Tag Archive: samsung


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As the worldwide smartphone market slows, Samsung’s second-quarter earnings showed that it is beginning to feel the pressure despite being the world’s top smartphone vendor.

Samsung said its Q2 2013 operating profit increased 47.5% to $8.5 billion, in line with the company’s own estimate. Operating profit at its mobile division, which accounts for two-thirds of the company’s revenue and is its biggest earnings driver, rose 52% to 6.23 trillion won ($5.6 billion), but fell 3.5% from the previous quarter.

The reporting period included the launch of the Galaxy S4, Samsung’s flagship phone and its main rival to the iPhone. One month after the Galaxy S4 s launch, Samsung said it’d hit a record 10 million channel sales, but the Korean tech giant is under the same challenges as Apple thanks to a slowing global smartphone market and shrinking margins. Earlier this week, Apple reported weaker international sales, due in large part to a dramatic revenue plunge in China.

Samsung said that smartphone sales will continue to be slower in the third quarter.

“Entering into a typically strong season for the IT industry, we expect earnings to continue to increase,” said Samsung head of investor relations Robert Yi in a statement. “However, we cannot overlook delayed economic recovery in Europe and risks from increased competition for smartphone and other set products.”

iphone4 - profile02

More proof, if proof were needed, that Apple needs a low cost iPhone to get its smartphone momentum mojo back: Cupertino’s share of the global smartphone market fell to its lowest for three years in Q2, according to Strategy Analytics, with just 31.2 million iPhones shipped in the quarter and Apple’s second place ranking declining to a 14% market share – this despite the overall smartphone market growing 47% annually to reach a record 230 million units shipped.

“The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement.

Mawston told TechCrunch it’s not just a low cost iPhone that Apple needs to return to growth, although he agrees that is a requirement for Apple to drive extra volume. Cupertino’s top priority should be a new type of flagship to compete with Samsung’s phablets, he said.

“Apple’s first priority should be a premium-tier phablet with a 5-inch screen because that is where the largest new revenue pool is located,” he said via email. “Apple is losing profit share to Samsung partly because of a lack of presence in the phablet segment. Apple’s second priority should be a lower-cost iPhone to win back some of the customers it is losing to cheaper Android models in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

“A 5-inch iPhone would generate extra value for Apple, while a cheaper iPhone would deliver extra volume,” he added.

Overall, the analyst said smartphone market growth is being driven by demand for 4G handsets in developed markets such as the U.S. and 3G devices in emerging markets such as India. Asian mobile makers, who predominately use Google’s Android OS, are now clearly dominating the surging smartphone market, with Samsung still in kingpin position – shipping 76 million devices in Q2 to capture one-third of all smartphone volumes worldwide in the quarter – and LG, ZTE and Huawei in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

The analyst described LG as a “star performer”, with its global shipments doubling year-over-year to hit 12.1 million units in Q2 to take a 5% share. “The popular Optimus and Nexus models have been the main drivers of LG’s success. If LG can expand its retail presence and marketing in major countries such as the US or China, LG could quietly start to challenge Apple for second position,” Analyst Linda Sui added in a statement.

Chinese mobile maker ZTE also took a 5% share in the quarter, shipping a record 11.5 million smartphones to take fourth place for the first time, while Huawei shipped 11.1 million handsets to also grab 5% and take fifth.

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Available for the the iPhone 5/5s and Galaxy S4.

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Qualcomm’s surprise entry into the smartwatch space is running a bit slow.

083013_TOQ watch headsets black

When the company announced the Toq smartwatch in September, it was aiming to ship the first watches by mid-October. That date has come and gone, but Qualcomm said it still hopes to have products available for the holidays.

Qualcomm didn’t give a specific new date for Toq (pronounced “tock”), but it seems like if it isn’t available by Black Friday, it will be hard to claim it as available for the holidays. In the meantime, both Sony’s SmartWatch 2 and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear (announced the same day as Toq) have started shipping, while Pebble just got a significant software update.

Of course, Qualcomm is using the Toq as much as an expression of what is possible using the company’s Mirasol display and other Qualcomm technologies as it is a product that the company expects to be a big commercial hit.

“We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands,” Qualcomm executive Rob Chandhok said in an interview at the time of the announcement. “A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this. Qualcomm isn’t turning into a consumer electronics company.”

Similar to the other smartwatches, the Toq is designed mainly to serve as a companion to a smartphone, delivering notifications and acting as a remote control. Toq, which is expected to sell for about $300, will work with various Android phones. A key differentiator is the Mirasol screen, which has some of the battery-sipping properties of E Ink while still offering a color display.

