Friday, April 28, 2017

1Q 2017: HP recovers top spot of worldwide PC market,says IDC .





Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 60.3 million units in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17), posting year-over-year growth of 0.6%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The previous forecast had expected shipments to decline 1.8% in the quarter. And, while the 0.6% growth was arguably flat, the result nonetheless represented the first foray back into positive territory since Q1 2012, when many users still considered PCs their first computing device.

Like the second half of 2016, some of the same forces continue to shape the market. Tight supplies of key components such as NAND and DRAM are affecting inventory dynamics and led a number of vendors to boost shipments to lock in supply ahead of further cost increases. In addition, the market continued along a path of stabilization that began in the latter half of last year, especially as more commercial projects moved out of pilot mode and began shipments in earnest.

From a geographic perspective, mature markets again outdid emerging markets. All regions exceeded forecast except for the United States, although the U.S. posted just a slight decline. Despite the generally positive trends, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) and Latin America continued to see year-over-year volume declines.

"The traditional PC market has been through a tough phase, with competition from tablets and smartphones as well as lengthening lifecycles pushing PC shipments down roughly 30% from a peak in 2011," said Jay Chou, research manager, IDC PCD Tracker. "Nevertheless, users have generally delayed PC replacements rather than giving up PCs for other devices. 

The commercial market is beginning a replacement cycle that should drive growth throughout the forecast. Consumer demand will remain under pressure, although growth in segments like PC Gaming as well as rising saturation of tablets and smartphones will move the consumer market toward stabilization as well."

"The U.S. PC market had a weak opening quarter for the year with the consumer PC segment failing to impress after doing fairly well in the previous quarter," said Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst, Devices & Displays. "Apart from factors such as relatively improved commercial PC performance as well as a few component shortages, which continued to add to a better inventory situation, the overall PC performance for the quarter remained fairly sublime."

Regional Highlights

United States: The traditional PC market declined slightly year over year as notebook PCs saw sales slumping this quarter. After a strong holiday season at the end of 2016, the consumer PC market witnessed a comparative slow down this quarter with lower sell-out while the commercial PC market came out strong mostly backed by growth of Chromebooks. Overall, total PC shipments for 1Q17 totaled 13.3 million units.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): The EMEA traditional PC market stabilized for the second consecutive quarter, thanks to strong notebook performance. The combination of backlogs, fulfillment from previous quarters, and solid mobility demand in enterprises boosted overall notebook shipments in 1Q17. However, desktops continued to erode, in line with expectations.

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan): The APeJ market remained soft. Weakness in the consumer market persisted, as demand and shipments in many countries were impacted by price increases fueled by tight component supply. The pricing pressure was felt in the Chinese consumer market despite continuing strong demand for gaming and ultraslim notebooks. 

The commercial market in China performed better, driven by demand in the public sector. The education segment drove shipments in the commercial space, with several projects delivered throughout the region. India saw a rebound after the demonetization severely affected the market in the previous quarter while the back-to-school season allowed for healthy volumes in Korea.

Japan: The traditional PC market has recovered with healthy macroeconomics and an emerging PC refreshment cycle, especially in commercial, leading to the first year-on-year growth since Q2 2014.

Vendor Highlights

HP Inc. took back the top spot for the first time since Q1 2013 after several quarters inching closer to Lenovo. The vendor has focused on building out a deep portfolio and saw a strong quarter in notebooks across all regions.

Lenovo held the second position with relative modest growth of 1.7% globally. Lenovo had its first decline in the U.S. since Q3 2009, down 4.2% year over year.

Dell captured the third position, grew 6.2% year over year, and continued its positive growth in every region with strong notebook volume. Dell posted growth in all markets, although the U.S. slowed relative to others.

Apple kept the fourth position and grew 4.1% year over year.

Acer regained the fifth position, growing 2.9% in part due to better comparisons against a challenging 1Q 2016.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Samsung America and Magellan to partner for ELD products.


Samsung-Magellan ELD.

Magellan, the GPS brand subsidiary of Mitac International Magellan, has announced cooperation with Samsung Electronics America to supply enterprise-level electronics logging devices (ELDs) that are able to track hours of service for trucks in North America.

The US government has demanded all trucks be equipped with an ELD prior to December 2017 in order to track drivers' working hours.

Samsung's mobile products including Galaxy E and Galaxy A tablets and Galaxy S7 smartphone can all be equipped with Magellan's solutions and customers can also customize the system to meet their needs. 

