Tag: samsung

Most top vendors suffering

220px-Dramaten_mask_2008aNumber crunchers from Gartner group claim that four of the top five IT vendors suffered a fall in sales last year.

Out of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and IBM, only Google grew its revenues.

In its Gartner, Global Top 100: IT Vendors report, the number crunchers attempted to rank the top 100 largest tech companies based on estimates for their revenue across IT and component market segments.

Despite seeing estimated IT revenue fall from $235 billion to $218 billion year on year, Apple topped the rankings, well ahead of Samsung, which saw its haul shrink from $142 billion to $1391 billion.

Google grew its revenues from $74.9 billion to $90.1 billion, while Microsoft shrank from $88.1 billion to $85.7 billion and IBM fell from $79.6 billion to $77.8 billion.

Gartner said its figures will help illustrate the shift in the industry from the ‘Nexus of Forces’ to digital business as the driver of IT purchasing.

For those who came in late, or find it difficult to care, the Nexus of Forces, Gartner’s term for the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information. It believes it has propped up many of the IT market’s leading players – including Apple and Google – in recent years.

Gartner vice president John-David Lovelock said that the needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs were focused on growth and are more focused on realising business outcomes from their IT spend, Big G said.

We are not sure about this, people have been saying that sort of thing since the 1990s when we started reporting on the IT market. In fact, it was the reason so many companies moved to outsourcing.

Digital giants, like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent will leave their mark in 2017, Gartner said.

These seven companies will be involved in 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in by 2020, Gartner predicted.

“Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers. Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants,” Lovelock said.

Samsung returns its IP PBX customer support back to Korea

samsung-hqIn a move designed to give better support for its UK channel, Samsung is returning its IP PBX product assistance back to Korea.

Providing support directly from the Korean HQ should make life for the firm’s UK distributors easier.

Warren Hampton, general manager of networks for Samsung UK, said that the old support model had too many steps which slowed down the high-quality support the company wanted to offer.

He said that Samsung looked at ways of streamlining its service and come up with a new initiative that delivers support direct from its Korean HQ team.

“We strongly believe this will give our UK distributors the control and autonomy needed to offer the best product support to our channel,” he added.

Recent market analysis from WinterGreen Research found that the SIP based IP PBX market was heading towards a value of $6.5 billion worldwide by 2023 and cloud based set-ups were enabling vendors to offer PBX products as part of their digital transformation sales pitch.

Tablets could be the next big channel package

tabletBeancounters at IDC seem to think that the channel could make big money flogging tablets to corporates.

While tablet sales in the consumer market are deader than Steve Jobs, corporates can find a use for the bigger models.

IDC predicted that because of the mobility attractions of the hardware tablets will be a key investment for  firms undergoing digital transformation next year.

Premium devices drove tablet growth in the third quarter, with IDC recording a 13.1 percent increase year-on-year in the commercial sector. Overall there were 8.2 million tablets shipped in Western Europe in Q3, which represented a 6.7 percent decline on the same period last year.

Although volumes are dropping the unit value has held firm, which has offset the impact of the declines, as more customers pay for higher quality products. The share of detachables in Western Europe priced above €600 increased from 26.5 percent in 3Q15 to 52.2 percent a year later.

Daniel Goncalves, research analyst, IDC Western European personal computing, said that detachables are proving to be particularly attractive to firms, particularly those with the performance and security to meet enterprise standards, are continuously gaining traction and this is boosting demand for premium devices.

“Surface Pro and iPad Pro success comes from them being a notebook replacement, as well as the quality of the devices. The devices are increasingly adopted across consumer and commercial segments, and while in the consumer segment both appeal to the ‘prosumer’ user, in commercial the adoption varies depending on the activities of the end user. iPad Pro is more popular for creative types of jobs, whereas Surface is more likely to be adopted by top executives, partly due to Windows’ strong legacy in enterprise.”

Apple, Samsung and Lenovo dominate the market but Amazon has seen its unit growth increase year on year by 166.5 per cent thanks to the very competitive pricing of its Kindle tablet range.

Acquisition happy Exertis looks for a happy Medium

medExertis, which last month wrote a cheque for its Hammer acquisition wants to buy audio visual outfit Medium.

