Anyone who thought that Samsung is losing ground to its competitors needs to check their facts again because they have apparently done very well in Q1 2016, as made evident by a 10.4% growth in profit. The impressive figure of $43.3 billion or ₩49 trillion in terms of first quarter sales is a significant increase over 2015's quarter one sales which was $40.7 billion or ₩47.1 trillion.
The profit made from these sales so far in 2016 is even more impressive as the $5.7 billion (₩6.6 trillion) figure shows an increase of 10.45% from last year. Although it is not mentioned anywhere specifically, one can pretty much guess that the incredibly well received Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge played a very big role here. It was to be expected once you consider that Samsung has shipped over 10 million Galaxy S7s in the month of March alone!
If these numbers are any indication of what's to come then this is going to be a very big year for the South Korean Electronics giant. We do think that the Galaxy S7 is a fantastic smartphone and the sales figure is probably well deserved.
The financial reports for Samsung's Q3 2016 sales are out and they show that the Note 7 has burned Samsung in the same way as the company expected it to. The total revenue of the company has plummeted by 3.87 trillion WON/$3.4 billion and landed at 47.82 trillion WON/$42.01 billion; that's a 7.5% decrease, as compared to Q3 2015. Operating profit stands at 5.20 trillion WON/$4.56 billion, which is the lowest for the Korean tech giant in the last two years and shows a 30% decrease.
Things as a whole don't look nearly as bad as it looks in the company's mobile department. Consider this; Samsung Mobiles has managed a total revenue of 22.54 trillion WON/$19.80 billion, which depicts a 96% decrease, as compared to the third quarter of the last year! The profits in the division stand at a meagre 100 billion WON/$87.8 million.
According to reports, things will start to look a little brighter for the company in the last quarter of the year, as it plans to focus on increasing production and sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the worldwide market. In the meanwhile, the Galaxy A and Galaxy J series of smartphones will hopefully provide some stability in terms of sales to the company in their respective price segments.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Samsung featured as top smartphone vendor in the world in the third quarter of 2015 and the arch rival Apple is following them, as per latest report from research organisation, Digitimes Research. While the South Korean tech giant acquired 25.6% market share in Q3, the iPhone maker managed to get 14.5% share.
This is actually quite obvious considering Samsung ships a very large variety of handsets - from the entry level to the mid-range along with good number of flagship models as well. We can be sure that they have a far larger market share, and that makes Apple's iPhone sales all the more impressive (since it is a fact that there is no such thing as a cheap current generation unlocked iPhone).
As for the rest of the top 5 smartphone makers in the world, they are Huawei standing at 7.4%, Lenovo at fourth position with 4.8% and LG is just behind Lenovo's share with 4.5% of the market. Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi has come to 6th spot with 3.8% market share, whereas Sony and Microsoft far away with 2% and 1.7% share, respectively. Last quarter we saw 331.9 million smartphones shipped internationally, and this also shows that there is a year-on-year increase of 7.7%.
The S6 was launched in 2015 and it was considered by many to be the smartphone of that year. Even after that, it was far from being perfect as the S6 suffered from a number of noticeable flaws. One of those flaws was forceful memory management which made multitasking on the S6 not as good as it should be with a device that's sporting 3GB of RAM and top of the line hardware. At first it was thought to be an embedded flaw of Android 5.0 Lollipop itself, but it was soon proved to be a "feature" found in TouchWiz. This feature was originally designed to provide users with the smoothest experience possible, but it killed background operations faster than it should and even when not needed.
The Galaxy S7 however, is handling multitasking much better than its predecessor. As seen in a YouTube video by Erica, it can juggle between at least eight applications that are running simultaneously in the background. Things got a little tense when Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft was launched. By tense, we mean that after opening the game, Chrome browser had to reload the last visited page even though it was already open and running in the background. This is actually a good thing in our opinion as this will only ensure that the user's gaming experience is always smooth. It looks like the RAM management system is finally working better compared to last year, although there might still be room for improvement over time through patches and updates.
