Samsung

Samsung

Galaxy S8 launching globally April 21; LG G6 on March 10

 

According to Korea’s ET News, both LG and Samsung have settled on the global launch dates for the Galaxy S8 and LG G6. LG will reportedly start selling the G6 worldwide on March 10, with pre-sales between March 2-9, and the Galaxy S8 will go on sale in all markets on April 21 with no further details on pre-order times.

Samsung has apparently decided against putting the Galaxy S8 out in South Korea a week earlier in order to “have stable supplies” for all markets. The information comes from a “high-ranking official for a mobile network provider” in South Korea and presumably includes the Galaxy S8 Plus.

See Also: Everything confirmed to appear at MWC 2017

The news outlet also reports that Samsung has changed its marketing strategy and will wait to see what market response is like to the LG G6. Citing an analyst, ET News claims, “If initial responses towards G6 are positive, there is a chance that Samsung Electronics will open up preorder for Galaxy S8 earlier than expected.”

Both of these global launch dates are entirely feasible and match up with recent rumors. The Galaxy S8 date matches up with rumors that began a month ago based on information obtained by The Guardian, which put it a few days later than the initially expected date of April 18.

The LG G6 had originally been expected to be available in the U.S. on April 7 with Korea getting it a month earlier. But that date later changed to March 10 (admittedly, also via ET News), just two weeks after its MWC unveiling. The strategy makes perfect sense though, giving LG a 42-day head start on Samsung. With LG releasing a flagship before Samsung for the first time this year, every day will count.

Don’t fear Frankenstein’s Galaxy Note 7

We’d probably all thought that we’d heard the last of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, but up popped speculation yesterday that the company may end up selling refitted Note 7 models in a selection of countries. Vietnam and India were among the names suggested, however Samsung India has since stated that “the report on Samsung planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone[s] in India is incorrect.”

Done and dusted? Well perhaps not quite. While we may not see the Galaxy Note 7 reappear under the same branding, or even with the same aesthetic design, there are still some merits to the argument that Samsung will seek to recover some of its losses through reclaiming and reselling handsets and/or components. According to The Korean Economic Daily’s sources, such a device could have its 3,500mAh battery swapped with a smaller 3,000 to 3,200mAh cell, and could even feature a new case, look, and branding. So, it wouldn’t really be a Note 7 relaunch at all then?

See also:

Korean government confirms Samsung’s Note 7 investigation results

2 weeks ago

Wasted materials and costs

We don’t really want to see the return of another set of Note 7’s with battery replacements, but otherwise the handset was full of perfectly serviceable AMOLED display and main-board parts, which had nothing to do with the defect. Samsung may be eyeing up using these components for use in a new device, especially as mainboards are the most expensive portion of a phone. They house processor, memory, radio, and other expensive integrated circuits on them, which the company will already have ordered in bulk.

Furthermore, Samsung produced many of these components itself, including PoP flash and RAM, and the Exynos 8890 SoC found in some regional Note 7’s. The recall was a double hit for Samsung in this sense, and there’s a strong incentive to repurpose these parts for another phone. Especially as the company would have to pay out even more to dispose of these components anyway.

Rather than simply selling refurbished units, Samsung may launch entirely new models built from remaining, unused production line components. With a new case and design, such a phone probably won't resemble the Note 7 anyway.

Even if Samsung has no intention of using returned Note 7 parts, there’s still the question of what to do with all of the component orders placed for the Note 7 global roll out. Samsung will have invested considerable time and expense into its AMOLED production line, securing fab time and space for its processors and memory, and will have built production lines to actually put all of the parts together. It’s a potentially huge write off, but one that could be mitigated by putting these orders to use elsewhere.

It’s unlikely that these parts could be used for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8, as orders and production plans will be difficult to change just months before launch. Not to mention that there’s an all new processing package and different display sizes tipped for the S8.

