Samsung managed to top its pre-announced earnings when it reported results for the first calendar quarter of 2012 on Friday morning. The company reported a record operating profit of 5.85 trillion Korean won, up 98%, and a consolidated net profit of $5.05 trillion won, up 82% over the same quarter last year. Revenue came in at 45.27 trillion won, beating expectations. TV and semiconductor sales were down in the quarter, but any potential impact was offset by strong sales of high-margin display panels and mobile phones. Samsung’s mobile sales grew 86% over the year-ago quarter to 18.9 trillion won, and the company’s combined operating profit margin climbed 1.7 points to 12.9%. Samsung’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple’s upcoming entry into the high-definition television space is set to blow the high end of the TV market wide open while current market players continue their struggles to compete on price. Market research firm KAE along with online polling company Toluna recently conducted a survey and determined that 25% of consumers in the United States would purchase a physical Apple television set if the Cupertino-based company launches one. Beyond early consumer interest, however, current TV industry players may have left a gaping hole that will bring Apple billions when it fills the void. More →
Samsung confirmed on Friday that its 55-inch OLED HDTV will be shown at Berlin’s IFA trade show in late August, according to a report from SlashGear. At the event, the manufacturer will announce the TV’s official launch details alongside a new, premium range of HDTVs. Samsung describes the new televisions as even “more premium” than its OLED models, although that may be in terms of functionality rather than design or display technology. Samsung unveiled its OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, however details remain scarce. Both television sets will reportedly support the newest iteration of Samsung AllShare, which will add a 5GB cloud account to its local DLNA-based service, along with a remote login system, in the latter part of 2012. Using a single account login, the feature will allow users to remotely access any of their Samsung devices located anywhere in the world. More →
Acclaimed French designer Philippe Starck reportedly claims to be working with Apple to help design a revolutionary new product that will launch within the next eight months. “Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months,” the designer said on air during an interview with a French TV show, Le Figaro reported. He continued, stating that the mysterious new product would be “quite revolutionary.” Starck’s credited works range from hotels to toothbrushes, and several consumer electronics devices he designed are currently sold in Apple Stores. The designer claims to have met with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on numerous occasions over the years. “For seven years I came to see him once a month in Palo Alto and elsewhere,” Starck said. BGR reported last year that Apple plans to launch a redesigned iPhone this fall, and the company is also rumored to be working on a flat-panel “iTV” television that could launch later this year as well.
UPDATE: An Apple spokesperson confirmed to AllThingsD that the company is not currently working on any project with Phillippe Starck. More →
U.S. consumers are more interested in Samsung HDTV models than any other brand, according to a recent study from ABI Research. The South Korean manufacturer captured the top spot with 20% of respondents citing interest in a Samsung HDTV, passing Sony, which had previously held a commanding lead with 27% before dropping eight points to 19% in this latest poll. Consumer interest in LG’s HDTVs increased from 6% to 12%, while interest in Vizio jumped from 8% to 11%. “Regardless how long-lasting this shift in consumer interest may be, Sony continues to face a difficult challenge with its TV business, as do many TV manufacturers,” says senior analyst Michael Inouye. “Consumers continue to place screen size, display technology, and above all, price, as the most vital features for future TV purchases – all of which conspire to make differentiation in the TV market increasingly difficult.” The study also found that features like Internet connectivity and 3D have not yet produced the high demand TV manufacturers were counting on. Consumers cited 3D as the least important feature when buying a new television, with 42% of respondents claiming to have no interest in the technology whatsoever. ABI’s press release follows below. More →
Anthony DiClemente, a media analyst for Barclays, said in a recent note to investors that he doesn’t believe Apple will be able to change the cable industry with its rumored “iTV,” AllThingsD reported on Monday. DiClemente thinks Apple could unveil an incredible piece of hardware, possibly one that looks like a “large-scale iPad,” that would tie together the Internet with the company’s existing suite of iOS apps and services. The analyst also speculates that the Cupertino-based company’s device could retail for $1,500 or more and incorporate its Siri voice assistant with a “groundbreaking interface” that is “so much more than a TV — including gaming, video communication, content delivery, apps, computing and all the capabilities of the current Apple TV.” DiClemente argues that TV programmers have no incentive to stray from their current bundles, however, which could be a big problem for Apple. Cable providers pay upwards of $30 billion each year for these bundles, and the analyst suggests there is too much money on the line for Apple to offer an innovative content model. DiClemente also notes that he doesn’t believe Apple’s HDTV will be release in 2012. More →