The latest piece of information comes straight from Russia as Eldar Murtazin states that the battery life on the Galaxy S7 will be excellent. According to the Russian blogger, after a single full charge, the S7 will be able to function for two days straight. If this is true then the S7 will definitely see a significant battery upgrade compared to the S6, which was often criticized for poor battery life in an otherwise perfect phone.
This piece of information or "leak" is a follow up from Murtazin's last update regarding his pre-release review of the Galaxy S7 series. Just a few days ago, he declared that the S7 was able to play videos for 17 hours at a stretch with screen brightness set to maximum. On the 3rd of February, he tweeted more about the battery, complete with screenshots of the dual-SIM S7 variant's battery manager. He also mentioned that he was able to get two full days of usage on the his Galaxy S7 with the brightness at 75% and 4G LTE connection activated and used throughout the test.
In spite of being very convincing, we cannot confirm Murtazin's words unless we hear something official or see something more concrete. As far
as we know, the S7 will feature a 3000mAh battery, while the S7 Edge will be powered by 3500mAh of juice. Whether the larger battery is actually able to serve the S7 as well as claimed by the blogger, we will found out in roughly two weeks on February 21 at the Samsung Unpacked 2016.
OnePlus One co-founder, Carl Pei, revealed that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer sold more than 1 Million units of its flagship phone "OnePlus One" last year (2014). The company will focus on refining its operations and improving its customer service in 2015. "This period that we have now is a very good time for us to become a lot more professional," - said Carl Pei.
He noted that the next generation OnePlus flagship phone, allegedly dubbed OnePlus Two, is expected to arrive in about six months, and revealed that the company is also working on a separate handset model. "I think its going to be a phone catering to a different type of audience. Perhaps for those who appreciate design over specs," Pei said.
OnePlus One is available in two storage capacities: 16 GB Silk White ($299) and 64 GB Sandstone Black ($349).
The Last of Us 2 is an interesting game that many people are questioning whether or not it is actually coming. People are excited about a potential sequel to the first game because the first game was so critically acclaimed. Naughty Dog didn't completely finish off the story, so there is still some more that could be told. In the meantime, Naughty Dog made a deal with one of the studios to turn The Last of Us story into a Hollywood Blockbuster... The Last of Us Movie is in the works and may "in-production" as soon as 2016.
According to the creative director for The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann, he says that the game has a 50/50 shot of being made. He says that Naughty Dog hasn't decided if they will make the game yet. It seems as though Naughty Dog has to figure out which direction they want to take the game. There is certainly many different possible directions that they could take the game, it is just they have to be careful when making a sequel. The Last of Us was such a story driven game that it could be difficult for Naughty Dog to easily make sequels to the game.
It's not set up like Call of Duty where players expect a sequel to come out for the game every year or even every few years. We do have some information that The Last of Us 2 could be being worked on. The former lead character artist for Naughty Dog, Michael Knowland, accidentally left some information on his LinkedIn profile that could indicate there was work being done on The Last of Us 2.
In his profile, it was shown that he was working on prototyping initial character models for The Last of Us 2. At one point, quite a few employees left Naughty Dog when the director of the Uncharted series, Amy Hennig, left the company. The surge of employees leaving the company could have slowed down the development of The Last of Us 2. Naughty Dog has previously said that they didn't want to make the sequel star Joel or Ellie at all, but added that they were still looking at a few different possibilities for The Last of Us 2.
When most people think of mobile phones, Apple comes to mind, but did you know that the top selling phone of all time was actually the humble little Nokia? How did this phone we laugh at when we find it stuck in the junk drawer beat the stylish Apple iPhone in total unit sales?
Also, the Samsung Galaxy S4 breaks all records and scored 445 Million sold units in one year. Check the Bestselling Mobile Phones of the Last 20 Years Infographic below.
Security Researchers from Positive Technologies have recently revealed information about a buffer overflow they stumbled upon in the firmware update of Intel's management engine 11's which is secret. They stated that the Intel firmware update could be attacked by sophisticated individuals to gain access to ME functionality despite being turned off. This clearly means that sophisticated intruders would be able to play real money slots from the system they attack despite a firmware update being released by the chipmaker. The researchers have also claimed that the firmware update released by the manufacturer may not be significant to permanently resolve the issues.