The products will be distributed by channel distributor Synnex and the solutions will be released at the end of the second quarter.

Press Release:

SAMSUNG AND MAGELLAN TO DELIVER ELD-COMPLIANCE & TRUCK NAVIGATION SOLUTIONS TO THE FLEET TRUCKING INDUSTRY

Featured Magellan Fleet Solutions Available on Commercial Samsung Mobile Devices Offer Commercial Fleet Managers a Comprehensive ‘One-Stop-Shop’ Approach. 

SYNNEX will serve as the distribution partner for this program

25 April, 2017 – Tampa, FL – Magellan®, a leader in GPS navigation solutions, announced today that it has partnered with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. to deliver commercial-grade truck navigation and Electronic Logging Device (ELD)-compliant Hours of Service tracking solutions to short and long-haul trucking businesses. 

With this agreement, Samsung mobile devices are a part of Magellan’s comprehensive fleet management solutions portfolio now available to fleet trucking operations. The solution is critical for the trucking industry, since the government has required that all truck drivers track their hours of service logs using an ELD by December 2017.

Magellan, a member of Samsung’s Enterprise Alliance Partner program, will be demonstrating its fleet solutions on Samsung devices at the NAFA 2017 Fleet Management Institute and Expo (Booth #143) taking place in Tampa, Florida from April 25-28. The solutions are designed to help short and long-haul trucking businesses deliver optimal performance and efficiencies to drivers, while providing a secure, multipurpose device for business and personal use.

Magellan’s fleet solutions can be integrated and pre-loaded across a range of commercial Samsung mobile devices, requiring minimal installation for drivers and offering device flexibility to align with customer needs. Available on the Samsung Galaxy E and Galaxy A tablets and select Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone models. 

This comprehensive approach delivers a top-quality hardware/software solution that is customizable and easy to deploy right out of the box. SYNNEX, a leading IT distributor and business process services company, will serve as the distribution partner for this solution and will be working with their top transportation resellers to bring this solution to market, available late Q2, 2017 in the U.S.

Key features of the Magellan and Samsung solution include:

ELD-compliant Hours of Service: The ELD mandate takes effect in December 2017. Magellan’s FMSCA-certified Hours of Service offers automated logging tools, reports and alerts to keep drivers on time and in compliance. A dispatch and backend web portal allows for efficient HOS, DVIR and IFTA reports, while on-device data transfer and co-driver support makes roadside inspections run more smoothly and efficiently.

Magellan Fleet Navigation: Magellan’s commercial fleet navigation software delivers truck-specific map data -- ranging from maximum vehicle heights on bridges to roads allowing hazardous containers -- combined with Magellan’s industry-leading routing engine, to provide a safety-focused navigation experience to all truck carriers.

Multi-Purpose Use: Drivers not only have a device that is built for high performance and efficiencies while on the job, and features defense-grade security with Samsung Knox; it also serves as a personal device that provides access to a driver’s favorite content, such as movies, books and music, for down-time while on the road.

“Helping the trucking industry be compliant with ELD standards by the end of the year is critical and Samsung is committed to bringing these solutions forward,” said Kevin Gilroy, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Samsung Electronics America. “The Magellan HOS Compliance solution is a powerful, comprehensive product that brings the best of fleet navigation software to the market. We are excited to be working in close alignment with Magellan for this program.”

“Samsung’s commercial tablets with Magellan Fleet Navigation are an excellent value for fleets and drivers,” said Mark Perini, Magellan’s Vice President of Automotive Business. “We’ve been working diligently with the Samsung team to ensure a compliance-critical solution, and we believe our Hours of Service capability is the best in the market.”

At NAFA, Magellan will also be showcasing its award-winning Return to Route -- a multi-stop route planning solution that offers enhanced navigation and supports a broad range of telematics supplier protocols. Return to Route is optimized for Urban Canyon and associated metro challenges to ensure truck carriers never miss an important stop.

For more information on Samsung mobile devices and solutions for the transportation industry please visit here.

For more information on Magellan’s navigation products, please visit www.magellangps.com, or at the Magellan booth (#143) during the NAFA show.

