Trying to keep pace with Acer in the mobile world is no easy feat, but that's exactly what Samsung has managed to do. According to Digitimes Research senior analyst Joanne Chien, Samsung has closed the netbook shipment gap with Acer and now trails the company by a mere 100,000 units.
Samsung, which reportedly shipped 1.8 million netbooks in the first quarter of 2010, is benefiting from its in-house supply of netbook components at the ready. These include display panels, DRAM, and various chips.
Shipments in Europe have been particularly strong, but Samsung is also making a move in the North America and China netbook markets, in part from partnering with local telecom carriers and pushing new 3G service bundles, Chien says. In the first quarter alone, Samsung shipped 2.6 million notebooks of all varieties, which is more than Acer (1.9 million) and Asus (1.5 million).
Samsung said it plans to pony up for independent reviews following reports that toxic materials used in to make chips might have caused some its employees to get cancer. Even though government investigations conducted in 2007 and 2008 found no problems at the Samsung plants, the chip maker said this week that 22 of its employees who worked at its plants had been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma. Ten of them died of cancer between 1998 and 2010.
"We are deeply sorry about the loss of love ones... and we've actively cooperated on epidemiologic investigations, which concluded there were no leaks of radiation," Cho Soo-in, president of Samsung's memory division, told reporters. "But I feel we should have done this (communicated with the public) in the first place to stop speculation from growing."
The chip production lines in which the 22 workers served and later developed illnesses have since been converted into chip test lines and LED production lines. These lines occasionally receive visitors, including those from high-profile politicians, all of which must wear full-body dust-proof attire.
Samsung this morning introduced the Korean market to its AMOLED Beam (SPH-W9600), the company's second projector phone and successor to the Haptic Beam (SPH-W7900).
The AMOLED beam comes equipped with a 3.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera, terrestrial DMB connectivity, Bluetooth, HSDPA, DivX support, and of course a built-in WVGA projector. According to Samsung, the AMOLED beam is capable of blasting an image up to a maximum screen size of 50 inches. It's also 1.5 times brighter than the Haptic Beam, Samsung claims.
So far this one's only being launched in Korea with no word on whether or not it will ever see the light of day in th U.S. market. A more likely candidate for a Stateside launch is Samsung's upcoming Android-based Beam projector phone codenamed Halo. Samsung showed off Halo during the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, which at the time came configured with Android 2.1 with a TouchWiz 3.0 skin.
Several industry heavyweights issued a joint press release to announce the creation of the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI) to accelerate WiMAX 2 development. Companies on board with the initiative include Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Dequans, XRONet, and ZTE. The group will collaborate with the WiMAX Forum, an industry organization that promotes and certifies WiMAX products.
WiMAX, otherwise known as 4G, is a wireless technology that promises peak data rates of more than 300Mbps, lower latency, and increased VoIP capacity. Sprint and Clearwire are two of WiMAX's biggest proponents in the U.S.
The new WiMAX 2 specification is based on the IEEE 802.16m standard, which builds upon 802.16e by adding new capabilities without sacrificing backwards compatibility. This is expected to be completed by the second half of the year, the companies said.
Samsung today revealed a pair of all-in-one PCs, the U250 and U200, both of which will take advantage of Windows 7 by featuring multi-touchscreen displays.
Details are a little slim at the moment, but according to one source, the U200 will come with a 20-inch display with a 1600x900 resolution, Intel Pentium T440 dual-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz, 2GB of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce G310M graphics with 512MB of dedicated video memory, which should be enough for some light gaming.
The U250 stretches the screen real estate to 23 inches with full HD support (1920x1080). It will also come with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor, 500GB of storage, and the same GeForce G310M graphics as the U200.
Samsung is pretty confident that this whole 3D craze is much more than just a temporary phase. So much so that the electronics maker is absolutely certain it will reach its goal of selling two million 3D LCD TVs around the world in 2010, and probably more, according to Samsung Taiwan president Smile Kim.
Kim says his company is planning to launch 46-inch and 55-inch 3D LED-backlit models in the Taiwan market next month for about $4,100 and $5,950, respectively. Both models will include two pairs of of 3D glasses and free 3D movies, though Kim didn't say how many.
Kim also talked up the overall specifications of Samsung's 3D LED TVs, including high contrast ratios, energy savings up to 50 percent, Internet access, and connectivity options to other electronics, such as handsets, notebooks, and more.
