Last week, Samsung announced that it will combine its LCD and semiconductor businesses. The move is expected to conceal poor LCD sales, but the head of the new combined business, Kwon Oh-hyun, has said that he expects the overall performance to falter during the second half of the year. “In the past, the semiconductor market tended to be weaker in the first half and stronger in the second half, but for this year, it is likely to remain flat throughout the latter half,” Kwon said according to The Wall Street Journal. Samsung typically sees 70% of its operating profits and 44% of its revenues from the combined sales of its semiconductor and LCD products. The South Korean firm is currently locked up in multiple legal battles with Apple — the largest buyer of its LCD products — and rumor has it the Cupertino-based firm is considering dropping Samsung as a supplier.
Samsung will combine both its flat-panel display and semiconductor businesses into one unit, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Samsung’s display business wasn’t profitable during the first quarter and it’s on track for the same lackluster performance during the second quarter. Combined, however, the display and semiconductor businesses made up 70% of Samsung’s operating profits and 44% of the South Korean company’s revenue, The Wall Street Journal said. In other words, the move looks like an attempt to shroud the poor display performance inside the company’s more successful semiconductor unit. The display unit could see more trouble ahead as well, since Samsung is currently locked in a number of legal battles with Apple, the largest buyer of Samsung’s LCD products. Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung’s semiconductor president, will oversee the new joint businesses.
There isn’t anything quite like a dual-core Android handset to brighten up your Saturday, huh? We have just spent some time with the Motorola DROID X2 for Verizon Wireless, and while the external casing hasn’t changed much, this is indeed a very new phone. For starters, like we mentioned, that super-fast 1GHz CPU that powered the original DROID X is now a screaming-fast 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor. If that wasn’t enough, the screen now features qHD resolution, bringing the LCD into modern times. The DROID X2 still features an 8-megapixel camera around back, and also runs Android 2.2 with a 2.3 upgrade coming at some point. The UI is a little bit refreshed as well, and we like the four static apps on the bottom of every screen as opposed to the overlay that used to appear, which was viciously annoying. All in all, this is one of the fastest devices available on Verizon Wireless, and while it isn’t a 4G phone, it’s certainly one of our favorites already. There’s a few more hands-on photos in the gallery!
Oh, you haven’t heard? Having a display with 326 pixels per inch (ppi) was so last year. In 2011, 367ppi reigns supreme. At this week’s SID 2011 conference, Japanese company Toshiba showcased a 4-inch LCD display with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution and an impressive pixel density of 367ppi. The screen, which will come to market sometime this year, has a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and is capable of displaying video in native 720p. Much has been made of screen pixel-density, thanks in part to Apple coining the term “Retina display” with its launch of the iPhone 4. Apple’s latest smartphone features 326 pixels per inch, making the new Toshiba offering — with 41 extra pixels for every inch — better (or at least denser). What handset will be knighted with the new, ultra-crisp screen? We’re not sure, but we can’t wait to find out. More →
Samsung and its partner Nouvoyance have announced a new, 10.1-inch WQXGA display specifically designed for use in tablets. The panel utilizes Noyvoyance’s PenTile technology to “improve the brightness, resolution, contrast, and power consumption,” and packs a mind-numbing 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. To put some perspective on that: the 27-inch LCD screen I’m currently using has a maximum display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The display also boasts a pixel density of 300 dpi while using two-thirds fewer sub-pixels. “Samsung’s PenTile display technology is the only display technology that operates at 40 percent less power yet provides twice that of Full HD-viewing performance for consumers compared to legacy RGB stripe LCDs,” said Samsung’s Senior VP of Electronics, Dr. Sungtae Shin. “There is no other commercial display technology on the market today that offers this high of a resolution and pixel density in a 10.1-inch size display.” Samsung expects the panel to be commercially available later this year. The full press release is after the break.