About Magellan:
Headquartered in San Dimas, CA, MiTAC Digital Corporation, manufacturer of the Magellan (www.magellangps.com) brand of portable GPS navigation devices, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MiTAC International Corporation. Magellan, the industry leader for innovative GPS navigation devices since 1986, globally markets award-winning products in multiple categories including auto, RV, outdoor, mobile, fleet and autoOEM. Continuing its spirit of innovation, Magellan is developing new cloud-based technologies, OEM and B-to-B solutions to meet the changing needs of today's consumers and businesses. Follow Magellan on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.:
Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovative leader in consumer electronics, mobile devices and enterprise solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA is pushing beyond the limits of today’s technology and providing consumers and organizations with a portfolio of groundbreaking products in appliances, home entertainment, Internet of Things, mobile computing, smartphones, virtual reality, wireless infrastructure and wearables, in addition to offering leading content and services related to mobile payments, 360-degree VR video, customer support, and more. Samsung is a pioneering leader in smartphones and HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America’s fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more about Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com. For the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow us @SamsungNewsUS.

2H 2017: Samsung confirms the launch of the Galaxy Note 8.


Samsung Electronics on its First Quarter 2017 announcement of today hints the launch  of a new flagship smartphone in the second half of this year and for us it is the upcoming Galaxy Note 8:

"For the mobile business, market competition is expected to intensify in the second half. Against this backdrop, the company will strive to maintain profitability through robust sales of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and the launch of a new flagship smartphone in the second half."



Source: Samsung News 

iPhone 8 may look like this.



According to Benjamin Gesking @VenyaGesking1 who claims he has guessed the look of before iPhones making renders, he has made a new one now based on a schematics posted by weibo that we have posted below:




The truth is Samsung has started a new display trend design with the Infinity Display and Apple with the iPhone 8 will not be the exception, at least one of its model will have an OLED display and will also embed the home button on the screen to enlarge the display view getting an almost bezel less smartphone.








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hitachi has developed an artificial intelligence system that can instantly identify and track a person.



Hitachi has developed an artificial intelligence system that can instantly identify and track a person caught on security camera footage.

Using more than 100 characteristics such as sex, clothing color and belongings, the system scans every individual passing by a security camera from head to toe. For example, if there is an eye witness account of the individual being a "man wearing a green jacket," the system can swiftly analyze footage to find someone fitting that description.

Once a person is identified, the system will automatically initiate real-time tracking using security cameras located within facilities such as shopping centers. The system is able to recognize a person in less than a second based on numerous available visual details, even if the person is far from the camera or if the view of the face is obstructed.

The company aims to commercialize the system in the business year beginning in April 2018, hoping it is deployed in airports and train stations to help track down suspicious persons or missing children.

Press Release:


Wide-area people-tracking system using this technology.

Development of image-analysis technology with AI for real-time people-detection and tracking.

Detecting a given individual from a combination of over 100 features and tracking using wide-area images

Hitachi, Ltd.  announced the development of a detection and tracking technology using artificial intelligence (AI) which can distinguish an individual in real-time using features from over 100 categories of external characteristics such as sex, color of clothing or carried items, and immediately detect and track the person sought after individual. 

Using this technology, it will be possible to detect a suspicious individual or a lost child using information from eye-witness accounts to detect a person fitting that description from public security cameras set up in large facilities or city areas. Further, by analyzing the entire image of the person detected, it will be possible to follow the person from camera images where only the rear-view is captured and the face cannot be seen, or the person is captured from a distance. Hitachi will apply this technology to wide-area security and surveillance systems*1 such as those in public areas, contribute to public safety and security.

To ensure safety, measures such as surveillance using security cameras and patrol by security staff are being implemented in public areas such as city areas and large facilities such as airports and stations. In order to prevent emergencies, however, it is necessary to be able to immediately close-in on images of a suspicious person or a lost child based on eye-witness accounts from persons on the scene, and locate in real-time the whereabouts of the person sought after from the wide-area surveillance camera network. 

As it is difficult to screen all of the images with a limited number of staff, technology to detect and track people has been developed using facial images procured at some entry point or features such as color of clothing, however it was difficult to detect and track a person if there was limited eye-witness account, other people wearing similar color clothing, or if the surveillance camera was unable to capture a clear facial image due to angle or lighting.