So what does Samsung do with these AMOLED displays, spare flash memory, and Exynos 8890 processors? It could sell them to some of its competitors, like Meizu, or reuse these components in some of its own new devices. After all, the Exynos 8890 will be a bit old in comparison to the Snapdragon 835 and/or Exynos 9 series in the Galaxy S8, so a lower mid-range handset is a possibility. Combined with a new case design to prevent any battery issues, and we’re looking at a pretty good use for all those spare parts.

Just don’t recycle the name

If any of this turns out to be true, the biggest question remains – how to market such a ‘not quite flagship’ phone?

It’s extremely unlikely that Samsung would relaunch the Note 7 name for at least two reasons. A: the two recalls have tainted the name that no-one would trust a third launch. B: it’s been too long and runs the risk of conflicting with the Galay S8 and even Note 8 launches.

A lower cost model might not sell so well in the Note range's typical markets, but Samsung could introduce such a phone to more price competitive regions.

However, without the familiar Note branding, it seems unlikely that Samsung would be able to shift this Frankenstein phone in its traditional high-end markets, where branding is key. Consumers in South Korea, Japan, Europe, and the US are unlikely to flock to a lower cost off-schedule release instead of paying the usual premium for the Galaxy S8 or Note 8.

This is perhaps where the original report’s mention of other markets comes in to play, ones that are more discerning on price and features than just a brand name. A lower cost Note 7 alternative would probably sell a lot better in Asia and perhaps even Southern America than in the US. Samsung India has already confirmed that refurbished Note 7’s won’t be reappearing in the country, but this doesn’t rule out any number of different Galaxy ranges, or even an entirely new one, which could sneak in a few of the Note 7’s unused components.

Don’t fear Frankenstein’s Galaxy Note 7

Wrap Up

There’s certainly a fair amount of logic behind the original rumor, but we’re almost certainly not looking at a Note 7 relaunch or the direct sale of refurbished units. Of course, Samsung will likely never tell us if it’s reusing part of its Note 7 production line for a new handset. But we shouldn’t shy away from an Exynos 8890 powered phone with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, as these are great components that had nothing to do with the Note 7’s battery problem.

That being said, Samsung is a large and profitable enough company to be able to suck up the costs and simply move on to its new devices. We will just have to wait and see what Samsung announces over the next few months.

Would you like to see Samsung launch a device using Note 7 parts, or is the handset tainted too much that you would rather avoid anything associated with it?

Don’t fear Frankenstein’s Galaxy Note 7

We’d probably all thought that we’d heard the last of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, but up popped speculation yesterday that the company may end up selling refitted Note 7 models in a selection of countries. Vietnam and India were among the names suggested, however Samsung India has since stated that “the report on Samsung planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone[s] in India is incorrect.”

Done and dusted? Well perhaps not quite. While we may not see the Galaxy Note 7 reappear under the same branding, or even with the same aesthetic design, there are still some merits to the argument that Samsung will seek to recover some of its losses through reclaiming and reselling handsets and/or components. According to The Korean Economic Daily’s sources, such a device could have its 3,500mAh battery swapped with a smaller 3,000 to 3,200mAh cell, and could even feature a new case, look, and branding. So, it wouldn’t really be a Note 7 relaunch at all then?

See also:

Korean government confirms Samsung’s Note 7 investigation results

2 weeks ago

Wasted materials and costs

We don’t really want to see the return of another set of Note 7’s with battery replacements, but otherwise the handset was full of perfectly serviceable AMOLED display and main-board parts, which had nothing to do with the defect. Samsung may be eyeing up using these components for use in a new device, especially as mainboards are the most expensive portion of a phone. They house processor, memory, radio, and other expensive integrated circuits on them, which the company will already have ordered in bulk.

Furthermore, Samsung produced many of these components itself, including PoP flash and RAM, and the Exynos 8890 SoC found in some regional Note 7’s. The recall was a double hit for Samsung in this sense, and there’s a strong incentive to repurpose these parts for another phone. Especially as the company would have to pay out even more to dispose of these components anyway.