The move is part of Exertis’s cunning plan to snap up complementary businesses. Medium will strengthen its position in the AV market. It will get a much wider range of products and is being pitched to provide resellers with access to a complete solution.

Medium has been around for a long time and supplies a broad range of AV products, including projectors, interactive displays and digital signage from vendors including LG, NEC, Samsung and Panasonic.

The channel player employs 40 and has a turnover of £32 million and flogs its gear to 800 AV resellers across the UK.

Last month Exertis added the storage and server expertise of Hammer to expand its business coverage.

Ian Sempers, Medium MD said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Exertis. The continued convergence of the IT and AV market means we will be in a great position to service a sector that extends beyond traditional AV solutions. Our expertise and technical knowledge in this market combined with Exertis’ wider product portfolio will provide a compelling proposition for resellers and vendors.”

Apple and Samsung push for carrier agnostic Sims

Smartphones

In what might end up being the end of an era in telecom packages the major smartphone makers Apple and Samsung are moving to force suppliers to telco agnostic Sim cards.

The technology first appeared in the iPad Air 2, which ditched typical carrier-linked SIM cards in favour of an Apple one that let users switch freely and easily between multiple providers.

Now it seems that both Apple and its rival Samsung want to bring that technology to the cut-throat smartphone market.

Apple and Samsung have joined the push to standardise these newer embedded electronic SIM (e-SIM) cards with the GSM Association, which represents many worldwide carriers.

Anne Bouverot, the GSMA’s chief executive, said that involved companies are all working on an agreement for a standard to drive the technology, and make it work across carriers and countries. The report says that carriers expected onboard include Orange, Vodafone, AT&T, Hutchison Whampoa, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, and Telefónica.

This will be good for consumers but not so hot for the carriers and their channel partners who could lock the technology into their own networks, making it difficult for users to escape. Changing suppliers is a headache if you have to swap sim cards and it also means global roaming is easier.

Telcos have also been pretty slow when it comes to providing updates for Android resulting in fragmentation.

In a statement, the GSMA said that the majority of operators were on board. The plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016.

It will be a year after that before any products hit the shelves.

Qualcomm to outsource Snapdragon to Samsung

qualcomm-snapdragonUS chipmaker Qualcomm is going to outsource the production of its new Snapdragon 820, to Samsung so ti can take advantage of its 14nm node process.

Samsung has demonstrated its 14nm as a proven process as showcased by the performance and power consumption of its14nm EXynos 7420 CPU developed in house.

Digitimes Research thinks that since Samsung has also been aggressively striving for orders with competitive pricing, other players such as Nvidia, AMD and MediaTek are believed to have a high chance of shifting part of their orders to Samsung.

It warns that this could affect the global mobile AP market in 2015 and 2016.

Qualcomm was forced to accelerate the roadmap of its mobile AP following a mishap of the Snapdragon 810 and is also being pushed to fabricate its Snapdragon 820 via Samsung’s 14nm process as the development of a similar advanced 16nm process by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company (TSMC) is currently lagging Samsung’s 14nm node by about one quarter.

With Samsung shifting to use in-house developed APs for its high-end models such as the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 instead of Qualcomm’s APs, Qualcomm is expected to see its high-end AP shipments halve to 100 million units in 2015. As a result, the Snapdragon 820 might be used as a bargain chip persuading Samsung to purchase more of its high-end Snapdragon chips.

Qualcomm is likely to outsource up to half of the Snapdragon 820 chips to Samsung in 2016, attracting other chip suppliers to follow suit.

Google buys Samsung 3D NAND

edefectoSearch engine Google is rumoured to be signing up for Samsung’s 3D NAND in its data centres in a move which is similar to its rival’s Amazon. 

Samsung’s 3D NAND is currently used in Kaminario K2 all-flash arrays and is being tipped for MacBooks.

Neither Google nor Samsung have commented but if it pans out then it means that stacking 32 layers of planar 2D NAND built using 39-30nm-class cell geometry in a die, is the way forward. It also means that Samsung must have a better price and performance advantage over other flash fabricators.

Samsung’s 3D NAND is generally available while its rivals are still at the sampling stage with GA late this year or in 2016. SanDisk is sampling a 48-layer chip, but Samsung is expected to match that soon.

Since it has signed big supply deals with Amazon, Apple and Google, Samsung clearly has its foot in the door. It also means that these big data centre operators will be buying less planar NAND than otherwise from the other flash suppliers.