To overcome this challenge, Hitachi applied AI to distinguish an individual in real-time using multiple features such as sex, age group and clothing, and furthermore, track that individual in real time from the images from wide-area surveillance cameras. Features of the technology developed are as below:

(1) High-speed person detection technology that categorizes and searches using characteristics of external appearance and movement

AI that can perform real-time simultaneous detection to identify from camera images, more than 100 characteristics related to 12 types of appearance such as sex, age, hair style, color and form of clothing, and carried items, and movement characteristics from 10 categories such as walking, running, and bending. Conventionally, each item needed to be calculated separately to distinguish the characteristics. This time, a method to simultaneous calculate multiple items has been adopted, reducing calculation time to 1/40th*2. As a result, by providing specific conditions based on characteristics categorized in real-time by AI, high-speed detection of an individual is now possible.

(2) High speed person tracking technology that analyzes in detail the entire image of the body and extracts images of the same person

AI that recognizes an individual as the same person by analyzing and converting the image of the entire body into a numerical description so that the same person will be recognized regardless of a change in body angle or lighting. By recording the result of the AI analysis in a database*3 with high-speed vector processing developed by Hitachi, an image of the same person can be extracted from among several ten thousands of recorded images in less than 1 second. Further, over a three-fold improvement*2 in accuracy of obtaining an image of the same person, was found when the AI developed was compared with that of facial analysis only.

Real-time people detection and tracking was made possible by combining the technologies developed. From now, Hitachi will apply this technology to wide-area security and surveillance systems such as those in public areas, contribute to public safety and security.

*1 In installing such technology, sufficient discussion will be held with the customer to ensure measures that are introduced to protect personal information and privacy. 

*2Comparison with conventional Hitachi technology.

*3“EnraEnra” database, a high-speed similar image search technology developed by Hitachi.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (ended March 31, 2016) totalled 10,034.3 billion yen ($88.8 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in the Social Innovation Business, and it has approximately 335,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including Power / Energy, Industry / Distribution / Water, Urban Development, and Finance / Government & Public / Healthcare. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.


Samsung develops EXYNOS i T200 AP chip for IoT devices.




Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has developed an application processor (AP) for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The South Korean tech giant said it has completed the development of the Exynos i T200 that boasts improved security. AP chips, referred to as the "brains" of electronic devices, play a key role in activating operating systems and applications.

The IoT is a concept in which all tangible objects are connected to the Internet and can identify themselves to other devices in order to exchange necessary data for improved efficiency and convenience.

The sector has been cited as one of the new growth engines for the global technology industry, with electronics giants focusing efforts on tapping deeper into the area.

Industry watchers said Samsung may start full-fledged commercialization of the new chip as early as the second quarter.

Samsung 2nd Gen 10nm process technology is ready for production.



Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced today that its second generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology, 10LPP (Low Power Plus), has been qualified and is ready for production. With further enhancement in 3D FinFET structure, 10LPP allows up to 10-percent higher performance or 15-percent lower power consumption compared to the first generation 10LPE (Low-Power Early)  process with the same area scaling. 

Samsung was the first in the industry to begin mass production of system-on-chips (SoCs) products on 10LPE last October. The latest Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones are powered by some of these SoCs. 

To meet long-term demand for the 10nm process for a wide range of customers, Samsung has started installing production equipment at its newest S3-line in Hwaseong, Korea. The S3-line is expected to be ready for production by the fourth quarter of this year. 

“With our successful 10LPE production experience, we have commenced production of the 10LPP to maintain our leadership in the advanced-node foundry market,” said Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “10LPP will be one of our key process offerings for high performance mobile, computing and network applications, and Samsung will continue to offer the most advanced logic process technology.”


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Astronomers discover new super Earth where there could be life.



The exoplanet is 40 light years away and orbits around the red dwarf star LHS 1140. Photo: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu

A team of astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Center discovered a super-terrain that could be promising in the quest for life beyond our solar system, according to the researchers on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 in the journal Nature.

The exoplanet is 40 light years away and orbits around the red dwarf star LHS 1140. So far about 30 such planets have been discovered outside the solar system.

But according to the team of Jason Dittman, who discovered the star, in this case give the best conditions for the search for an atmosphere and possible signs of life. "It's the most interesting planet I've met in the last few decades," Dittmann said in a statement.

"Future observations could allow us to verify for the first time the existence of an atmosphere of a potentially habitable planet. We plan to search for water and also molecules of oxygen."

Astronomers call super-Earths rocky planets that are larger than Earth and have much more mass but are not as large and heavy as the gaseous planet Uranus.