Rather than simply selling refurbished units, Samsung may launch entirely new models built from remaining, unused production line components. With a new case and design, such a phone probably won't resemble the Note 7 anyway.

Even if Samsung has no intention of using returned Note 7 parts, there’s still the question of what to do with all of the component orders placed for the Note 7 global roll out. Samsung will have invested considerable time and expense into its AMOLED production line, securing fab time and space for its processors and memory, and will have built production lines to actually put all of the parts together. It’s a potentially huge write off, but one that could be mitigated by putting these orders to use elsewhere.

It’s unlikely that these parts could be used for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8, as orders and production plans will be difficult to change just months before launch. Not to mention that there’s an all new processing package and different display sizes tipped for the S8.

So what does Samsung do with these AMOLED displays, spare flash memory, and Exynos 8890 processors? It could sell them to some of its competitors, like Meizu, or reuse these components in some of its own new devices. After all, the Exynos 8890 will be a bit old in comparison to the Snapdragon 835 and/or Exynos 9 series in the Galaxy S8, so a lower mid-range handset is a possibility. Combined with a new case design to prevent any battery issues, and we’re looking at a pretty good use for all those spare parts.

Just don’t recycle the name

If any of this turns out to be true, the biggest question remains – how to market such a ‘not quite flagship’ phone?

It’s extremely unlikely that Samsung would relaunch the Note 7 name for at least two reasons. A: the two recalls have tainted the name that no-one would trust a third launch. B: it’s been too long and runs the risk of conflicting with the Galay S8 and even Note 8 launches.

A lower cost model might not sell so well in the Note range's typical markets, but Samsung could introduce such a phone to more price competitive regions.

However, without the familiar Note branding, it seems unlikely that Samsung would be able to shift this Frankenstein phone in its traditional high-end markets, where branding is key. Consumers in South Korea, Japan, Europe, and the US are unlikely to flock to a lower cost off-schedule release instead of paying the usual premium for the Galaxy S8 or Note 8.

This is perhaps where the original report’s mention of other markets comes in to play, ones that are more discerning on price and features than just a brand name. A lower cost Note 7 alternative would probably sell a lot better in Asia and perhaps even Southern America than in the US. Samsung India has already confirmed that refurbished Note 7’s won’t be reappearing in the country, but this doesn’t rule out any number of different Galaxy ranges, or even an entirely new one, which could sneak in a few of the Note 7’s unused components.

Don’t fear Frankenstein’s Galaxy Note 7

Wrap Up

There’s certainly a fair amount of logic behind the original rumor, but we’re almost certainly not looking at a Note 7 relaunch or the direct sale of refurbished units. Of course, Samsung will likely never tell us if it’s reusing part of its Note 7 production line for a new handset. But we shouldn’t shy away from an Exynos 8890 powered phone with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, as these are great components that had nothing to do with the Note 7’s battery problem.

That being said, Samsung is a large and profitable enough company to be able to suck up the costs and simply move on to its new devices. We will just have to wait and see what Samsung announces over the next few months.

Would you like to see Samsung launch a device using Note 7 parts, or is the handset tainted too much that you would rather avoid anything associated with it?

Forecast: Samsung’s operating profit to increase by 40 percent in Q1

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Samsung has had its share of problems recently. Lee Jae-yong, the company’s vice chairman and current acting leader, has been arrested for allegedly attempting to bribe the president of South Korea. Additionally, the tech giant still hasn’t been able to close the Galaxy Note 7 chapter, as it is facing quite a few lawsuits both at home as well as abroad.

But it looks like these problems don’t have an impact on Samsung Electronic’s profit. According to a forecast from KB Investment and Securities, the company’s operating profit in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 is expected to increase by 40 percent year-over-year to 9.3 trillion won, which is around $8.14 billion.

It was initially expected that Samsung’s Q1 operating profit would be lower when compared with the same period a year ago, but it looks like strong prices of semiconductors and display products have helped increase Samsung’s financial results.

