Tag Archives: samsung

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Could Apple’s $1B patent verdict help it corner market?

It was the $1 billion question Saturday: What does Apple Inc.’s victory in an epic patent dispute over its fiercest rival mean for the U.S. smartphone industry?

Analysts from Wall Street to Hong Kong debated whether a jury’s decision that Samsung Electronics Co. ripped off Apple technology would help Apple corner the U.S. smartphone market over Android rivals, or amount to one more step in a protracted legal battle over smartphone technology.

Many analysts said the decision could spell danger for competitors who, like Samsung, use Google Inc.’s Android operating system to power their cellphones.

“I am sure this is going to put a damper on Android’s growth,” New York-based Isi Group analyst Brian Marshall said, “It hurts the franchise.”

The Silicon Valley jury found that some of Samsung’s products illegally copied features and designs exclusive to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The verdict was narrowly tailored to only Samsung, which sold more than 22 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed used its technology, including the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

But most other Apple competitors have used the Android system to produce similar technology, which could limit the features offered on all non-Apple phones, analysts said.

“The other makers are now scrambling” to find alternatives, said Rob Enderle, a leading technology analyst based in San Jose.

Seo Won-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment said that the popular zooming and bounce-back functions the jury said Samsung stole from Apple will be hard to replicate.

The companies could opt to pay Apple licensing fees for access to the technology or develop smarter technology to create similar features that don’t violate the patent — at a cost likely to be passed onto consumers.

Apple lawyers are planning to ask that the two dozen Samsung devices found to have infringed its patents be barred from the U.S. market. Most of those devices are “legacy” products with almost nonexistent new sales in the United States. Apple lawyers will also ask that the judge triple the damage award to $3 billion since the jury found Samsung “willfully” copied Apple’s patents.

A loss to the Android-based market would represent a big hit for Google as well. Google relies on Android devices to drive mobile traffic to its search engine, which in turn generates increased advertising revenue. Android is becoming increasingly more important to Google’s bottom line because Apple is phasing out reliance on Google services such as YouTube and mapping as built-in features on the iPhone and iPad.

Some experts cautioned that the decision might not be final, noting the California lawsuit is one of nine similar legal actions across the globe between the two leading smartphone makers.

Samsung has vowed to appeal the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Apple’s patents for such “obvious” things as rounded rectangle were wrongly granted. A Sept. 20 hearing is scheduled.

The $1 billion represents about 1.5 percent of Samsung’s annual revenue. Jerome Schaufield, a technology professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute said the verdict wouldn’t upend a multibillion-dollar global industry.

“Samsung is powerful,” Schaufield said. “The company will regroup and go on.”

Samsung engineers have already been designing around the disputed patent since last year.

“We should never count out Samsung’s flexibility and nimbleness,” said Mark Newman, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “This is merely an embarrassment and annoyance to the company that they will have to find ways around.”

The dispute centers on Apple’s dissatisfaction with Google’s entry into the phone market when the search company released its Android operating system and announced any company could use it free of cost.

Google entered the market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, infuriating Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip-off of the iPhone’s innovations. Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011, engaging the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion.

The verdict didn’t faze some iPhone users, who said that they already know Apple phones are superior.

The rivals are “modeling phones based on what they see with the iPhone,” said David Green of Wareham, Mass., finishing a call on his iPhone while waiting to catch a train.

He switched to Apple from a BlackBerry about a year ago, after becoming disenchanted with the reliability and technological features of non-Apple smartphones.

“When I got the iPhone, it worked so well that I told my friends, ‘Now I have a REAL smartphone,’” Green said.

Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials Of 2012

Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials Of 2012

Every year the biggest brands in America spend millions of dollars for a small window of advertisement during the biggest sporting event of the year. From the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld to the growling voice of Clint Eastwood, 2012’s Super Bowl commercials were pretty spot on.

The Coca-Cola polar bears even had me leave at half-time to go grab a drink at the nearby gas station.

And outside of the completely unoriginal Go Daddy ad that runs every year (and lost their shock factor about five years ago), this year’s commercials had a nice mixture of old and new themes. While some commercials like Honda’s “Bueller’s Day Off” might not be relatable to a younger audience, others like the M&M’s “I’m sexy and I know it” ad may have missed an older demographic.

Let’s take a look at my top 10 2012 Super Bowl commercials:

10. Bridgestone – Performance Basketball

Who doesn’t love Steve Nash?


9. Samsung – Thing Called Love

What’s more funny — the commercial or the fact that Samsung thinks reinventing the Palm Pilot is going to be “revolutionary”?


8. Toyota Camry – Reinvented

Is it weird that the DMV was the part I was most excited about?


7. Cars.com – Confident You

What’s not funny about a second head singing disco?


6. Honda CRV – Matthew’s Day Off

While bigger fans of Bueller’s Day Off might put this higher on their list, it gets the No. 6 spot for originality more than anything.


5. Bud Light – Rescue Dog

How many times did we all hear a friend say, “I’m going to train my dog to do that”?


4. Acura – NSX – Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the funniest comedians, ever. And it’s only fitting that Jay Leno is the villain to end the commercial. #TeamCoco


3. Chevrolet – Happy Grad

What’s not exciting about a mini-fridge?


2. M&M’s – Just My Shell

Somehow this chocolate candy keeps me laughing every year.


1. Chrysler – It’s Halftime America

Whose party got real quiet during this commercial? Yeah, I had chills.


Is this list missing any of your favorite 2012 Super Bowl commercials?
Let us know!

CES 2012

The Best Of The Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2012

Another year, another Consumer Electronics Show. Forgive my late “best of” blog; I had to rest a little after this year’s show. Every year I tell myself I’ll have a plan of attack, and every year I find myself wandering way off track and aimlessly between the halls — no bother as it’s hard to turn any corner at the International CES 2012 and not find something incredibly cool.