The exoplanet discovered by Dittmann and his team orbits around the star LHS 1140, in the constellation Cetus, has a diameter of about 18,000 kilometers and almost seven times the mass of the Earth.

The super-Earth orbits a relatively short distance from its dwarf star and completes a turn in 25 days. However, since the star is five times smaller than the Sun and emits less light, the orbiting of the exoplanet in question is in the so-called habitable zone, where temperatures allow the existence of liquid water.

Liquid water is a basic condition for the existence of life as we know it. However, there is no certainty that there is water in this exoplanet. Even if there was at the time of creation of the planet, about 5 billion years ago, the water could have evaporated, since by that time the dwarf orbiting star would be much more active.

This could make today an extreme greenhouse effect raise temperatures on the exoplanet to unbearable levels, as is the case with Venus. However, if the super-earth contained at least a part of the water in a liquid state or had recovered its water reserve, for example from an ancient lava ocean, the red dwarf would now offer the planet the conditions to be a place capable of harboring According to the European Southern Observatory (ESO), whose instruments were involved in the research.

The exoplanet is 40 light years away and therefore in the range of the new telescopes, which will allow to investigate if there is an atmosphere and if so its composition.

A light year is the distance that light travels in a year, that is, almost ten billion kilometers. To study the exoplanet astronomers take advantage of the moment in which - seen from Earth - passes in front of its star. During this kind of "minieclipse", the red dwarf would illuminate from behind the possible atmosphere of the superterrace.

Future telescopes such as the James Webb, which will start operating in 2018, or ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), will be able to deduce the chemical composition of the atmosphere by studying the way the light is filtered by the star.

Researchers have already deduced the composition of the atmospheres of the 55 Cancri superterrace and the Earth-sized exoplanet GJ 1132b with current instruments. 

However, in both the temperature is too high so that there is life. In the list of potentially habitable exoplanets there are currently 50 candidates, 20 of them Earth size and 30 superterras. In total, astronomers have already discovered 3,600 exoplanets in the Milky Way.

Sling TV for LG US WebOS Smart TVs arrives.



Sling TV is finally here for LG US WebOS Samrt TV`s.


First is now available for LG US WebOS Smart Tv`s with WebOS 3.0  2016 models and in a few months for LG US Smart TV`s with WebOS 3.5  2017 models.
More information on the Press Release below:

Sling TV arrives on your big screen with LG Smart TVs .

Ben Weinberger / April 18, 2017 

If you’re looking for an affordable way to watch live TV at home, Sling TV is expanding its service to LG Smart TVs – so you can still cut the cord without losing the home-viewing experience. Now available on most 2016 webOS 3.0 models and available in the coming months on 2017 webOS 3.5 models, Sling TV is the first live over-the-top (OTT) service available on LG Smart TVs, giving viewers more control over how they watch Sling TV.

LG smart TVs join more than fifteen platforms already supported by Sling TV and feature the following highlights:

Stream right to your TV, hassle-free – Now you can watch live and on-demand content from Sling TV on your Internet-connected LG Smart TV, without the hassle of streaming boxes or switching inputs. To add Sling TV to your LG Smart TV, look for the Sling TV app in the LG launcher bar, or press “Home,” select “Go to LG Content Store” and search “Sling.”

Sign up fast – It doesn’t get any easier than turning on your TV and seeing the Sling TV app on your screen. All Internet-connected compatible models of 2016 LG Smart TVs now include Sling TV in the launcher bar for easy access, so signing up is quick and simple. Plus, new customers can sign up right within the app!

Customize your at-home viewing experience – With Sling TV, you can create your own TV experience, just the way you want it. Customize your entertainment on your LG Smart TV by exploring our Extras and get access to the things you care about – whether that’s sporting events, breaking news or popular movies and TV series.

For more information about Sling TV on LG Smart TVs, including compatible models, you can visit help.sling.com. To keep up with the latest announcements, bookmark this blog, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@Sling)!

Ben Weinberger
Chief Product Officer, Sling TV.

Monday, April 17, 2017

LG coming up with more customized apps for the G6 smartphone.



LG Electronics Inc. said Tuesday April 18th,  it plans to expand the number of applications customized for the flagship G6 smartphone, allowing users to better utilize the 18:9 screen and other top-notch features.

LG said it plans to provide 300 applications optimized for the G6 smartphone through its own app store by next month. There are currently around 200 apps available in the market. 