See also:

Samsung could be investing $1 billion into artificial intelligence

12 hours ago

Combined, the semiconductor and display divisions are responsible for up to 71 percent of the group’s total operating profit, which is 18 percentage points more than the year before. Samsung made the most money with semiconductors — 5.5 trillion won ($4.6 billion) — followed by IT mobile, display and consumer electronic divisions.

Keep in mind that this is a forecast and not an official financial report released by Samsung. If correct, it shows that Samsung is doing a lot better than expected, despite the problems and challenges it has been facing recently. In addition to those listed above, the company’s reputation among US consumers has taken a beating, according to the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient survey.

Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus photo leak reveals software home button

A photo has emerged online apparently depicting the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. The image arrives via Sam Mobile. though it doesn’t mention the picture’s origin, and reveals the software home button that has been speculated.

Sam Mobile claims that the software home button will remain visible as part of the S8’s Always-On display, and that it can be pressed like the physical home button to wake the device. Reportedly, it can also be double tapped to quickly launch the camera as was capable on more recent devices in the Galaxy series.

As you can see, the image also indicates that the display sizes will come in at 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches (in line with the most recent speculation).

See also:

Samsung Galaxy S8 image leak shows off on-screen keys, desktop dock

17 hours ago

Rumors that Samsung would drop the physical home button have been circulating since last year and it seems pretty clear that this is the approach Samsung is taking now. I’m not sure how I feel about the design of it, though — especially since Android traditionally has used a square icon for the recent apps menu.

What are your thoughts on the leak? Let us know in the comments.

Samsung could be investing $1 billion into artificial intelligence

 

There’s little denying that the continued advancement of AI will be an important part of our future, and companies like Samsung will be a big part of this push forward, at least if the latest claim proves correct. A new report from The Korea Herald indicates Samsung is considering the creation of a $1 billion fund to invest in the future of artificial intelligence.

The unnamed source is a Samsung official from the USA, claiming this money is to be used towards AI tech company acquisitions and investments in stakes.

“Despite several recent deals, the management pointed out the company still needed more fundamental investments into AI.” -Samsung official

This report seems to imply Samsung sees great potential in the future of AI. So much that it could be Samsung’s attempt not to repeat a past mistake from 2005, when they declined to purchase Android from Google. This would make sense, as it has already been reported Samsung is open to working with google on AI, as well as investing in its own artificial intelligence services.

Other large companies like Facebook and LG are also looking into the integration of AI in their products and services, so it looks like the proliferation of such services is not too far away. We just hope the robot apocalypse is nothing to worry about!

Your Samsung Galaxy phone may soon unlock your Windows 10 PC

Many people own both a Samsung Galaxy phone and a Windows 10 desktop or notebook PC, especially for work. Now there’s word that an incoming update for the company’s Samsung Flow Android app will be able to remotely unlock any Windows 10 PC, which should be a big help for people concerned with security.

See also:

US reputation survey: Samsung plummets to #49 due to Note 7 fiasco

1 day ago

This feature will work if your Galaxy phone has a fingerprint reader like the Galaxy S7S7 EdgeNote 5Galaxy S6 and others. The Samsung Flow app, in theory, allows you to unlock a PC with just a tap of that fingerprint scanner. However, that function currently works on just one Windows 10 device, Samsung’s own Galaxy Tab Pro S tablet.

The good news? In a reply to a user question about the app on its Google Play Store listing, a Samsung customer service representative has confirmed that an upcoming update for Samsung Flow is in the works. It is supposed to add support to unlock all Windows 10 PCs. That update is scheduled to be released sometime in early April, according to that service rep. That’s also in line with when Microsoft is supposed to release the next major free update to Windows 10, also known as the Creators Update.

In addition to unlocking your PC with the app, Samsung Flow will also allow compatible Galaxy phones to enable its mobile hotspot so a Windows 10 PC can stay connected on the road via its Wi-Fi hardware. The app will also let PC owners check and reply to any of their phone’s notifications. Finally, the app should let Samsung Flow users transfer content and activity between the phone and PC, although it does add that function may not be supported for some apps.