Samsung 520x245 Top smartphone dog Samsungs explosive growth period is over

Despite posting record net profit for the second quarter of 2013 that was up 50 percent year-on-year, Samsung spent its earnings call assuring investors that the company is poised for further growth with its “competitive” line-up of products.

The reason for its defensive stance? There have been lingering concerns that the Korean company simply cannot maintain its explosive pace of growth any longer. In fact, Samsung warned that growth in its mobile business will slow in the third quarter due to the onset of more competition as more products are being rolled out.

Record profit not enough

Samsung announced its 2Q 2013 earnings today with KRW57.46 trillion ($51.7 billion) in revenue, in line with its earlier estimate of KRW57 trillion. Operating profit stood at KRW9.53 trillion ($8.6 billion), also in line with the guidance of KRW9.5 trillion, while net profit was seen at a record-high figure of KRW7.7 trillion ($6.9 billion).

Samsung has experienced phenomenal growth to date over the past year – its revenue increased by 21.9 percent from 2011 to 2012, while its operating profit jumped 85.9 percent and its net profit surged 72.5 percent. This was largely attributed to the roaring success of the Galaxy S3 phone – which hit 40 million channel sales in just seven months. Back in January, the company announced that Galaxy S shipments had topped 100 million, with the Galaxy S3 alone contributing 41 million units.

According to a Guardian report in 2011 citing IDC figures, Samsung shipped just 7.3 million phones in Q3 2010. Fast forward to Q2 2013, and IDC estimates that Samsung – which hasn’t provided figures publicly since Q3 2011 – shipped 72.4 million smartphones during the quarter.

Screen shot 2013 07 26 at PM 12.21.55 Top smartphone dog Samsungs explosive growth period is over

The Galaxy S4 and marketing expenses

This piled on expectations for the Galaxy S4 phone, which has not disappointed – it became Samsung’s fastest shipping device ever when it topped 10 million “channel sales” (aka shipments to retailers) within a month of its launch, and reports from Korean media claim the device has already tipped the 20 million shipment mark.

163703721 730x485 Top smartphone dog Samsungs explosive growth period is over

However, how much goes into pushing these products? A lot, it seems. Samsung acknowledged in its earnings call that the increased expenditure related to promoting its products and tie-ups with distribution channels has taken a toll on the company’s financials, though it did not disclose any figures.

In 2012, Samsung spent $401 million advertising its phones in the U.S. compared with Apple’s $333 million, according to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media, the Wall Street Journal reported in March this year.

The Korean firm is known for aggressive marketing and advertisements whenever it rolls out a new phone. For the launch of its flagship Galaxy S4 phone, Samsung held an over-the-top press event at New York’s Times Square featuring a live orchestra and a long series of skits.

Worries over market share

Many analyst firms have pegged Samsung as consistently having the greatest market share in smartphones. Strategy Analytics noted that Samsung was the world’s number one smartphone seller for the first quarter of this year in terms of revenue, while IDC has just pinned Samsung’s market share at 30.4 percent for the second quarter of this year according to shipments. However, in its latest report IDC noted that Samsung’s share of the market has receded slightly, going from 32.2 percent last year to 30.4 percent in Q2 2013.

During its earnings call, Samsung executives acknowledged that they see intensifying competition among vendors, resulting in “a certain amount of uncertainty.”

An ABI research report released today noted that feature phone shipments declined 20% year-on-year in the second quarter to 195 million units, as low-cost manufacturers continued to penetrate the up-market with increased device specifications. Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr says:

The second half of 2013 will be defined by fierce competition between price-aggressive OEMs moving toward the middle tiers for increased margins while at the same time top tier OEMs are diversifying portfolios into the middle in search of continued growth.

It is not only Apple that Samsung is facing off against – that analysis would be much too narrow-minded. Indeed, IDC noted that LG’s record haul of 12.1 million smartphone shipments represented a 130 percent year-on-year improvement, while Chinese firm Lenovo charted 130.6 percent year-on-year shipment growth.

Samsung said it would be likely rolling out more mid-to-low-end smartphones during the second half of this year, which may be targeted at keeping its hold on emerging markets. In the first quarter of 2013, Samsung sold a record 12.5 million smartphones in China alone.

Samsung has already been taking steps to cover as many aspects of the smartphone market as possible. Its Galaxy S4 has been rolled out in various versions – the Mini, the Active, the Zoom and the LTE-A.

GALAXY S4 zoom 4 730x486 Top smartphone dog Samsungs explosive growth period is over

Concerns over stock price

Samsung executives also addressed the worrying issue of the company’s stock price, which has underperformed the market recently. The Wall Street Journal has reported that brokerages have been downgrading the company’s stock and revising downward their shipping and earnings forecasts, with Samsung’s market value since mid-March declining by nearly $30 billion.