Samsung and LG call off war of the washing machines

washing machine warSamsung and LG have called off a daft and expensive legal war which was sparked by a set of damaged washing machines.

The two companies said in a joint statement they would withdraw all complaints against each other and ask legal authorities to refrain from meting out harsh punishments in cases going on.

LG appliances chief Jo Seong-jin was indicted by Seoul prosecutors on a charge of deliberately damaging Samsung washing machines at a retail store in Germany last September. Samsung asked for a criminal punishment. Prosecutors have not declared what penalty they would seek against Jo.

The pair were creating much merriment as they argued over how many washers were damaged by Jo and other employees. LG published surveillance video footage to YouTube in an attempt to prove Jo’s innocence, and Samsung sent in its forensic teams to prove the video was heavily doctored.

“Both sides have agreed to avoid legal action and resolve any future conflicts or disputes through dialogue and mutual agreement,” the companies said.

It is not clear if this is the legal equivalent of agreeing to step outside or to have a dual between executives. We just hope that if there are duals that they are televised when Game of Thrones is finished.

The agreement extends to Samsung Display and LG Display. Samsung Display employees were indicted in February on charges of stealing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display panel technology from LG Display. Samsung Display has said the technology was widely known in the industry and that the indictment was excessive.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ office declined to comment on the case against the LG Electronics appliances chief, and the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office declined to comment regarding its case against the Samsung Display employees

If it did it would probably be something like “big multinational companies will be big multinational companies.”

AMD relies on partners for R&D gap

mind the gapChipmaker AMD is relying more on its partners to come up with the latest R&D ideas, just like it did in the 1990s.

Decrypted tech claims that over the past few years AMD has been slowly cutting back on the money it puts towards R&D.

Instead it has tried to narrow the focus of the money they spend on new technology where it thinks it will get the most return.   So in the last quarter AMD spent less than $238 Million on R&D and his been building R&D partnerships to overcome budget challenges.

AMD started rebuilding its R&D partnerships in late 2010 and this allowed it to cut back on the amount they need to bring to the table to create new technologies. This is a repeat of what it did in the 1990s when the outfit used Samsung, IBM, Motorola, and Texas Instruments helping them to change the way they built CPUs.

This was how it could build the Athlon CPU with only a small R&D budget and engineering team.

This time AMD is betting big on HBM and also on integrating ARM processors inside their APU/CPUs and apparently it is letting its R&D partners do a lot of the heavy lifting money-wise while they provide many of the engineering minds.

If it pays off, AMD gets its technology on the cheap.  However in the worst case it could hack off some big names in the in the industry like Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba etc. and walk away with new technology to sell to others.

The plan is high risk as it could leave AMD with nothing it can sell, while its partners have some natty tech that AMD helped them build.

 

 

Biometrics come into their own

fingerprintBiometric systems, particularly in relation to smartphones, look like they’re going to boom during this year.

ABI Research, a market analysis company, said that worldwide revenues for such systems will deliver $3.1 billion this year.

The systems will be targeted not only at home users but at authentication systems for the enterprise market, according to ABI.

Algorithms linked to cloud computing are set to give better user authentication, with applications for mobile payments, bring your own device (BYOD) systems.

The research said that the leaders in the biometric pack are Apple and Samsung but there are other players who are introducing voice and face recognition into the equation.

We reported elsewhere today that Apple is rumoured to be brining out three more iPhones this year that incorporate fingerprint recognition.

Dimitrios Pavlakis, digital security research analyst at ABI, said: “Biometry is moving rapidly into the security ecosystem and its adoption by CE devices will jumpstart this phenomenon.”

 

Samsung to regain smartphone lead

samsung-hqA research company believes that Samsung will be the number one smartphone vendor in 2015, taking the lead over Apple.

Digitimes Research (DR) said the top 10 vendors this year will be Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Huawei, Xiaomi, Microsoft, TC, Coolpad and Oppo.

HTC, which only a few years ago was top of the smartphone pops, doesn’t appear to get a lookin at all. Last week, Cher Wang, chairman of HTC, took on the CEO duties too, displacing former CEO Peter Chou to head up a new products division at the Taiwanese firm.

DR estimates that Samsung will ship over 330 million units and Apple will manage to ship 230 million.