The company said the move aims to allow users to better enjoy digital content, such as games and movies through the 18:9 screen of the G6.

"Compared with conventional 16:9 aspect ratio displays, the 18:9 format offers more viewing space and a more immersive experience when streaming videos and playing games," LG said in a previous statement.

LG said the G6 is the first smartphone that supports both Dolby Vision and HDR technologies, which offer "a wider range of color and luminosity, wherein both the darkest and the brightest areas are more vivid."



Apple and Foxconn may team up to bid for Toshiba chip business


Apple Inc is considering teaming up with its supplier Foxconn to bid for Toshiba Corp's semiconductor business.

Toshiba is also the world's second-biggest flash memory chipmaker.

Apple is considering investing at least several billion dollars to take a stake of more than 20 percent as part of a plan that would have Toshiba keep a partial holding so the business remains under U.S. and Japanese control

Apple was not immediately available to comment. Taiwan's Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, declined to comment. A Toshiba spokesman said he could not comment on specific transactions.

Foxconn, which participated in the first round of the chip sale auction, has been considered a national security risk due to its ties with China. The bulk of Apple's iPhones are made at Foxconn's extensive manufacturing base there.

NHK said Apple wants Foxconn to own a stake of around 30 percent of Toshiba's chip business.

An investment by Apple would be its first direct stake in a major global memory chipmaker, as it seeks to secure a stable supply of key components. Samsung Electronics is the biggest maker of flash memory chips, followed by Toshiba, SK Hynix and U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc.

The NHK report comes as Western Digital Corp, Toshiba's partner and one of the bidders for its chip business, warned this week that the Japanese firm's plans to sell its chip unit violates a joint venture contract. Western Digital wants to be given exclusive negotiating rights.

The auction of Toshiba's prized chips asset is essential to the company's plans to cover multi-billion dollar writedowns at its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse. Those costs have plunged the Japanese conglomerate into crisis, prompting it even to warn that it may not be able to continue as a going concern. 

Toshiba has narrowed the field of bidders for its chip unit to four suitors, sources have said: U.S. chipmaker Broadcom Ltd, which has partnered with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP; SK Hynix; Western Digital; and Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker.

Apple was not part of any of those four bids, according to the person. It's unclear whether Apple participated in the first round of the auction, which sources have said drew around 10 offers.

Shares in Toshiba fell more than 5 percent on Friday, hit by a Bloomberg report that the chip business sale had been temporarily put on hold to address the concerns raised by Western Digital.

"It is not true Toshiba has put the chip sale process on hold," a spokesman said.

TOSHIBA ALTERNATIVE
By the other hand, Toshiba is likely to get the go-ahead from creditors to offer its chip business stake as collateral for new loans and loan commitments worth around 1 trillion yen, people briefed on the matter said.

Access to fresh funds would help tide Toshiba over before it can complete the sale of the chips business.

Some small lenders have baulked at the idea as they have been offered other Toshiba assets as collateral, such as group companies' shares and real estate, but Toshiba's main lenders expect all creditors to approve the move, the people said.

In exchange for the chip unit stake as collateral, Toshiba hopes to get about 300 billion yen in fresh loans and be able to draw down existing loan commitments worth 680 billion yen.

An executive at one of the main creditor banks said it was still uncertain if Western Digital would agree to Toshiba offering its chip unit stake as collateral.

"We would be running risks of being sued by our shareholders if we provide loans to Toshiba without collateral," the executive said.

Reuters.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8: The 20 Greatest British Views. Video.


Samsung has celebrated the greatest British views by commissioning a new photography project from Matthew Cattell – Britain’s reigning Landscape Photographer of the Year which will be shot entirely on a Galaxy S8. 

Selected views named in the study are also being framed by the giant Infinity Display on a 7x3m scale model of the Galaxy S8, which Samsung are taking on tour throughout April to locations which featured in the top 20, including St Ives, London and Stonehenge.






UK: Samsung promotes the Galaxy S8 with sculpture.



Samsung Electronics sets up a Galaxy S8 sculpture (picture below), which is seven meters high and three meters wide, in St Ives, the UK, as part of its marketing activities to promote the new flagship smartphone. (Samsung Electronics)



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

1Q 2017: USA PC Vendor market share: HP 29.1%, Dell 26.4%, Lenovo 14% says Gartner.