The crew over at iFixit — torx screw drivers in hand – just stripped down one of Apple’s brand new 21.5 inch Sandy Bridge iMacs to give us a look at its guts. There aren’t too many surprises in store: the computer uses the same LG display found in the last generation of iMacs, and iFixit was pleased to find that Apple used an appropriate amount of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU — a “happy departure from the gobs” Cupertino put on the new MacBook Pro. The RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can be swapped out easily, too; you’ll just have to remove the LCD in order to do so. iFixit gave the new iMac a 7 out of 10 “repairability score,” as most of the hardware was easy to access. The team’s biggest complaint was with the need to remove the logic board in order to clean the LCD after reassembling the computer. Hit the jump for a few more images of the teardown. More →
iPhone 4GS and iPhone 5 rumors are so played out. Might as well move on to the iPhone 6, right? Blog AppleInsider is reporting that Apple, Inc. has selected Sharp Electronics as the display supplier for its next, next smartphone — being called the iPhone 6. The information comes courtesy of Japanese newspaper Nikkan, who writes that the purported agreement will have Sharp producing p-Si LCD displays for the iPhone maker — not OLED as previous rumors have suggested. The benefits of p-Si LCD displays include higher aperture ratios, better durability, and fewer connecting pins — the screens are also said to be thinner and lighter than the current LCD screen employed by the iPhone 4. The report states that the new screens will be made at Sharp’s “Kameyama Plant No. 1.” No word on the size or pixel density of the new screens, but just give it time… it is iPhone rumor season after all. More →
The team over at iFixit spent the morning tearing down RIM’s brand new tablet for an in-depth look at the inner-workings of the BlackBerry PlayBook. There aren’t too many surprises, but the firm did discuss how difficult and costly it could be to replace broken parts. If you aren’t using a case for your PlayBook just yet, here’s one reason you might want to start:
“The front camera, rear camera, and top control buttons are all attached as one assembly, making the replacement of a broken power button or volume buttons very costly.”
iFixit also said that RIM chose to build a magnesium frame around the glass LCD display, which should give it some extra durability. If you do end up shattering that 7-inch front panel, it’s not the end of the world. The LCD isn’t fused to the glass, which means a replacement should be fairly easy on you, and your wallet. Hit the jump to see iFixit’s full gallery. More →
Images and specifications of Verizon’s next incredible handset — the HTC DROID Incredible 2 — have made their way onto the Internet. The crew over at AndroidSpin have acquired four images of the device along with a handful of specifications. What can we expect from the DROID Incredible 2? The site’s source asserts that the DI2 will have a 4-inch Super LCD WVGA display, 1GHz Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor, 4GB of on-board storage, 768MB of RAM, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 1450mAh battery, and Gingerbread (Android 2.3) with the Sense UI experience. The site notes that the handset is currently running Froyo (Android 2.2), but expects the device to ship with the updated operating system. No word on when, exactly, we might see this handset hit store shelves. Follow the jump to view a few more images of the device. More →
If 9to5Mac is correct, the photo you see above, that originally appeared on a Chinese reseller of Apple’s parts’ website, is the front digitizer panel for the next generation iPhone. Set to be announced in June, the iPhone 5 has been rumored to include a larger display in the 4-inch range, bumping up from the 3.5-inch size that Apple has used since the handset’s original introduction and features an edge-to-edge screen. In addition to the larger display, the new iPhone is said to be completely redesigned even though the iPhone 4 introduced just six months ago was a radical departure from the previous models.
UPDATE: Sorry ladies and gents, it looks like this is just a Photoshop job. More →
A device isn’t really released until the gang over at ifixit have torn it limb from limb, am I right? Today’s victim: the Motorola XOOM tablet. After several hours and 57 screws, the ifixit team have given the XOOM an 8 out of 10 rating on ease of repair (10 being the easiest). The site notes that the “LCD and front panel glass are not fused together” — making for easy glass-break repairs — and that “individual components are separately attached to the motherboard, allowing each component to be replaced on an individual basis.” Ifixit does caution that due to the fact that there are over fifty screws, repairs, while easy, do require quite a bit of labor. Hit the read link to have a look for yourself…and try not to drop your XOOM! More →
It’s been rumored that Apple has been spending billions in cash on a strategic displays investment, but other manufacturers and component suppliers aren’t standing still, either. Hitatchi Displays has just announced that they have a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display lined up for production in October. The new display’s resolution? 1280 x 720 which, in a 4.5-inch screen, equals a whopping 329dpi density. It’s LED backlit and features a 1,100:1 contrast ratio. Oh. boy. More →
Pictured above sandwiched between an iPhone 4 and a Samsung Galaxy S is the previously unseen “LG B.” While details surrounding the “B” are scarce for the time being, the information we can glean from these photos is intriguing, to say the least. First and foremost, this phone is thin. Very thin. In fact, it appears to be significantly thinner than the iPhone 4 — the device Apple constantly touts as being the thinnest smartphone in the world. Moving right along, this Android-powered beauty has a 4-inch display that looks amazingly bright. It’s so bright it makes Apple’s Retina Display and even the Super-AMOLED display on Samsung’s Galaxy S look old and dated. Thinner than an iPhone 4… brighter than a Galaxy S… consider our interest piqued. There’s no word yet on a potential release date or even a launch name for this beauty, but hit the jump for some more shots. More →