The world’s most valuable company is showing no signs of slowing down, and numerous industry watchers believe Apple will continue to grow despite increased competition from rivals like Samsung. Topeka Capital Markets, new home to analyst Brian White, on Monday initiated coverage of Apple with a Buy rating and a sky-high $1,001 price target. “Driven by an ever expanding portfolio of innovative products, a growing integrated digital grid, unmatched aesthetics and a brand that is able to touch the soul of consumers of all backgrounds, Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend,” White wrote in a note to investors on Monday. Read on for more. More →
A recently-published Apple patent has revealed that the Cupertino-based company is contemplating new technology surrounding an advanced TV remote, that could work alongside its rumored “iTV”, PatentlyApple reported on Thursday. The patent suggests that Apple’s new universal remote could take a photo of a user’s current TV remote and send it to iCloud for analysis. iCloud would return a “virtual copy” of the remote along with data detailing all the remote’s features and functionality to a user’s iPhone, which will then be able to mimic the original remote’s functions. Apple’s rumored iOS-powered high-definition television, currently referred to as the iTV, will reportedly enter production in May or June ahead of a launch that may take place in the fourth quarter this year. More →
Apple’s rumored iOS-powered high-definition television will enter production in May or June ahead of a launch slated for the fourth quarter this year, one analyst claims. Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek met with unnamed sources during a recent trip to the East, and he now believes Apple’s “iTV” is a sure thing. “Specialty components have begun to ship to Apple’s Asia panel suppliers with polarized films, filters, and IGZO components starting to move in small quantities,” the analyst wrote in a note to investors Tuesday morning. “We expect commercial production in May/ June with 2M to 5M builds likely. We still expect a CQ4 launch.” Apple’s HDTV has been rumored for quite some time, and it is expected to feature unique voice controls powered by Siri. Apple’s is also reportedly working on a subscription offering that will treat TV channels like apps and allow users to subscribe to individual channels or bundles of channels a la carte.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs approached CBS approximately one year ago in an attempt to secure a content deal for a streaming television service that was in development at the time. CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves publicly spoke of the negotiations once before during an earnings call late last year, and now he is quoted again after having reportedly discussed the matter on stage during a presentation at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium. “I told Steve, ‘You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,’ ” Moonves said according to Hollywood Reporter. Moonves said he denied Jobs access to CBS content for the service out of fear it might disrupt CBS’s existing revenue streams. Apple is reportedly still working on a unique streaming TV service that it intends to launch alongside an Apple-branded HDTV later this year. Some reports suggest the service may treat channels like apps, allowing users to subscribe to individual channels or groups of channels a la carte. More →
Apple has plans to launch a subscription television service by Christmas this year, according to a recent report from the New York Post. The paper states that Apple wants the service to treat channels like apps, allowing the user to purchase subscriptions for either individual channels or groups of channels a la carte. Apple has long been rumored to be pitching the service to top media executives, but according to the Post, the negotiations are not going well. Eddie Cue is reportedly leading the talks and content providers have seemingly not been partial to his propositions. Apple’s pitch can be summed up as “we decide the price, we decide what content,” one of the Post’s sources said. “They want everything for nothing,” said another. Apple apparently plans to launch some form of its TV service by the end of the year with or without full cooperation from the networks, and the service is expected to be available on Apple TV as well as the new iOS-powered HDTV Apple will reportedly launch later this year. More →
As Google’s vendor partners prepare renewed efforts to push HDTVs and accessories that showcase Google TV, a new report suggests that they have their work cut out for them. First introduced at a press conference in late 2010, Google TV has not seen the success Google had hoped for. The CEO of Logitech, one of the first vendors to launch a Google TV product, went as far as to call its Google TV-powered Revue a gigantic mistake that cost the company dearly. Now, in more than a year on the market, all of Google’s partners have combined to sell fewer that 1 million Google TV devices according to a recent report. Read on for more. More →
Samsung was the No.1 flat panel TV vendor in 2011 and despite a seemingly imminent threat from Apple, the company is not concerned much about the “iTV.” While speaking with Pocket-lint, Samsung’s AV product manager Chris Moseley explained that TV sales are driven for the most part by picture quality and in that respect, Samsung can’t be touched. “We’ve not seen what they’ve done but what we can say is that they don’t have 10,000 people in R&D in the vision category,” Moseley said. “They don’t have the best scaling engine in the world and they don’t have world renowned picture quality that has been awarded more than anyone else.” Read on for more. More →