European 2G, 3G, 4G patents from Ericsson used by Unwired Planet in lawsuit
Huawei, Google, HTC, and Samsung have become the targets for two patent infringement lawsuits, filed simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Germany. Unwired Planet, the owner of 2,400 wireless patents it acquired from Ericsson last year, claims a total of six patents have been infringed by the technology company group. Although Unwired Planet has not estimated the possible value of the UK action, the company is seeking at least 30 million euro ($42 million) from the German case.
M2 Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system offers room-filling sound, wirelessly
Kinivo has announced the availability of its M2 wireless speaker system, available for purchase online. The Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system is intended for home or office use, and includes two compact speakers with an active subwoofer. Its design features a black finish with copper accents on its volume controls. Able to connect to one's home entertainment system or workspace equipment, the speaker system can stream audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device, as well as any device that can connected through its auxiliary input. The M2 2.1 speaker system is priced at $70.
Samsung, TSMC may be splitting production duties
Samsung will still be involved in production of Apple's A8 processor, an anonymous Samsung official tells ZDNet Korea. The company has allegedly signed a contract to produce the A8 at its plant in Austin, Texas -- where all other A-series chips have been made -- and is in the final testing stages before mass production. Rumors that Samsung has been having yield problems are "exaggerated claims," the official says, and so the A8 should start rolling off Samsung lines sometime next quarter.
Case shrinks dramatically as Apple, Samsung agree to avoid SEP disputes
The second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, scheduled to start on March 31, took a dramatic turn late on Friday as the two companies filed a stipulation with the court dropping some of the claims and counter-claims to be debated in the second trial. Samsung, perhaps fearing further investigations over its improper use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as legal weapons and bargaining tools, has agreed to drop all SEP claims from the case, leaving it with only two claims on two patents, down from its original five.
Apple likely to appeal portions as well, renew fight for product ban
With surprising speed, Samsung has now officially filed a notice of appeal over the final judgement in the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The last ruling in the case was handed down yesterday, when Judge Lucy Koh ruled in Samsung's favor that sales injunctions on the products it was found guilty of infringing Apple patents with were not warranted in the interests of competition. Apple is likely to appeal that portion of Judge Koh's rulings.
Milk Music offers 200 genre stations, personalization options, 13M songs
Samsung is offering owners of its Galaxy mobile devices in the United States a free streaming music service. Milk Music will let users listen to more than 200 genre-based and ad-free music stations, using a catalog of more than 13 million tracks to generate playlists, with the additional option of generating personal stations based on favorite songs and albums.
iPhone still most popular device
Apple grew its share among US smartphone owners during the last quarter to 41.6 percent, according to new comScore data. Data polled between October and January shows that Apple advanced 1 percentage point. The company's main rival, Samsung, grew ownership by 1.3 points, but remained firmly in second place at 26.7 percent. LG's share rose just 0.3 points to 6.9 percent, presumably on the back of the G2 and the Google-branded Nexus 5.
Fitness tracker filing suggests another Samsung wearable device on the way
Samsung could be preparing to launch a pared-down fitness tracker, following its launch of the Gear Fit last month. A filing on the FCC website for a device called the "S-Circle" comes months after the discovery of a similar filing at the Bluetooth SIG, and suggests the activity tracker could be similar to the S Band heart rate monitor that launched alongside the Galaxy S4.
Company failed to prove harm caused by Samsung patent infringement
A California court has denied Apple a renewed motion it sought for a permanent injunction against Samsung, according to reports. In December 2012, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh made the initial denial of a permanent injunction against 23 Samsung devices. Apple won a partial appeal of the ruling at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the denial of trade dress (design) patents, but handed back an injunction over software patents to Koh for review.