Keep in mind that this new feature for Samsung Flow won’t work with the many older desktops and laptops with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installed. However, this will certainly be a big plus for business and enterprise PC owners who want both a quick and safe way to unlock their Windows 10 PC, especially if their hardware does not support Microsoft’s own Windows Hello biometric security features.

Get it at Google Play

Flexible OLED: Samsung already defending an unassailable lead

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2017 will be the year of flexible OLED displays. While this may sound like a pretty familiar refrain, right up there with revolutionary new battery tech, graphene this and vanadium dioxide that, this time it’s different. I promise.

It’s pretty easy to get desensitized to this kind of claim, with every new year heralding some exciting ground-breaking tech that’s going to change your life and revolutionize the mobile landscape. That is, when whatever it is finally makes it to consumer products… in five to ten years. But 2017 is apparently that year for Samsung, with both flexible and foldable devices reportedly in its product lineup.

These won't be mainstream consumer products: they'll be expensive and made in limited quantities.

Obviously, these devices won’t be mainstream consumer products. They’ll be expensive, made in limited quantities and designed more to gauge consumer interest and field test the tech itself rather than to make a buck.

We saw the same thing a few years ago with LG’s flexible plastic OLED panels on the G Flex and Samsung’s Galaxy Round which first introduced consumers to the idea of a curved display. The Galaxy Round never saw a successor but the curved screen idea and edge-based software features eventually morphed into what became the Galaxy Note Edge. And now Samsung will only offer the Galaxy S8 with a curved edge display.

In 2017, flexible phones will finally go from concept and prototype to actual consumer product.

So while the two flexible or folding devices Samsung is expected to put on the market this year won’t make their way into consumers’ pockets in anything resembling the volume of a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8, they will finally go from concept and prototype stage to actual consumer product. This is a critical change.

Once flexible and foldable screens become normalized socially and the tech itself is fine-tuned enough for inclusion in something more mainstream than a super-niche product, you can bet they will catch on very quickly. In many ways, this is the smartphone future we’ve all been dreaming of for years. It may not be until the Galaxy S10 or Note 10 that flagships go flexible, but that day is coming.

Suffice it to say, Samsung, like many other companies making OLED displays, is banking on flexible panels being the future. The difference between most display manufacturers and Samsung though is that Samsung Display already dominates 97 percent of the small to medium-sized flexible display market.

It may not be until the Galaxy S10 or Note 10 that flagships go flexible, but that day is coming.

While this may seem like a comfortably unassailable lead, Samsung is already concerned about recent Chinese investments in flexible OLED production. So much so that Samsung is “making massive investments” to maintain its already-dominant position.

Flexible OLED: Samsung already defending an unassailable lead

Samsung has already reportedly signed a deal to supply Apple with 80 percent of the more than 200 million OLED panels needed for the iPhone 8 and there have been persistent rumors of a premium edition iPhone with a curved display (although today we’re hearing that production yield and drop test problems have put the kibosh on the curved screen version).

Regardless, Samsung is targeting not just flexible, but also foldable and rolling displays in order to stay competitive across all emerging display types. Samsung Display has already highlighted small OLED panels as a critical part of its flexible OLED plans, both for its own devices as well as for the companies it supplies (likewise, LG is now supplying Samsung with LCD panels).

Samsung Display has already highlighted small OLED panels as a critical part of its flexible OLED plans.

Flexible OLED shipments are expected to reach almost 150 million units this year, with the market estimated to be worth almost $10 billion in 2017 alone. Shipments are set to double by 2020, according to research firm IHS Markit.

UHD OLED TV shipments are also expected to grow by 40 percent this year. Naturally, Samsung also has plans to “diversify lineups for large UHD TVs”. With OLED production becoming cheaper than LCD last year and flexible and folding smartphones finally on our doorsteps, we’re entering the dawn of a new age of smartphone design, one that will once again be dominated by Samsung.