The Intel management engine which is also known as the Intel ME resides in the controller hub of the platform and is a co-processor which powers the remote administrative features of the company. It has its own operating system which is the Intel Minix 3 that is similar to the Intel UNIX operating system. It has been designed to monitor computers and has access comprehensively to all the data and processes of the primary system.
The researchers stumbled upon four vulnerabilities which affected firmware Intel ME versions 11.0 to 11.20. Two of the vulnerabilities were found in earlier versions of the firmware belonging to Intel ME along with two in server platform services and a couple in the trusted Intel execution engine version 3.0.
A security audit was conducted by Intel after the firmware update warnings were issued by the researchers for identifying and exploring the vulnerabilities of the firmware update which were affecting the Intel ME. Intel issued a statement to its users on November 20 they were responding to issues discovered by external researchers about the firmware update and therefore they had completed a comprehensive security review of the flaws which were identified with the objective of enhancing the resilience of their firmware.
Firmware Intel identified the issues for their management engine, trusted execution engine and Intel server platform services and decided to issue a firmware update to resolve the issues plaguing the ME platform. The researchers, however, believe that the firmware update released by Intel does not prevent an intruder from using other methods for the attack which was also patched by the chipmaker during a recent firmware update.
The chipmaker has not responded positively when questioned about whether they had any plans to modify the way their management engine works or to begin producing chips without the ME. A spokesperson for the company provided a recommendation that requests such as these should be forwarded to the hardware vendors.
The spokesperson for the company issued a statement saying that the management engine is capable of providing important functionality for its users and includes features such as two-factor authentication, enterprise service management and even the option to get heart bingo reviews. They advised system owners with customers requirements to contact equipment manufacturers for the kind of request being put forward to the chipmakers. The company, however, confirmed that it would not support any configuration which would remove the functionality essential in most of their mainstream products apart from providing the firmware update.
The statement issued by the chipmaker certainly comes as a surprise since Intel has been one of the leading firmware manufacturers of such products throughout the world for a number of years. It has also issued a firmware update whenever needed.
Apple is doing good on the worldwide market shipments. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a decent track record on Apple-related industry predictions, has estimated that Apple has sold more than 73 million iPhones in the last quarter (Q4,2014) only which includes about 42 million iPhone 6 and 16 million iPhone 6 Plus sold.
For Q1,2015, Kuo is expecting the figure to be around 61.6 million, up 41.1% year-on-year, but 15.6% less than the previous quarter, something which isn't exactly surprising given the fact that it was a holiday quarter.
As for the iPad, total Q4, 2014 shipments stood at around 21.4 million, down 17.8% year-on-year, but up 73.8% compared to Q3. That number is expected to be around 10 million for the ongoing quarter.
Recently, Apple launched a new advertisement campaign that offers you to trade-in your old iPhone with Apple for a discount on an upgrade to the new one. Apple consider three years as a potential life of an iPhone before it is hand over to someone else to be sold as second hand handset or stored in any drawer when a new iPhone is purchased. With the latest offer, Apple is making a new shifting trend to increase the number of upgrades to new iPhone by customers by returning the handset to Apple and trade it in for a new phone.
There are a few advantages for Apple in the offer. The user will still remain in the Apple's echo system if they upgrade their handset to another iPhone. Apple's CEO Tim Cook seems to put a great emphasis on services Apple can bring to its customers. Apple is using the emotional call back by Steve Jobs "One last thing" in the advertisement as handing back to your iPhone to Apple, it is available for refurbished and "put back into the world". If the iPhone you hand over is too old or have expected life span less than one year, it will get recycled in way that "respects the planet" and not by adding more plastic pollution to the planet.
Here is what Apple's new ad says:
You've done great things with your iPhone. But at some point, you'll be ready for something new. You can easily trade it in with Apple, so it can be refurbished and put back into the world, so someone new can do their own great things with it.
But if your device is at the very end of life, materials inside will be recovered and recycled. Either way, you can continue to do what you love, while respecting the planet.