Wal-Mart offering 5c for $29, 5s for $119 with two-year contract
Walmart has reduced prices significantly on the Samsung Galaxy S4 for users signing two-year contracts with AT&T or Verizon. The Galaxy S4 has been reduced to $49, down from $99. A 16GB iPhone 5s has also been reduced to $119, with the iPhone 5c seeing a cut to $29. Additionally, consumers purchasing a Samsung phone with a two-year contract will be given a $50 Walmart gift card.
Code allowed for benchmark manipulation by removing CPU throttling limitation
Samsung may have learned its lesson from the benchmark inflation affair, with a report suggesting the latest software updates from the company gives a more accurate result of a device's capabilities. Code relating to optimizing the processor of the company's smartphones in earlier releases of Android customized for the devices appears to be missing in Android 4.4 updates, which could be a sign it has been removed completely.
Manufacturer allegedly has 'most' orders for logic/power chips
Taiwanese supplier TSMC has already begun manufacturing chips for the next iPhone, claims supply chain sources for a local publication, the Commercial Times. The company is said to have won "most" of the orders for logic and power management chips in the new device. The exact nature of the chips is left vague by the Times, but a Taiwanese website, TechNews, is claiming that TSMC will become the exclusive manufacturer of Apple's upcoming A8 processor.
Court filing points out double-standard in allegations
At the same time as it was accusing Samsung of leaking the same information, Apple publicly exposed the terms of its patent licensing terms with Nokia and NEC, Samsung remarks in its latest Apple v. Samsung lawsuit filing. In October, Apple filed a motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung case, alleging that Samsung's counsel -- Quinn Emanuel -- had inadvertently leaked licensing terms to Samsung executives, giving them an edge in corporate negotiations. In January the the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the latter was never sufficiently proven, and denied sanctions against Samsung, pinning the blame on counsel.
Apple still most successful individual tablet maker
Android ruled global tablet marketshare in 2013, accounting for 62 percent of devices by shipments, according to somewhat questionable data from research firm Gartner. That represents a significant upset, since in 2012 the iPad was in firm control with a 52.8 percent share. Apple, however, continued to do best among individual tablet makers in sales, with a 36 percent share and claimed sales over 70.4 million units -- an increase from a figure just under 61.5 million in 2012.
Upgraded Chromebooks offer Exynos 5 Octa processor, 4GB RAM
Samsung has updated its line of Chromebook devices with a pair of two differently-sized models. The 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch versions of the Chromebook 2 series both offer a similar, textured fake leather lid and stitching motif to that of some Samsung smartphones, with both Chrome OS notebooks said to offer a one-second wake-up and cold booting in under ten seconds.
Software bundle supplied with Samsung Galaxy S5 estimated to be worth $575
Samsung has detailed the free and discounted software and services offered with its new flagship Galaxy S5. The collection, estimated to be worth more than $575 according to Android Central, will include subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek +, LinkedIn Premium, Map My Fitness, Run Keeper, Skimble, Lark, Box, Evernote, and Bitcasa, as well as coupons for Blurb and Cut the Rope 2, among other additions.
Ruling claims Apple's non-SEP lawsuits amount to 'first shot fired'
In a judgement that has bewildered international patent and legal analysts, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has rejected Apple's complaint against Samsung that the latter was using FRAND-pledged standards-essential patents (SEPs) for bargaining leverage and as threat of litigation in order to strike unjust licensing deals. The Korean FTC has essentially said that suing or seeking product injunctions over SEPs is perfectly okay -- if your company is based in South Korea.
Knox 2.0 ships on Galaxy S5, will be included with KitKat upgrades
Continuing Samsung's announcements in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, the Korean manufacturer has updated its Knox security suite to 2.0. The biggest change to the security manager is how it handles Google Play apps -- before the update, apps had to be run in the Knox workspace, with personal and business apps separated. The update combines the two, securing data without the "sandboxing" required previously.
Industry seeks to limit potential for injunctions
Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Google are among a group of 19 businesses and associations that have submitted a letter to the European Union, asking it to implement measures designed to fight patent trolls, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are asking for limitations on product injunctions and/or court proceedings when the validity of a related patent is still in contention. Patent trolls are companies that make no products of their own, but instead generate income through licensing fees and/or lawsuits.
