Samsung has reportedly decided to move up the launch of its new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone following a positive reaction and strong first week sales from Apple’s new larger iPhones 6 models. The KoreaTimes cited an unnamed employee in Samsung’s marketing department who said “the positive reaction from consumers to those two Apple devices prompted us to launch the Note 4 earlier than previously scheduled.”
Korea Times (via Fortune) is reporting that Apple and Samsung are in talks designed to settle all future patent disputes out of court. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller believes that a settlement will be reached “very soon.”
“Things should come to an end during the summer. Apple doesn’t have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions,” Mueller said …
In an interview with the Korea Times, Samsung executives respond to Apple’s recent announcements in typical Samsung fashion. In order to better compete with Apple in China, Samsung confirmed that it would focus more on the huge Mainland market.
For example, the company says it has received clearance from Chinese authorities to sell TDD-LTE devices, to enable Samsung to offer phones that work on the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile. As a result of “changing market situations” (i.e. Apple), Samsung is accelerating its schedule for releasing these Chinese-friendly devices. Apple is expected to announce a partnership with China Mobile to sell the iPhone before the end of the year.
In addition, Shin, Samsung’s co-CEO announced that Samsung’s next Galaxy phones will feature 64-bit architectures, to rival the A7 in the iPhone 5s.
“Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” Shin said, adding he followed the media coverage of Apple’s new iPhone.
Samsung says ‘iPhone would be impossible without its patents’, following ITC’s decision to reevaluate Apple patent case
We reported earlier this week that the ITC would reevaluate its Sept.14 ruling that Apple did not infringe four Samsung patents, with a final decision—that could potentially block imports of the device to the U.S—expected by January of next year. Today, head of Samsung’s mobile and IT division Shin Jong-kyun had some words about the case, following the ITC’s decision to reevaluate the initial ruling. Korea Times quoted Shin as claiming it would be “impossible” for Apple to make handsets without “Samsung-owned wireless patents” and that a new trial or the case is a possibility. Here’s the full quote:
The truth never lies. Without Samsung-owned wireless patents, it’s impossible for the Cupertino-based Apple to produce its handsets,’’ said Samsung’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun in a brief meeting with local reporters on his way to the company’s main office in downtown Seoul, Wednesday.
“As you know, Samsung is very strong in terms of portfolios of wireless patents,’’ the executive added.
`”The re-evaluation decision by the USITC doesn’t necessarily mean Samsung is better-positioned for the fight with Apple. But Samsung will do its best,’’ Shin told reporters.
“Samsung’s legal team is effectively responding to this fight. Yes, a new trial for the case is a possibility,’’ the executive stressed. Shin’s remarks were confirmed by its spokesman Park Han-yong.
Shin is the same Samsung executive who made comments earlier this month regarding the recent Apple and HTC settlement, claiming Samsung had no intentions of negotiating or entering a similar agreement with Apple. Today’s report noted that Shin once again confirmed Samsung is not currently in negotiations with Apple related to “a possible peace treaty.”
While most are expecting Apple to include the rumored LTE connectivity in the upcoming next-gen iPhone, we get word from Korea Times today that Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT have revealed they are currently in talks with Apple to carry a new iPhone on their LTE networks:
SK Telecom and KT are in talks to offer long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity on Apple’s next handset, tentatively named the iPhone 5, officials from the companies said Wednesday…The two local telecom companies are authorized Korean partners to sell the American firm’s i-branded devices here. The smallest carrier LG Uplus is unable to sell Apple’s products as it doesn’t own a suitable frequency.
According to an official at KT, which is home to roughly 1.4 million users compared to SK Telecom’s 4 million LTE subscribers, the carrier is in talks “with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone.” Although it’s unclear exactly what type of negotiations might be taking place, we know the current third-gen LTE iPad supports only AT&T, Verizon, and a few Canadian carriers on 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands. If the talks are indeed to discuss launching an LTE iPhone with support for the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, it’s importnat to note that many other markets also operate over those bands including Australia and parts of Europe.
A couple days ago, we updated you on the ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple with Reuters reporting Samsung chief JK Shin was considering cross-licensing options ahead of court moderated settlement talks between Apple and Samsung scheduled for May 21. While it is not much of a surprise to anyone following the case, The Korea Times reported today that a Samsung official confirmed no agreement was reached during the two-day summit:
Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung and Shin Jong-kyun, head of the firm’s mobile division, left Seoul Sunday for the United States to meet Apple CEO Tim Cook by order of the Northern District Court of California, in an attempt to settle the patent fight without going into costly legal proceedings… The two technology giants could find no clear agreement through the talks, according to a Samsung official. Apple Korea declined to comment on the matter.
According to the report, the ongoing patent battle and trial in California is scheduled to continue June 27. As for what was discussed at the meeting…
According to foreign media outlets, both technology giants held firm on their assertions: Samsung continued to demand Apple pay royalties for using its wireless transmission technology and Apple insisted that Samsung copied its design in various products.
The Korea Times reports that Apple may consider moving its displays over to OLED from LCD. Samsung, Apple’s biggest display provider, is ramping up OLED production to the point where it could meet Apple’s demand numbers.
Thanks to the increased volume, chances have been raised to ship Samsung’s OLEDs for Apple’s iPads and even iPhones, said unnamed Samsung executives on the condition of anonymity.
`So far, Apple has questions over an output commitment and product volume as Samsung’s OLED business isn’t on full track. But chances have risen to break the wall,’’ said one Samsung executive.
Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying $7.8 billion of components such as memory chips and LCDs in 2011. This year, it will buy around $11 billion of Samsung parts despite the deepening legal battle between the two companies.
Apple is using LCDs in most of its i-branded products. It’s known that Apple previously denied Samsung’s offer to use OLEDs as the American firm believes OLEDs have some “technological problems.’’
Apple spokesman Steve Park declined to comment.
I am sure Apple’s display requirements are not just demand-based. Those “technical problems” mentioned above likely include “Retina”-type pixel density resolutions and similar color accuracy of LCD. While OLED displays are often impressive to look at, sometimes they are oversaturated in color. Moreover, I have never heard of a model that nears 300PPI.
(Samsung Flexible Super AMOLED Display Pictured)
An artist’s rendition of iPhone 5.
The Korea Times reports that Samsung “is seeking a complete ban” on the iPhone 5 sales in Korea – even before the handset is even released, let alone officially announced. Local carriers KT and SK Telecom have so far sold about 3.1 million iPhones in the country. The paper quotes an unnamed Samsung senior executive:
Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.
Another Samsung executive is “quite confident” about “a big breakthrough” provided Samsung wins in Germany, adding that “so will other envisioned efforts against such products as the iPhone 5”. The report goes on to mention that iPhone sports an LG Display-made screen, LG Innotek’s eight-megapixel camera, Samsung-made NAND flash and A5 chip and an NFC chip for wireless payment.
The twist in this case, of course, is the fact that Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying displays, NAND flash memory and custom-built A4 and A5 chips for its products. It has been reported that Samsung may soon lose its iOS device processor contract as Apple turns to rival TSMC.
The manufacturing relationship means Samsung gets information about the innards of Apple’s non-released devices months before the actual manufacturing ramp up. This early access to Apple’s designs could have led Samsung to move with the iPhone 5 ban in Korea ahead of Apple’s official launch. On the other hand, Apple did not accuse Samsung yet of abusing its manufacturing contract to rip off Apple’s upcoming devices with its own products.