Let us know your thoughts on flexible and foldable display tech in the comments. Just how quickly do you think flexible will take over and what form will it take?

Samsung Galaxy S8 image leak shows off on-screen keys, desktop dock

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors and image leaks continue to flood the internet ahead of its official reveal, which man not even happen for over a month. Today we have yet another leak, which claims a system dump from the still unannounced Galaxy Tab S3 tablet has uncovered some clip art showing some of the features in the Galaxy S8.

See also:

Samsung to announce Galaxy S8 launch date at MWC

6 days ago

The story, from Android Police, shows the S8’s on-screen soft keys, with the multitasking key getting some special attention, along with its square home key and back key. The image also seems to once again confirm that the Galaxy S8 itself will have a tiny bezel. The second clip image shows what looks like the heart rate sensor on the left of the rear camera of the Galaxy S8, along with its fingerprint sensor that’s place on the right of the camera.

Samsung Galaxy S8 image leak shows off on-screen keys, desktop dock

The final clip art image clearly shows the rumored DeX dock for the Galaxy S8, complete with logo. As previously reported, this unconfirmed accessory is supposed to allow the phone to be used more like a desktop computer. The image shows the dock hooked up to a PC monitor. The rumors about DeX claim the dock will also allow the phone to be hooked up to a standard keyboard and mouse so that owners can use it more like a Windows PC, in a way similar to Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature.

While it’s unknown why clip art showing the Galaxy S8 would be found inside the files of a Tab S3, it’s possible that both products could be used together in some way to sync data or for some other purpose. Samsung is expected to officially reveal the Tab S3 on Sunday, February 26 at its 2017 Mobile World Congress press event in Barcelona, Spain. Rumors claim it may also release a brief video preview of the Galaxy S8 during that event, but the actual reveal of the phone is rumored to take place in late March at its own dedicated media conference, followed by its launch in mid-April.

Next: Leaked images of the Samsung Galaxy S8 leave little to the imagination

These are the four VR projects Samsung will show-off at MWC 2017

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This article originally appeared on our sister site, VR Source.

Samsung will show off four new AR and VR projects at MWC 2017 next week, developed in its experimental C-Labs department. C-Labs is the internal program where Samsung’s employees can work on innovative, small-scale undertakings, and its latest developments have now been teased via Samsung’s press site.

Relúmĭno is an app which is designed to help people with visual impairments read books and watch TV with “new levels of clarity.” Users can install the app on a smartphone and then insert it into the Gear VR where it will “remap blind spots by displacing images” and “correct distorted images caused by metamorphopsia”. It’s a glimpse at the ways in which VR could be used not just in an entertainment capacity but for quality of life improvements also.

These are the four VR projects Samsung will show-off at MWC 2017

Monitorless kind of looks like Google Glass, but its intended function is quite different. As the name suggests, Monitorless is a way to view a PC or smartphone display in VR. It uses a pair of glasses to mirror a device’s display via Wi-Fi direct and can be viewed in AR mode, where the contents of the screen is overlaid onto the real world. Samsung also says that it could be used to stream high-end games.

VuildUs provides a way for users to visualize the placement of new furniture in their home prior to purchase. By pairing a dedicated smartphone app with a 360-degree depth camera, users can take a 3D scan of their house. This can then be viewed in VR, where the home can be explored and potential furniture can be inserted to see if it fits in the intended space (no more measuring tape!). Samsung didn’t go into details about the range of furniture which could be tested — I expect the app could be linked to websites like Amazon or IKEA which house the product’s dimension details — but we’ll find out more next week.

Finally, traVRer is a 360-degree video platform that lets users explore landmarks around the world without leaving their home: it sounds something like Google Street View but with sound and video.

These are the four VR projects Samsung will show-off at MWC 2017
These are only small scale projects for Samsung right now and there’s no indication of whether they would be put into commercial production. Look out for details in our MWC 2017 coverage from next week.