New form follows speculative renderings
After unveiling the Gear 2 on Sunday, Samsung made a surprise announcement--the Gear Fit--during Monday's Mobile World Congress event focusing on the Galaxy S5. The Fit departs from the squarish, chunky form of the first- and second-generation Gear watches, opting instead for a narrow display and focusing on fitness applications. Electronista donned the Fit to see if the sleek design equates to an improved experience.
Android flagship gets marginal enhancements
Following a steady stream of rumors, Samsung finally unveiled its new Android flagship at a Mobile World Congress event. The Galaxy S5 brings marginal improvements over its predecessor, adding a fingerprint sensor and a 16-megapixel camera, though it does not bring any revolutionary new features that were hinted at in early speculation. Electronista checked out the new phone to see if it still delivers.
Interface presented on curved AMOLED display
Samsung has continued its Galaxy introductions with another watch, the Gear Fit, which will be sold alongside the Gear 2 and Neo. As its name suggests, the Fit focuses on fitness features and brings a more compact build than its larger cousins. Central to the new design is a 1.84-inch curved AMOLED display with 432x128 resolution.
New device full HD, 5.1-inch AMOLED display
Moments ago, Samsung President and Chief of IT and Mobile Communications JK Shin showed the Barcelona crowd the new Galaxy S5 smartphone, the flagship phone of its line. The device, in a similar form factor to the S4, boasts a 5.1-inch AMOLED display, enhanced 2,800mAh battery, and greatly improved camera compared to the previous Galaxy S phone.
New device expected to be widely compatible, be powered by Android
A pair of sources have recently popped up claiming that electronics manufacturer LG and Google were teaming up to build out the search engine behemoth's second wearable computing device, in the form of its first smartwatch. The device is expected to be compatible with multiple smartphones, unlike Samsung's first effort in the space, and will be powered by at least an offshoot of Google's Android operating system.
Tizen-powered Galaxy Gear successors are incremental upgrade
Samsung has unveiled two smart watches as successors to the Galaxy Gear, confirming rumors from yesterday. Launched the day before Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy S5, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are updated versions that retains the styling of the original but makes a number of improvements, including switching from running on Android to Tizen, and removing the Galaxy branding altogether.
CEOs, top lawyers met in early February, but could not come to agreement
Ahead of the second patent trial between Apple and Samsung scheduled for March 31 -- which covers a completely different set of patents and is not an appeal of the first trial, which Apple won last year -- the two companies are said to be making efforts at settling their differences rather than going to trial. Thus far -- as before, ahead of the first trial -- the negotiations have not resulted in an agreement, but in a court filing, both companies said they were willing to keep talking.
New smart watches will apparently not use the Galaxy branding
Rumors of Samsung offering multiple models of its smart watch in the future may in fact be true, based on leaked images. A low-resolution image of two follow-up devices to the Galaxy Gear was posted online, followed by a second, higher-resolution version, though it turns out the smart watches may not actually be part of the Galaxy device range at all.
Newspaper states removal due to duplicate article about anti-Samsung film
South Korean newspaper NewDaily Biz has allegedly caved to pressure from electronics manufacturer Samsung over an article about the anti-Samsung film entitled Another Promise. The president of the newspaper, Park Jung-kyu, ordered an article removed that featured information about celebrities funding screenings of the film after complaints surfaced, supposedly from Samsung executives. Texts sent from Park intended for Samsung suggest the electronics company pressed for the article's removal.
Video trailer for Samsung event hints at fitness, photography features
Samsung has released a teaser video for its upcoming Unpacked 2014 Episode 1 event at Mobile World Congress, hinting at a few possible features and updates to the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone. The trailer's release comes at the same time as a leaked image that claims to show the Galaxy S5 will be available in a golden color option when it ships.
