All items tagged with "Samsung"

Struggling Samsung wants to build its own Apple-style ecosystem

It must be one of those weekdays that ends with "day" because Samsung's copying Apple again.

It must be one of those weekdays that ends with “day” because Samsung’s copying Apple again.

Unlike Apple, which is more comfortable (and lucrative) than ever with its business strategy, here in 2015 Samsung is having a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a freedom-fighting Internet of Things company making smart refrigerators and connected TVs? Is it a Xiaomi competitor, turning out cheaper smartphones than ever for the developing Indian market?

Like a deer in headlights, the company seems to be skittishly veering from one idea to the next, without any real understanding of what it needs to do to once again be competitive.

Of course, there is one idea that has worked for Samsung in the past, and with its mobile division falling on hard times, that strategy seems to be one the South Korean tech giant is more than happy to return to: copying Apple.

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Samsung could be about to give up on Japan as iPhone sales soar

Samsung may be bidding a tactical retreat. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Samsung may be beating a tactical retreat. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Things aren’t looking too rosy for Samsung at the moment. Having seen profits slip due to its falling mobile sales, the flailing South Korean tech giant is reportedly considering throwing in the towel altogether in Japan, where it’s struggling more than elsewhere.

Samsung currently represents a miniscule 4 percent of the Japanese smartphone market, which puts it in sixth place. According to sources with Samsung, staying in Japan is actually losing rather than gaining the company money.

While Samsung hasn’t traditionally been a top-seller in Japan, here in 2015 it’s doing worse than ever: with the company’s favorite metric, marketshare, shrinking from 17 percent two years ago to low single digits today.

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Ex-TSMC employee sued for spilling chip secrets to Samsung

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Samsung stealing technology? Say it ain’t so!

Knowing how much is at stake, things can get pretty vicious when you’re a manufacturer with a shot at providing Apple with vital components for its next generation iPhone.

We’ve known for some time that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung have been battling it out over who gets picked by Apple to make its forthcoming A9 processors — with Samsung apparently having the advantage currently, due to offering Apple a better deal financially.

TSMC isn’t taking this lying down, however. In fact, the company is currently suing an ex-employee who allegedly leaked R&D secrets to Samsung; thereby allowing it to both catch up in the chip fabrication business.

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Samsung will provide bulk of Apple’s A9 chips for iPhone 6s

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Apple has been trying to wean itself from being dependent on Samsung’s smartphone components for years, but breaking up is proving nearly impossible to do.

According to a report from Recode, Apple is turning back to Samsung to make the next-generation A9 processors that will make their way into the iPhone and iPad later this year.

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Samsung allegedly nabs 75% of Apple’s A9 orders

How many iPhone users are in your state? Photo: Jim Merithew

The iPhone 6s could get by with a little help from Samsung. Photo: Jim Merithew

In public, the big smartphone competition may be between Apple and Samsung, but behind the scenes the faltering Samsung has another battle on its hands: with rival manufacturer TSMC over who gets to build the A9 processor for the next generation iPhone.

And while Samsung is decisively losing the battle to sell the most smartphones in the marketplace, the A9 chip orders could be one clash it is going to emerge victorious from!

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50% of U.S. smartphones activated last quarter were iPhones

The iPhone 6 dominated 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6 dominated 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple enjoyed historic sales this holiday season, and while the company won’t reveal its official earnings until January 27th, based on the latest smartphone activation report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple dominated the holiday shopping season and accounted for 50% of all smartphone activations in Q4 2014.

Tim Cook is likely to announce another record breaking quarter as Apple nearly doubled the number of activations of its closest competitor Samsung, which accounted for a modest 26% of the market.

Check out the surprising graph below:

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iPhone 6 is doing better than ever on Samsung’s home turf

Samsung vs. Apple is looking more and more like a horrible mismatch. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Samsung vs. Apple is looking more and more like a horrible mismatch. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Thanks to Apple’s continued success in Japan, and Tim Cook’s big push to expand into China, everyone forgets about one of the most revealing markets the iPhone 6 has scored big in: South Korea. Why is South Korea so revealing? Because it’s none other than the stomping ground of longtime Apple rival, Samsung.

According to a report published Wednesday by Counterpoint Research, Apple is now firmly challenging Samsung in its home ground — with market share in the country rising to 33 percent, from less than 15 percent, based on the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Samsung’s market share meanwhile plummeted from 60 percent to 46 percent.

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Apple Watch wins the wrist war before it starts

Apple Watch. Photo: Leander Kahney

The closer we get to Apple Watch, the more advanced it looks in comparison to its competition. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Ever since Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch last September, it’s been one disappointment after another as far as I’m concerned. Apple’s first wearable won’t come in the minimalist form factor of the fitness bracelets I love. Worse yet, the launch version of the fashion-forward device will lack GPS, suffer from underwhelming battery life and fail to offer truly native third-party apps.

For the first time, I realized I would not be buying an Apple product when it first hit the market. “It’s not worth lining up for,” I told my dad when he asked what I thought after the Apple Watch’s big reveal.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Apple Watch’s launch day, which is coming sometime this spring. And I’m not talking about the previously unthinkable — an Apple fan calling the Microsoft Band the best smartwatch on the planet. No, I’m talking about wading through an ungodly sea of really bad smartwatches at International CES earlier this month and seeing indisputable proof of just how innovative and disruptive Apple Watch actually will be.

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With HomeKit on horizon, home automation is about to get real

Wall of Philips remotes. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Soon this wall of antiquated remotes will be a thing of the past. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The year is 2018. After a long day at work, you pull into your driveway, whip out your iPhone 10 Plus and say, “Siri, I’m home.”

Your garage door opens silently, beckoning you to enter the ultra-connected smart home of the future.

As you walk in, your lights turn on. The wife used to get on you about leaving the lights on, but her nagging feels like a distant memory now. Your thermostat cools everything down to a comfortable 69 degrees. Knowing that you pulled into the driveway two minutes ago, your oven has started preheating itself. You usually fix dinner for yourself on Thursdays, so it’s time for frozen pizza.

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President of Jony Ive’s old company is now in charge of Samsung design

A younger Jony Ive, pre-Apple. One former colleague once told me he looked like "a hairbrush."

A younger Jony Ive, pre-Apple. One former colleague once told me he looked like “a hairbrush.”

It’s not exactly news that Samsung would like be a whole lot more like Apple. And when you compare the sales figures from Samsung’s ailing mobile division to Apple’s thriving iPhone numbers, who can blame it?

But while the South Korea-based tech giant isn’t going to be able to steal away any of the design brains behind Apple’s must-have devices any time soon, it’s trying to do the next best thing: hiring a former boss from the company Jony Ive helped start before he set sale for Apple in the 1990s.

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