Xiaomi has already outraced Samsung Electronics in India's smartphone market and is now looking to challenge the Korea giant on its home turf.

Currently, Samsung is the largest smartphone vendor in South Korea with a 55% share, followed by Apple at 28.3% and LG Electronics at 15.7%. The three handset vendors together already account for 99% of the market, leaving almost no room for any other players.

To nudge its way through the barriers, Xiaomi has introduced Hongmi Note 5, featuring a 5.99-inch screen, 12-megapixel back-end and 5-megapixel front-end cameras, and artificial intelligence (AI) support, priced at KRW299,000; it has been a star in Xiaomi's winning lineup for the race in India. Although Xiaomi has not revealed the number of its smartphone pre-orders from South Korea, sources from local channels have reported positive feedbacks from consumers.</p>

Which demonstrates that substitution - cheaper as-good hardware for another - is a continual risk for Android handset makers, even in their own back yard. That Apple has such a huge share - comparable with the UK (as is the <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/467171/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-south-korea/">size of the South Korean smartphone market</a>) - is remarkable, though.
apple  xiaomi  samsung  southkorea  smartphone 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
The best thing about Samsung’s exciting new tablet might also be a fatal flaw • BGR
Chris Smith:
<p>just like the iPhone X, the Galaxy Tab S4 will sacrifice the fingerprint sensor, a feature many people love on a smartphone or tablet.

Apple replaced Touch ID with Face ID, a secure 3D facial recognition system that’s a first for the industry. Samsung doesn’t have that luxury, however.

In lack of a 3D front-facing camera, Samsung will employ the Intelligent Scan feature that’s already available on the Galaxy S9.

In case you’re not familiar with that, that’s a mix between the iris scanner and facial recognition system that Samsung has had for years. <a href="https://www.sammobile.com/2018/07/19/galaxy-tab-s4-iris-scanner-intelligent-scan">SamMobile discovered a video</a> from the official Galaxy Tab S4 firmware that plays when you’re configuring Intelligent Scan on the tablet.</p>


It's not as secure as Face ID, which means you'd want to go with a passcode/password, which is a retrograde step. I'm already interested to see what the second generation of Apple's Face ID is like; the first is pretty good, but there was a huge difference between the first generation of Touch ID and the second.
samsung  tablet  security 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung plans to launch foldable-screen phone early next year • WSJ
Timothy Martin:
<p> Samsung Electronics Co. is planning to introduce a foldable-screen smartphone early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, as the world’s largest phone maker eyes a splashy device to help re-energize its slumping handset business.

The Samsung prototype, which bears the internal code name “Winner,” features a screen that measures about 7 inches diagonally, roughly the size of a smaller tablet, these people said.

The screen can be folded in half, like a wallet, these people said. When the phone is folded, its exterior shows a small display bar on one side and cameras on the other, they said.

A foldable-screen device has long been a hotly rumored industry pursuit, with several phone makers said to be developing models. Unlike a traditional flip phone, the device when opened would be almost all screen, giving consumers a large display akin to a tablet, with the portability of a phone that could fit in a consumer’s hand, pocket or purse.

Other manufacturers have launched smartphones that fold, but those devices used two screens connected at their phone frames.

The new Samsung design—using a foldable screen—could help rejuvenate a handset industry that has struggled to find new dazzling features to impress consumers.</p>


(Narrator's voice: it didn't rejuvenate the handset industry, because nobody cared that your phone could fold.)
samsung  foldable 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Does having the best camera phone matter? • The Wirecutter
Ben Keough:
<p>Whenever flashy new smartphones debut, manufacturers inevitably claim they’ve produced the best camera phone ever. Sharper! Faster! More accurate colors! Smoother bokeh! Tech sites compare the cameras endlessly, and benchmarks like DxOMark’s mobile reviews attempt to rank them in a controlled lab setting. It’s enough to give any smartphone owner an inferiority complex, but all the experts we interviewed (including one who helped design DxOMark’s test) agree that stressing over which flagship phone has the most impressive camera is a waste of time, because they’re all impressive.

Unless your phone is several years old, we don’t recommend upgrading just to get a better camera. But if you need to upgrade anyway, we think you should go with what’s familiar—switching platforms for the promise of a slightly better camera is not worth the hassle. And unless you’re actually printing your photos, most of the differences between phone cameras get ironed out in the process of sharing photos through messages or social media, which shrink and compress images to save data.</p>

Perhaps that's part of why the Galaxy S9 isn't selling well: it's essentially just a better camera, and Samsung isn't selling a story for those whose phones are two or three years old.
Samsung  camera  smartphone 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
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