I didn’t get a look at Snookie or the Beib’s, but I did see some really cool innovations. Here’s a list of the best in the most popular categories.

Ultrabooks

Haven’t you heard? Laptops had to re-brand. At the show this year, it was all about the Ultrabooks; these are laptops that meshed the lines between notebook, tablet and high-powered machine — for around $1,000.

One might not think Lenovo, akin to the clunky ThinkPad, could produce something absolutely elegant in this category. They did. Enter the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. The beautiful machine has a slim but sturdy frame, advanced multi-touch, Windows 8, and … wait for it … the double-hinge design lets you use it as a tablet or a notebook. Pick your poison.

Coming this February is the HP Envy 14 Spectre, equipped with a nine-hour battery life, Intel Wireless Display, HP’s CoolSense technology and premium software, including Photoshop, and a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security. And, by the way, it’s stunning. This Ultrabook is a tad heavier than the others debuted at the show, weighing in at a hefty 3.8 pounds. And its price tag is a smidge heavier, too, at $1,400.

Tablets

Last year was all about tablet-mania at CES. This year, we got to see some serious next-generation goodies.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab really caught my eye as a nice improvement over last year. Samsung is calling their Galaxy Tab 7.7 the thinnest and lightest of Samsung’s tablet line.  It’s the first tablet with a 7.7 inch Super AMOLED Plus display at a 1280-by-800-pixel resolution. The screen is incredible, and gamers will like the vivid lighting and color display. This tablet will only be available through Verizon for now, but here’s hoping that will expand to other carriers by the end of the year.

Android, of course, had a big year again, powering some of the best tablets and smartphones being shown. One example that created quite a bit of buzz at the show was the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. This beauty runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (yum) and is extremely powerful for a tablet. Playing with this, you may realize you don’t need a laptop at all. Asus announced at the show that the Prime will have a 1080p panel to boot, making the display unparalleled. It’s also blazing fast with a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor that will be appreciated by serious business users and gamers alike.

Smartphones

Speaking of Android, smartphones featuring the new Ice Cream Sandwich OS abounded. I was really impressed with Sony’s venture into the smartphone world, launching the Sony Xperia Ion through AT&T. This phone, also a gaming device, has a very nice 720p glass screen and a 12-megapixel camera. Its dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is in there to handle PlayStation games as well as other media, such as music and videos. Right now it’s running on Android Gingerbread, but Sony promises an upgrade later this year.

The LG Spectrum was a great example of something else new this year — HD smartphones. This device also sported a 720p screen but with advanced HD features that make text, images and color on the screen really pop. There’s even an HD-specific app store (HD Angry Birds?). Like the Sony Xperia, right now this slim Spectrum is just running on Gingerbread, but an upgrade soon to ICS is promised by the summer.

For more information about CES 2012, visit cesweb.org.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Three Tablets Ready for Work

In a very short two years the tablet market has lit up like a wildfire and business executives have a plethora of options. The iPad still reigns supreme, with an estimated 80 percent of the tablet market. But that could change very soon with Android’s Honecomb platform, built just for tablets and now available on several new devices from makers like Samsung and Motorola. With more big players entering the tablet market and sales moving through the wireless carriers, soon we’ll have as many to choose from as we do smart phones. And with that, if you feel like the iPad is a bit too game or entertainment focused for your work needs, here are three alternatives that will get the job done.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlaybookMillions of business executives around the world have held their steadfast loyalty to RIM and their crackberries. And it’s easy to understand why. Blackberry was arguably the first line of smartphones built with the executive in mind. Palm may have kicked off this trend, but Blackberry took a very swift lead when it started churning out smartphones for every kind of business user, leaving Palm in the dust. For RIM devotees, there’s the new Blackberry Playbook and it’s living up to its noble name. The user interface is just as intuitive, the design sturdy and elegant, and the browser is top rate. Like the others mentioned, the PlayBook has full Flash-video support. And it has something the others don’t have yet; it can wirelessly send files between computers on the same network. Synching with your Blackberry smartphone is of course a breeze. RIM hasn’t added a video chat feature yet, which may be a hindrance, but you can bet it’s probably not too far behind. It does have a camera though, and can run apps simultaneously for multitasking. Starts at $499 for 16 GB.

Motorola Xoom

Motorola XoomThe Motorola Xoom is building quite the little buzz storm as the first tablet to use Google’s new Android Honeycomb system. That and users really love how fast, cool and powerful it is. It too has Flash support, something that’s becoming more and more of a deal-breaker for business tablet users. It also has a growing list of apps, multitasking, a camera for web chat, and you can transport content from the device to an HDTV — this is a great feature for both home and business user. Presentations delivered through the tab are clear and beautiful, and if you’re on the right network, incredibly fast. This tablet also promises a 10-hour battery life, which can be a lifesaver for the executive who chooses to leave the laptop at home and travel just with the tab. Starts at $599, so not exactly more affordable than an iPad.But user reviews indicate that this tablet is totally worth it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab
This might be the most popular iPad alternative yet, especially for executives who like or need to run Flash. It’s designed to be lightweight, slick, incredibly stylish, and users say it’s as fast as it is pretty. It’s a bit smaller than the iPad, which makes it easier to tote around in a small bag or portfolio. The Galaxy has a camera for both pictures and video, and a front-facing camera for video chat. This can come in handy for video conferencing on the go. The tablet is available through all of the major carriers and starts at just $199. That’s a pretty fair price tag for a tablet that can run loads of great apps, fun entertainment features, and supports your business communications and productivity needs.