Samsung, LG make gains regardless
Of the 121 million smartphones sold in the US during 2013, Apple took home a 45 percent share, according to new NPD Group data. That represents a growth of 1 point annually. Samsung advanced two points though to a 26 percent share, while LG gained 3 points, moving up to 8 percent. HTC and Motorola both saw declines; the former from 10 to 6 percent, and the latter from 7 percent to 4.
Next Samsung smart watch said to use Tizen instead of Android
Samsung could launch multiple new models of the Galaxy Gear smart watch at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. A separate report also claims the electronics giant will also change the software running on the device, away from the version of Android used in the current version and onto the lesser-used Tizen mobile operating system.
Lenovo score drops
Amazon has shot to the top of Rescuecom's latest annual Computer Reliability Report, according to a press release. The company achieved a score of 7,590, vastly outdoing Samsung, which came in second with 768. Rescuecom determines reliability rankings by comparing computer and tablet vendors' marketshares with the numbers of repair calls its Level 3 technicians handle.
Majority of Galaxy S devices will get Android 4.4 update
Samsung has confirmed it will be bringing Android 4.4.2 to a large number of its mobile devices in the United States. The upgrade to Android KitKat, rumored last month, will apparently start rolling out to devices from today onwards, and while the timing will vary between carriers and individual devices, it will continue "throughout the coming months."
Home button-mounted fingerprint scanner will unlock device, launch apps
Two leaks for the incoming Samsung Galaxy S5 suggest it will ship with a fingerprint scanner and a smaller-than-rumored rear camera. The new details, surfacing less than a week before Samsung's launch event at Mobile World Congress, claim the flagship smartphone will use a fingerprint reader built into the home button of the device, in a similar manner to the iPhone 5s.
Android co-creator may be asked to explain development of certain features
During next month's Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple may call Google's Andy Rubin to the stand to testify, according to court documents. Rubin was one of the creators of the Android platform, and would be asked to explain the development of Android features Apple claims infringe on patented content. He may also be asked to speak about "Google documents relating to such development." In March 2013 Rubin left the Android team to work on Google robotics projects.
Company said to be suffering from low production yields
(Updated with LTE chipset claims) Apple has dropped Samsung as a manufacturer of the A8 processor in 2014, a TechNews Taiwan report claims. Samsung is said to be having trouble manufacturing the chip using its 20nm process. TSMC, though, is allegedly capable of meeting Apple demands, and is predicted to take on all A8 production this year.
Claims of copied design said to have damaged Samsung corporate image
Samsung is suing British bagless vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson for claimed damage to the company's image. Stemming from a patent lawsuit from last year, one that was later dropped, Samsung is seeking 10 billion won ($9.43 million) in compensation over accusations that Samsung's "marketing activities were negatively affected" by Dyson's legal action.
Budget Galaxy Core Advance heading to US, Europe in coming months
Samsung will start to ship the Galaxy Core Advance in South Korea from tomorrow onwards, the company has revealed. Initially unveiled in late December, the follow-up to the Galaxy Core Plus and the Galaxy Core is a budget smartphone with a 4.7-inch, 800x480-resolution TFT display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and 1GB of RAM.
Wearable fitness tracker could be purchased for under $100M
Fitness tracker producer Basis Science could be acquired by a major technology company in the near future, according to rumors. A report claims the wearable device manufacturer behind the Basis B1 fitness tracker is in talks with Apple and Google, with a further claim of discussions with Microsoft and Samsung over a possible sale, though not necessarily for a high price.
Google requires pre-installed apps and default search
Information has surfaced about Google's Android licensing agreements that makes the operating system seem not quite as open as the company proclaims. Signed agreement documents with Samsung and HTC that had been previously unreleased have been revealed thanks to the Oracle v. Google case, and puts on display portions of the rules and conditions that come with using the free mobile operating system.