HP showed the strongest growth among the top six vendors, as its global PC shipments increased 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017. HP's shipments grew in all regions, and it did especially well in the U.S. market, where it had a 15.9 percent increase in PC shipments (see Table 2).

Dell has achieved four consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. It had PC shipment increases in all regions except the U.S. Dell enhanced its channel program and expanded its share in the large-enterprise market.

The PC industry is also experiencing a price increase. Over two years ago, the price hike was attributed to the local currency deterioration against the U.S. dollar. This time around, the price hike is due to a component shortage.

"DRAM prices have doubled since the middle of 2016, and SSD has been in short supply as well," Ms. Kitagawa said. "The price hike will suppress PC demand even further in the consumer market, discouraging buyers away from PC purchases unless it is absolutely necessary. The price hike started affecting the market in 1Q17. This issue will grow into a much bigger problem in 2Q17, and we expect it to continue throughout 2017."


In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 12.3 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 2.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2016. The U.S. market has experienced a modest decline for two quarters. Much of the decline is attributed to the weak consumer market.

1Q 2017: PC Vendor WorldWide market share: Lenovo 19.9%, HP 19.5%, Dell 15% says Gartner.



Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.2 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 2.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2016, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The first quarter of 2017 was the first time since 2007 that the PC market experienced shipments below 63 million units in a quarter.

The PC industry experienced modest growth in the business PC market, but this was offset by declining consumer demand. Consumers continued to refrain from replacing older PCs, and some consumers have abandoned the PC market altogether. The business segment still sees the PC as an important device, and it's the main work device for businesses.

"While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years. However, there will also be specialized niche players with purpose-built PCs, such as gaming PCs and ruggedized laptops."

"The top three vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — will battle for the large-enterprise segment. The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals."

The competition among the top three vendors intensified in the first quarter of 2017. Lenovo and HP were in a virtual tie for the top spot. Lenovo accounted for 19.9 percent of worldwide PC shipments (see Table 1), followed by HP with 19.5 percent share, and Dell at 15 percent share. Lenovo's growth exceeded the regional average in all key regions except the U.S.

1Q 2017: China smartphone market share : Huawei 24.7%, OPPO 17.6%, BBK/vivo 13.4%




Chinese brands will be busily reducing their component inventories in the second quarter as their total production volume for first quarter fell 26% versus prior quarter

China’s smartphone market in the first quarter was affected by weak demand and uncertainties surrounding the subsidy plans offered by domestic telecom companies. Major Chinese brands lowered their production volume targets and reduced component purchasing during the period as there were additional one to two weeks of inventories for their smartphone products (the whole device).

Going into the second quarter, Chinese brands will be releasing their latest flagship smartphones and replacing older products with this year’s lineups. Chinese brands also recognize that the market is being influenced by the arrival of the next iPhones, so they are going to continue to reduce their component inventories as to prepare for further uncertainties in shipments and sales.

Huawei remained the leader among Chinese vendors and the third largest brand worldwide in the first quarter, even though its production volume declined by about 22% compared with the fourth quarter of 2016. 

TrendForce expects Huawei to return to growth in the second quarter as the brand’s high-end series P10, which features dual-lens camera from Leica, will be officially entering the market. Huawei’s second-quarter production volume is estimated to expand by 16% compared with the first quarter and reach close to Apple’s iPhone volume figure for the same period.

OPPO and Vivo were respectively at the second and third place in the Chinese vendor ranking in the first quarter. In terms of production volume, both brands registered a decline from the fourth quarter of around 30%. TrendForce expects OPPO and Vivo to make a recovery as they continue to develop overseas markets and promote affordable premium devices. For the second quarter, two vendors will increase their respective production volumes by 20~30% over the prior three-month period.

Xiaomi saw no sequential growth in its production volume for the first quarter, though the figure did represent a modest year-on-year growth of 12%. In contrast, Huawei’s, OPPO’s and Vivo’s year-on-year growth rates for the first quarter were respectively 30% and over. According to TrendForce’s estimate, Xiaomi’s second-quarter volume may be more than 10% higher than the prior quarter as the brand rolls out the refresh for its Mi Note series.

Without new products in the offering, Lenovo’s smartphone production volume fell by nearly 30% between last year’s fourth quarter and this year’s first quarter. The first-quarter result also represents a year-on-year drop of almost 20%. Lenovo’s smartphone market share is thus on a decline. TrendForce projects that Lenovo will post single-digit growth in production in the second quarter.