But Lenovo appears to be edging upwards in the smartphone league. This year it will ship 64 million units, while LG will ship 67 million units, just ahead of Huawei.

DR estimates that Android phones supplied by the top 10 Android smartphone vendors willl represent over 70 percent of the total units shipped this year.

 

Samsung signs up Mediatek

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picGiant Korean chaebol Samsung has signed a deal with Mediatek to supply application processors for smartphones, with shipments set to start in the second half of this year.

So says Digitimes Research, which said that currently there is a hole in Samsung’s lineup. Samsung currently uses Marvell and Spreadtrum to provide applictation processors.

But apparently Samsung is unhappy with its two suppliers because it’s claimed supply and support was indifferent.

Mediatek actually competes with Samsung in both the Chinese and Indian markets but it seems that because of the range of the products it supplies.

But it seems a deal has been satisfactorily struck.

It is something of a puzzle that Samsung feels it needs to turn to Mediatek because the Korean company has advanced semiconductor fabrication equipment and expertise of its own inhouse.

But Digitimes Research speculates that Samsung still needs help from outside, particularly in the wearable marketplace.On the face of it, the Mediatek partnership is intended to bolster Samsung’s low end range of phones, but it may also begin to supply its high end models too.

 

Freescale-NXP merger challenges the giants

renesas-chips (1)The proposed merger of Freescale and NXP will result in a semiconductor company that challenges the giants.

That’s according to chief analyst Dale Ford at IHS, who said the merged entity will be in the top 10 semiconductor companies in the world, outranking other giants such as Broadcom and ST Microelectronics.

He said the strength of uniting Freescale and NXP will be shown in automotive applications particularly.

NXP, formerly the semiconductor division of Dutch giant Philips, used to compete in the same market, said Ford.

But the new top 10 will look fundamentally different. By revenues, Intel will remain number one with 14.14 percent, followed by Samsung, Qualcomm, SK Hynix, US DRAM firm Micron, Texas Instruments and Toshiba.

The merged company will be second place in the micro controller market, and it will also have significant share in the digital signal processing (DSP) market, much used in consumer applications.

IHS noted in its report that Freescale is practically an exclusive source for power architecture processors – and although its share in this market is tiny compared to ARM and X86 semiconductors, it has big wins in the military aerospace market.

Light sensor market set to boom

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picMEMS and sensors will be integral to the internet of things (IoT).

And today a report from analyst firm IHS said that the main beneficiaries of the boost in light sensors will be Samsung, Apple and Chinese original equipment manufacturing.

By 2016, revenues fro this sector will amount to $767 million, and Samsung is the main driver of the growth. Last year Samsung accounted for 43 percent of light sensor spending in smartphones.

Apple accounts for 19 percent of the market in 2014, mostly because it currently uses customised and high performance parts.

But Chinese OEMs spending in 2014 represented 23 percent of the market, mostly on low cost components as companies vied to produce inexpensive smartphones which actually have started competing with Samsung on the smartphone front.

As far as suppliers of the sensors go, AMS shipped 744 million units in 2014 and was the top vendor with design wins from both Apple and from Samsung.

Maxim shipped 132 million light sensors last year – most of them components in Samsung flagship products

But there are some contenders on the block, including Sitronix, Elan and Everlight, said IHS.

Sound systems face wireless revolution

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 14.24.31Home audio systems are undergoing a sea change because of the popularity of mobile phones, according to a report from IHS Technology.

The analysts said that shipments of connected audio products – that includes wireless speakers, wireless sounders and connected AV receivers will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 88 percent.

In unit terms, that’s a rise from 1.5 million units in 2010 to close to 66 million units in 2016.

Paul Erickson, a senior analyst at IHS, said that its penetration of tablets and smartphones and streaming services including Spotify that are creating a shift in peoples’ perception.

“Consumers are seeking ways to wireless play audio from their mobile devices on speakers in the room they’re in, in multiple rooms in a household, and on speakers carried with the. This need will drive strong global growth in wi-fi and Bluetoosh connected speakers over the next few years,” he said.

Major players in the market will include Samsung, LG, Sony, Bose, Denon, and DTS.

And while prices for connected multi-room speakers are high, they will still be adopted by many people. Sony, Samsung and LG are all expected to put serious marketing bucks into the equation.