Cut in price of smart watch by AT&T, Best Buy
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has received some cuts in price in the United States, with both Best Buy and AT&T discounting the smart watch. At the same time, more reports are claiming to confirm a successor to the wrist-based device will be revealed at Mobile World Congress later this month, alongside the Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy Tab 4.
Trial due to begin at end of March
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the head of Samsung's mobile division, Shin Jong-Kyun, are said to have met last week in a failed attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, Korean reports say. The meeting came about because of a US court order mandating the two sides meet ahead of next month's trial. Lawyers are said to have met on January 6th to set a framework for the negotiation, which included a Feburary 19th deadline, and the presence of each side's CEO along with three to four in-house attorneys.
Ousted VP Scott Forstall also on list for possible testimony
In court filings on Thursday, both Apple and Samsung have presented their first-draft witness lists to Judge Lucy Koh for the upcoming second patent trial between the two smartphone giants. The trial, which is set to begin March 31, covers different patents and more recent products than those involved in the first patent trial, which Apple won. Among the witnesses for Apple is the company's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, while former SVP of iOS Scott Forstall appears on both Apple's and Samsung's list for possible deposition or testimony.
Box allegedly confirms higher-specification Galaxy S5 rumors
Specifications for what could be the Samsung Galaxy S5 have leaked, in the form of a retail packaging photograph. An image claimed to show details of the internals of the device, expected to launch at Mobile World Congress at the end of this month, with a number of items listed apparently correlating with other specification rumors that recently surfaced.
Including losses from others, Samsung and Apple take 120 percent
In a report that paints a grim picture for mobile phone stock investors, Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt has told clients that "the great moderation of device growth is upon us," excluding China. McCourt believes non-Chinese vendors will see "little to no growth this year," and also pointed out that Apple and Samsung will continue to take more than 100 percent of the profits in the industry (possible when one includes losses from other vendors as negative profit).
Suggests fingerprint tech might be built into screens
Both the Apple iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 -- the latter of which is expected to be announced later this month -- will feature bezelless screens, possibly with fingerprint scanners built in, a source tells the Korea Herald. In the case of the S5, the fingerprint technology will allegedly be limited to the bottom of the screen, where Samsung is also said to be planning to ditch hardware buttons in favor of software controls. The person comments that while doing whole-screen fingerprint scanning may be possible in the later half of 2014, there are still technical obstacles to overcome.
Next Samsung flagship could have flat iconography in user interface
Samsung has hinted at the TouchWiz interface included in its expected Galaxy S5 launch at Mobile World Congress this month. The company's Twitter feed has posted an invitation to the event's live stream, with a collection of nine icons on one side suggesting the latest incarnation of the TouchWiz UI will have a flatter aesthetic than it has previously used.
Wide difference in specification suggests similar launch strategy to iPhone 5s, 5c
Samsung could be preparing two versions of the Galaxy S5 for launch, at its Unpacked Event at Mobile World Congress this month. Recent benchmarks appear to show two different sets of specifications being used for variants of the smartphone, and could potentially lead to a situation where Samsung will offer a high-end model and a further premium version of the same phone at the same time.
Dings Apple attorneys for appealing to patriotism, denies Samsung's motions
The difficult maze that is the US patent battle between Apple and Samsung is sometimes hard to fathom, with a second patent trial (involving different patents) coming up at the end of March while matters left over from the first trial -- and its subsequent retrial on a portion of the damages -- is still being decided. Late on Friday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh -- who has presided over the battles -- made further rulings with respect to the first trial, which Apple won.
DOJ shut down inquiry, claiming that Presidential embargo veto sufficient
Following the ITC-ordered embargo of Apple products and subsequent Presidential veto, the US Justice Department commenced an investigation of Samsung, and its use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as a legal weapon. Declining any action, the Department of Justice is closing the investigation, but noted that Samsung was guilty of abusing SEPs legally, and that it would keep monitoring patent lawsuits filed by the Korean electronics manufacturer.