Samsung Group, the parent company that owns Samsung Electronics and several other subsidiaries, said it plans to spend $41.1 billion investing in new technology this year. Reuters said most analysts expect the company to spend a large chunk of that money on OLED and mobile technologies in an effort to continue to stay on target with its rivals. The South Korea-based company uses its OLED displays on mobile phones and on televisions. “Samsung’s got strong cash flow to make bold bets in new technologies,” NH Investment & Securities analyst Lee Sun-tae told Reuters. “No other IT company can beat it in terms of investment and that’s how Samsung finds new revenue sources ahead of rivals and widens its gap.” Samsung’s spending on its mobile processors and other mobile technologies is expected to exceed the amount it spends on its memory business for the first time ever, Reuters said. The firm currently employs about 350,000 people around the globe and expects to hire 26,000 additional employees this year. More →
Samsung and Sony each brought their A-game to the Consumer Electronics Show this year when it comes to high-end HDTVs. If there was one other brand that could easily give these tech giants a run for their money though, it was LG. The South Korea-based company had a handfull of other devices to show off at CES 2012, but televisions took center stage in the firm’s booth and sets on display ranged from entry-level offerings to high-end stunners that were absolutely beautiful. Of all the TVs LG had on display at CES, our clear favorite — it’s not even close, really — was the company’s new 55-inch OLED model. The gorgeous panel on this HDTV gives Samsung’s Super OLED displays a run for their money, and we would be hard pressed to say which screen produces deeper blacks and more vivid colors. No pricing has been announced and we’re sure this set will cost a pretty penny, but it could very well find its way to BGR headquarters once it hits the market. Pictures can hardly do LG’s new OLED HDTV justice, but several photos can be found in our LG booth tour, which follows below.
The Consumer Electronics show is always a massive event for the home entertainment industry, and 2012 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet. Hundreds of companies will showcase thousands of products, but among the companies that managed to generate some real buzz ahead of the show, LG really looks like it has some gems on its hands this year. The company previewed its new nearly borderless 55-inch OLED HDTV last week and it has a few Cinema Screen 3D models with just a 1-millimeter bezel surrounding its gorgeous display panels. LG surely has plenty more gear in store for us — including at least one smartphone and next-generation Google TV devices — so hit the break to watch all the action unfold in our live coverage. More →
Samsung will provide Apple with quad-core A6 chips to power the next iPhone, The Korea Times reported on Monday. “Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor chips to be used in the next iPhone,” an anonymous parts supplier executive told The Korea Times. “It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.” The two have been locked in legal battles around the globe, and both firms have accused the other of patent infringement. Samsung’s vice chairman and CEO Gee-Sung Choi said his company’s legal battles will be handled separately from its business partnership with the iPhone maker. Reportedly, the next iPhone may also be equipped with a 4-inch 960 x 640-pixel OLED display. More →
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.
Nokia took the wraps off its first MeeGo-based smartphone early Tuesday morning in Singapore. The Nokia N9 features gorgeous, elegant hardware and software that Nokia has already announced it will dump in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The decision to move forward with the N9’s release is an interesting one, though we have a feeling this sleek smartphone will see limited distribution once it finally reaches market. Pricing and availability are still a mystery, but the N9 features MeeGo 1.2, a 3.9-inch OLED display, an 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, NFC support and either 16GB or 64GB of internal storage. The phone is beautiful and the software looks intuitive and modern, but it’s not easy to get behind a phone running an OS that Nokia deemed not suitable for its devices moving forward. Nokia’s full press release and a video can be found below. More →
What do we have here? It looks like the Galaxy S branded Samsung Continuum; a device with not one, but two displays. Engadget was sent in several images of the device whose most notable feature is an additional, smaller display below the standard Android soft-keys. The secondary display, which is being called the “ticker,” displays date, time, RSS feed, weather, and other pertinent information. The ticker activates itself automatically when you grip the lower half of the Continuum. Pretty slick. The device is reported to have a side-mounted micro-SD card slot and dedicated camera button as well. We can see why Verizon started running the buy-one get-one promotion on the Fascinate just weeks after launch. More →
The folks over at Engadget were sent images (Mr. Blurrycam style) of the unannounced and unreleased Dell Thunder. The Thunder is reportedly an Android 2.1 full touch-screen device with a 4.1-inch screen (possibly OLED), 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording, 800 x 480 resolution, and a 1400 mAh battery. No details were given about the processor speed or internal storage of the newly photographed device. Hit the read link to check out a few more images and a quick video. More →
Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology Summit on Thursday, Lee Wong-jong, VP of marketing for Samsung, said that the global shortage of OLED displays will continue in foreseeable future as demand has greatly outpaced supply. Said Lee, “demand for high-end displays is very strong and we may continue to fail to meet all customer requirements, even after expanding capacity by seven-fold, until next year.” Such delays are part of the reason Verizon is having great difficulties meeting sales quotas with the HTC Droid Incredible. Last week Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said the failure of Samsung and other part suppliers to deliver crucial components were the reason the Droid Incredible has yet to outsell the Motorola DROID. To combat this, Samsung recently committed $2.15 billion through 2012 to create the largest fleet of AMOLED displays. But in the meantime, delays will be the new reality as smartphone sales for 2010 are expected to be 50% higher than in 2009. More →
We can file this one under rumor of a rumor — you’ve been warned — so please, proceed with caution. DigiTimes is reporting that Apple’s yet to be announced tablet device will be delayed until the second half of 2010 due to a last minute design change, specifically, the use of a 9.7″ OLED LG display. The report goes onto say that the delay is a strategic move by Apple due to the current cost of the OLED panels, which currently wholesale for around $500 a pop. The price of LG’s panels are expected to drop significantly in late 2010 as they revamp their production line with newer equipment. The report is oozing with speculation on release dates, price, manufacturer, and potential future models, so we’ll let you check out the dirt for yourself.
Remember that mysterious LiMo-powered smartphone we exclusively showed you a week back? Well today it was made official alongside another handset as well as a new internet service, Vodafone 360. The two devices, manufactured by Samsung, have been dubbed the 360 H1 (the device we showed you) and 360 M1. The 360 H1 looks to be an all around solid device with a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, 16GB of internal memory, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HSDPA. The 360 M1, on the other hand, leaves a little bit to be desired but still packs a bit of a punch with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 1GB of internal memory (expandable by microSD), GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and HSDPA. As for Vodafone 360 platform, what we previously told you was correct in that it incorporates more or less the same sort of social media approach as webOS and MOTOBLUR, but with a slightly stronger emphasis placed upon games, apps and music. Nothing too crazy, but it’s something we think every smartphone should have as we draw nearer to a new decade. Of note, Voda’s 360 services will also work on dozens of Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets so if this new dynamic duo isn’t your thing, rest easy. Oh, and just one more thing… The H1 and the M1? H1 and M1? H1M1? A bit too close for comfort.
Read (360 H1)
Read (360 M1)
Vodafone subscribers, Samsung fans and mobile enthusiasts in general — we hope you’re sitting down. Behold: Exclusive live shots of a previously unheard of Samsung handset supposedly due to be announced soon by Vodafone. Details for the time being are a bit limited — we don’t even have a name for you yet (UPDATE: as a commenter points out below, this may be the Samsung Riedel l8305 that recently received Wi-Fi certification) — but our ninja managed to score some extremely solid images and a handful of specs that are definitely noteworthy. First things first: We’re apparently looking at a Samsung-built Vodafone exclusive here that is powered by Voda’s own LIMO-based OS (Linux mobile). Beyond the brushed steel case sits a nice big OLED touchscreen display complete with haptic feedback. We’re also told the handset will sport an 8 megapixel camera and it will launch alongside the upcoming “Vodafone People” service. Details in that department are scarce as well but rumor has it the service involves Voda’s acquisition of Zyb last year; active contacts, location information, status updates, various integration with other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, etc. You can get a pretty good idea of what’s in store from the images below but basically, it’s what Google should have done on Android with Jaiku. Last but not least, we’re not sure exactly when Vodafone plans to make this guy official, though we’re hearing rumors of a special event that may be held in London on September 24th. Hit the jump for more shots and if you live in Vodafone land, get ready for what really could be a game-changing handset/service combo.
OQO UMPC owners, it’s official: You now own a collector’s item. After running into OQO SVP of sales and marketing Bob Rosin, GottaBeMobile is reporting that the company can no longer afford to support its products in any capacity, let alone build new units. From Rosin:
We are sad to report that due to financial constraints, OQO is not able to offer repair and service support at this time. We are deeply sorry that despite our best intentions, we are unable to provide continued support for our faithful customers. Please accept our sincerest apologies.
Rosin went on to say that OQO is currently working on a deal with a parts vendor that might keep its team and — perhaps more importantly for OQO fans — its technology alive to some extent. For the time being however, the only certainties are that OQO is done building and supporting UMPCs, and its stock is depleted so it’s done selling them as well.