TrendForce points out that Chinese smartphone makers in general will be able to raise their production volumes again in the second quarter as they put their latest flagship devices on the market. However, their home market China has reached a growth plateau. In addition to this, the 10th anniversary iPhone devices are generating a lot of interests and influencing consumer demand. 

Therefore, Chinese brands will have limited room for growth in the future. Those among them that have not establish footholds in overseas markets will be in an especially difficult position.

1Q 2017: Global Smartphone Market Share: Samsung 26.1%, Apple 16,9%, Huawei 11,4% says TrendForce.




Global smartphone production volume for the first quarter of 2017 totaled 307 million units, a drop of 23% from the previous quarter, according to market intelligence firm TrendForce. Smartphone brands, especially those based in China, lowered their production volume forecasts through the first quarter as demand slowed down significantly due to the conventional seasonal effect.

Major brands such as Samsung, LG and Huawei have begun to ship their flagship devices for the year, but the market demand going into the second quarter is expected to remain relatively weak as consumers are holding off their purchases in anticipation of the 10th anniversary iPhone devices that will arrive in the third quarter. 

Smartphone sales will be fairly lackluster until the second half of this year. TrendForce estimates that the global smartphone production volume for this second quarter will register a modest single-digit growth versus the preceding three-month period.

Strong sales of the Galaxy J series made Samsung the only brand posting production volume growth for the first quarter

Samsung’s sales results for its high-end smartphones fell short of expectations in the first quarter as consumers’ confidence in the brand had yet to fully recover from the recall of Galaxy Note 7. 

Nevertheless, Samsung continued to do very well in the mid-range and low-end segments of the market. 

The economically priced, high-performing Galaxy J series sustained Samsung’s shipments and contributed significantly to the expansion of the brand’s overall smartphone production volume. Samsung was the only brand that saw positive growth in production volume during the off season of the first quarter.

Samsung has also released its flagship device for the year Galaxy S8 this second quarter. However, the high-end model is expected to make limited sales contribution because the buzz surrounding the next-generation iPhone devices is dampening demand for products from non-Apple vendors. 

Samsung is expected to post flat growth for its second-quarter smartphone production volume. The S8 devices and the J series, which are contending for market shares respectively in the high-end and the mid-range to low-end segments, will keep Samsung’s shipments relatively stable in the second quarter. For the entire 2017, Samsung is estimated to increase its production volume by as much as 5% compared with the volume figure of 2016.

The total production volume of all iPhone devices for the first quarter of 2017 fell by 36% compared with the previous quarter and declined by 41% versus the same period a year ago. These results actually showed an overall improvement in iPhone sales. 

Apple this first quarter released the “PRODUCT Red” edition of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which can be regarded as a follow-up to last year’s “Jet Black” edition. The use of striking colors has been well received by consumers and helped Apple grab market share. The bold color scheme has also raised awareness about the upcoming release of the 10th anniversary iPhone devices.

TrendForce estimates that the total production volume of all iPhone devices for the second quarter will reach around 43 million units, a decline of 17% from the preceding quarter. Apple will likely to lower the production of existing iPhone models as the company prepares for the launch of the next-generation devices in the third quarter.

Because of the seasonal effect on demand, LG’s first-quarter smartphone production volume plummeted by almost 40% compared with the prior quarter. This was despite that the brand had rolled out the high-end device V20 in the second half of 2016 to help drive shipments during the turn of the year and beyond. Looking ahead, LG’s shipments will benefit from the impending arrival of G6. TrendForce projects that LG’s production volume will reach around 18 million units this second quarter, similar to the result for the same period last year. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 first picture leaks.



According to slashleaks the picture above belongs to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It looks similar to the Galaxy S8 but with the S-Pen.

However the Note 8 may have a 6.4 inch infinity display 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) dual edge curved, 18:9:5 aspect ratio, with no physical home button, Qualcomm  SnapDragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chip, 6GB  RAM, storage up to 256 GB with an external micro SD card, dual-camera, USB-C, 3D Touch, fingerprint, iris and facial recognition biometrics.

If Samsung returns to a September or October release the Note 8 might arrive with the new Android O  OS, instead of Android 7.0 Nougat.


Samsung Galaxy S8 Factory Unlocked Smart Phone 64GB Dual SIM - International Version (Silver)

Item is eligible: No interest if paid in full within 12 months with the Amazon.com Store Card. Apply now here



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