They argued that the current situation is a reflection of global macroeconomic issues that have affected the Korean stock market rather than company issues and that industry experts believe its stock is undervalued, but that the management will closely monitor the stock movement and strengthen its competitive advantage to improve the stock performance.

Future growth opportunities

With the smartphone market approaching saturation, Samsung executives identified the tablet and business-to-business (B2B) market as future growth opportunities. Samsung’s tablets have been posting solid mid-10 percent range growth, with 30 percent quarter-on-quarter growth expected for tablet shipments in 3Q 2013, according to the company. IDC noted that Samsung grew its share in the tablet market to 17.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, taking second place after Apple.

Samsung has also been on a drive to garner more market share in the B2B space, launching a global marketing campaign for business users and getting security approval for the Galaxy S4 from the US Department of Defense (DoD), clearing the way for the device to be used as part of a new policy for US government staff.

Samsung says it has one further flagship device to launch this year, and that’s almost certain to be the Galaxy Note. New versions of the tablet-cum-smartphone device has typically been launched at the IFA trade show in Berlin in previous years, and it is expected that the latest version will be unveiled at IFA 2013 which takes place next month.

The firm says that with this planned launch, it expects to see demand for its products increase and growth to sustain in the third quarter. Will Samsung’s growth ever be as rapid as the past year though? That could be hard to achieve given the amount of competition in the smartphone sector – what with Apple rumored to roll out a lower-priced iPhone and other players coming up with more products.

Samsung may just have to settle for slower growth – which is actually a natural progression after its spike over the past year, but this means investors will have to adjust their expectations accordingly.

Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Samsung Galaxy Note Unboxing

Is it a phone, a tablet…Or both? The Samsung Galaxy Note is sure to evoke some looks from passersby. With a 5.3 inch HD Super AMOLED display the Galaxy Note is one of the largest smartphones available. Yet even with this enormous screen Samsung has kept the design thin and stylish.

In this video we unbox the new 16GB Samsung Galaxy Note running on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread (Ice Cream Sandwich will officially come in 2012). Included with the Galaxy Note is a microUSB sync/charging cable, a wall charger, a white in-ear stereo headset, a capacious 2500mAh Li-ion battery, and an official Samsung Galaxy Note Flip Cover. The cover may be a promotional item as it states on the back “Not For Sale” which suggests it is bundled with the Galaxy Note. The most innovative item included with the Galaxy Note is the S-Pen, which is different from a capacitive stylus in that is will only work with the Galaxy Note and has a secondary action button. Powered by a 1.4 GHz Exynos processor along with 1GB RAM produces one of the fastest stock Android smartphones obtainable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nR2ad0Pn-E

The Samsung Galaxy Note is available unlocked for around $800 US from Clove. The unlocked version features quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and HSPA+ up to 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100. Stay tuned for the hardware, software, and final reviews coming up next.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Now this is quite interesting, everyone is waiting for the release of Samsung Galaxy SIII and there is a rumor that Samsung is planning to go for Samsung Galaxy S IV (S4) as well. Though it seems to be quite unbelievable and unreliable. Recently I was in a tour with my friends and I met with a guy who is currently working in Samsung. We had a conversation about Samsung Galaxy SII and upcoming device SIII. I was totally amazed when he told that Samsung is also planning to launch Samsung Galaxy S4 in near future. Although he was not at all interested to provide any information about Galaxy SIII or S4, but when I doubted on him regarding Samsung Galaxy S4, he told that a team of his senior officers are working on the specs and model of Samsung Galaxy S4 and he also showed me few projected models for Samsung Galaxy S4, which he had in his laptop. One of the most considered model is below.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4

On promising that I will not disclose his name, he let me know that Samsung Galaxy S4 might have 3D display and 3D camera. The device will have only one physical button on the right hand side, which is a POWER BUTTON along with one sensor touch button for camera. Left side of the device has sensor touch buttons for volume up and volume down. Again there are four sensor touch buttons at the bottom of the screen.

After seeing the above image, it seems that front camera and proximity sensor has been shifted to right for better management. The screen size is still undecided. He did not provided any information about CPU, RAM, memory, etc. The knowledge he had about this device makes me feel that this rumor is quite promising. I have taken that person in my circle so that we can get more information about Samsung Galaxy S4. I will update this post if I will get some more info.

Although, the knowledgebase and projected model pics he had shown me in his laptop about Samsung Galaxy S4 seems quite promising but still we cant confirm that this is trustable at this stage.

Related posts:

  1. Android 4 (ICS) For Samsung Galaxy S
  2. ICS For Samsung Galaxy S2 Coming Soon
  3. No Value Pack / ICS For Samsung Galaxy S
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