Those of you waiting for prices to come down will have to be patient. Kim added that Samsung typically drops prices of its products no more than twice, and that the company's LED-backlit TVs won't see much change in 2010.
Following a brief power outage at one of Samsung's production bases in Kiheung on Wednesday, there was some concern over what impact it would have on the company's production. Looking to put everyone's mind at ease, Samsung says the one hour blackout will not have a significant impact.
That's good news in what's already a tight DRAM market. The blackout hit Samsung's 12-inch Fab 13 and Fab 14 facilities, which are mainly responsible for DRAM and NAND flash production. Fab 13 churns out about 120,000 wafers every month, while Fab 14 pushes out about 130,000.
This isn't the first time a power outage has rocked Kiheung. In 2007, a serious blackout forced Samsung to temporarily shut down six of its production lines, most of which wreaked havoc on the company's NAND flash products.
Samsung is trying to maneuver itself into a position of prominence in emerging device segments. After having announced plans to enter the increasingly crowded e-reader market this spring, it now plans to lend to the bustle in another burgeoning segment: the tablet/slate PC market.
According to an APC Magazine report, which quotes a high-ranking executive, Samsung will enter the tablet market in the second half of 2010. Philip Newton, the director of Samsung Australia’s IT division, told the magazine that the new tablet will be a consumer product unlike its Q1 UMPC, “a very niche product for a vertical market.”
You are not alone feeling underwhelmed by the iPad, especially given the hype it has generated. Newton made no attempts to smother his disliking for the hype surrounding the iPad, which he dubbed "a glorified MID (mobile Internet device)."
“I do feel that that slate-type platform has legs but I think the legs need to be far more powerful, for example an Atom-based product which has far greater flexibility, not to mention inputs and outputs. This has more potential than an iPad,” Newton told the APC Magazine. Going by Newton's comments, Samsung's perception of a tablet is that of a second computer rather than just a fun device that ships with ephemeral joy.
Like it or not, 3D is destined for your living room, and there's a race to get there first (just ask Panasonic and Best Buy). But how much can you expect to plunk down on a fancy new 3D television set?
Samsung answered that question today by announcing the availability and pricing info for its next-generation lineup of LED HDTVs, including several 3D-capable units. The least you can expect to pay for 3D, at least for a Samsung set, is $2,000, which buys you a 40-inch HDTV. Pricing goes up from there, all the way to $7,000 for a 55-inch set due out in April.
"Our commitment to innovation has always been strong. We’re not only delivering elegant design and eco-friendly energy consumption, but we’re adding a new dimension to superior home entertainment through a broad lineup of 3D LED TVs," said John Revie, vice president of Home Entertainment for Samsung Electronics America. "We are passionate about this year’s LED TV lineup as we once again raise the bar on technology innovation by delivering a superior TV experience and leadership in the HDTV space."
While Samsung announced 27 new models in all, 8 of them will come with built-in 3D (C7000, C8000, and C9000 series). All of these include Samsung's Real240Hz refresh rate technology and are compatible with major 3D format standards, the company said.
See here for a full list of details and new models.
Samsung on Thursday said it plans to launch a new line of multimedia "powerhouse" R80 series notebooks at Best Buy, both online and offline, on March 7th. The sub-$1,-00 notebook line will come with Blu-ray capabilities and Nvidia GeForce graphics.
"Best Buy continues to be an important retail partner for Samsung, and we’re excited to offer a range of notebook and netbook options to our customers that deliver exceptional craftsmanship and performance," said Todd Bouman, director of product marketing at Samsung Electronics Information Technology Division. "True to Samsung’s unique, customer-focused design aesthetic, these mobile PCs are flexible enough to be used as mobile devices or desktop replacements for all-day use."
There will be three models in all -- R480 ($730), R580 ($830), and R780 ($930) -- all of which come built around Intel's Core i3/i5 platform. The flagship 17-inch R780 unit will include 4GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics, a 500GB hard drive, DVD burner, 1.3MP webcam, Wi-Fi, and Windows Home Premium 64-bit. Interestingly, there's no Blu-ray drive on the higher end model, which is offered only on the 14-inch R480 and 15-inch R580.
Samsung has also started selling its N210 netbook in Best Buy stores, which comes with an Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, a 250GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter Edition. This one sells for $380.