iPhone X Should Push Apple Ahead of Samsung as World’s Largest Smartphone Maker

Apple will dethrone Samsung as the world's largest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2017, on the strength of strong iPhone X demand, according to Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce.


TrendForce estimates Apple will record 19.1 percent market share in the quarter, encompassing the busy holiday shopping season, which would be slightly ahead of Samsung's estimated 18.2 percent market share. Chinese vendors Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi are expected to round off the top five.


The feat would be impressive as always given that Samsung sells over a dozen different smartphone models, including some as cheap as $200, whereas Apple primarily caters to the high-end market beyond the iPhone SE for $349.
Samsung is expected to slightly scale back the production of its high-end models in the fourth quarter as the brand is seeing the sales of its smartphones being squeezed by the strong demand for Apple's latest iPhone devices. TrendForce estimates that Samsung's fourth-quarter total volume will come to 77 million units, a 5% drop from the third quarter.
The fourth quarter has always been the strongest for Apple, given it launches new devices in the fall, allowing it to surpass Samsung in the year-ago quarter as well. Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ were released back in April, so sales momentum is likely beginning to decline for those devices.

Meanwhile, market research firm Canalys estimates the iPhone 8 Plus outpaced the iPhone 8 last quarter with shipments of 6.3 million units and 5.4 million units respectively. Canalys said the iPhone 8 Plus is the first Plus-sized iPhone to out-ship its smaller 4.7-inch sibling in a single quarter.

Apple doesn't disclose iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis, but chief Tim Cook said the iPhone 8 Plus has "gotten off to the fastest start of any Plus model," which came as "a bit of a surprise" to the company.

As far as iPhone X sales are concerned, Apple's guidance of $84-$87 billion revenue for the holiday quarter suggests that demand for the device will be significant. Apple should easily beat its all-time record for revenue in a single quarter of $78.4 billion, achieved in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Galaxy S9 Will Likely Still Have Rear Fingerprint Scanner as Apple Rumored to Ditch Touch ID Entirely

Samsung has decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of its next-generation Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to continued technical difficulties, according to South Korea's The Investor.


Instead, the fingerprint scanner will likely remain positioned on the back of each device, just like the current Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models.

Fingerprint scanning is one of three biometric options for unlocking the Galaxy S8 alongside iris scanning and facial recognition. Samsung says all three solutions provide "defense-grade security" around the clock.

Shortly after the Galaxy S8 launched, however, videos surfaced showing that Samsung's facial recognition system could be fairly easily duped with a picture of someone. The iris scanner was also tricked with contact lenses.


In fine print on its website, Samsung admits that its facial recognition system is "less secure than pattern, PIN, or password." Facial recognition can't be used to authenticate access to the Galaxy S8's Secure Folder or Samsung Pay.

"It is important to reiterate that facial recognition, while convenient, can only be used for opening your Galaxy S8 and currently cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder," the company told Ars Technica in March.

Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, or even on the side or back of the device, but the company's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio suggested it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face ID.

Samsung's facial recognition system is unquestionably less secure than Face ID, which uses significantly more advanced 3D facial recognition and has a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of being duped by a stranger, according to Apple.


Apple is so confident in Face ID that it is planning to abandon Touch ID in favor of the TrueDepth system on all of its new iPhone models released in 2018, according to well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple says Face ID only has a possibility of being less reliable for identical twins, siblings who look alike, and children under 13 years of age, the latter because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed.

Apple's Face ID security paper explains how the TrueDepth camera projects and reads over 30,000 infrared dots to form a depth map of your face, along with a 2D infrared image. This data is used to create a sequence of 2D images and depth maps, which are digitally signed and sent to the Secure Enclave.

Face ID is designed to confirm user attention, ensuring a lower false match rate, and mitigation against both digital and physical spoofing.


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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Samsung’s Appeal in Years-Old ‘Slide to Unlock’ Lawsuit With Apple

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected Samsung's request to appeal a $119.6 million verdict awarded to Apple in an over six year old "Slide to Unlock" patent infringement lawsuit, according to Reuters.


In October 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstated Apple's award after a lower court found Samsung to have infringed upon several popular iPhone features, including slide-to-unlock and autocorrect.

The lawsuit, from 2011, is so old that slide-to-unlock isn't even used on iPhones anymore. Unlocking an iPhone on iOS 10 or later requires using Face ID on iPhone X, and Touch ID or pressing the Home button on older iPhone models.

This case is not to be confused with another 2011 lawsuit in which Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design with its Galaxy-branded smartphones. A damages retrial in that lawsuit is scheduled for next May.


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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Samsung’s Appeal in Years-Old ‘Slide to Unlock’ Lawsuit With Apple

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected Samsung's request to appeal a $119.6 million verdict awarded to Apple in an over six year old "Slide to Unlock" patent infringement lawsuit, according to Reuters.


In October 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstated Apple's award after a lower court found Samsung to have infringed upon several popular iPhone features, including slide-to-unlock and autocorrect.

The lawsuit, from 2011, is so old that slide-to-unlock isn't even used on iPhones anymore. Unlocking an iPhone on iOS 10 or later requires using Face ID on iPhone X, and Touch ID or pressing the Home button on older iPhone models.

This case is not to be confused with another 2011 lawsuit in which Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design with its Galaxy-branded smartphones. A damages retrial in that lawsuit is scheduled for next May.


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New Samsung Galaxy Ad Makes Fun of iPhone X’s Notch, Lack of Stylus Support, Dongles, and More

Samsung today posted a new video on its YouTube channel called "Samsung Galaxy: Growing Up," which follows the life of a young man as he purchases Apple devices over the course of ten years, and then decides to switch sides to Samsung on the eve of the iPhone X launch. The 1-minute commercial features the song "I'm Moving On" by Chyvonne Scott.

The video begins at the iPhone launch in 2007, and subsequent years show the main character facing storage issues when taking a photo and waiting in long lines under poor weather conditions for the latest iPhone. At one point, he drops his iPhone in water and has to place it in a bowl of rice, while his girlfriend's Samsung device continues to function.


Other points made in the ad center around the iPhone's lack of stylus support, as well as its need for dongles after the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7. The ad ends with the character's decision to turn off his iPhone and purchase a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, and he eventually walks past a line of people waiting for the iPhone X -- including a guy with a notch-like haircut -- without joining them.

The latest Samsung smartphone is the Galaxy Note 8, which launched in September with dual rear cameras, a 6.3-inch AMOLED 'Infinity Display', and a new and enhanced S Pen with improved pressure sensitivity. Many publications favorably reviewed the Note 8 prior to its launch, agreeing that the lack of an explosive battery made Samsung's newest device a step up from the Note 7.


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Samsung Wants to One-Up Apple’s Genius Bar With New WeWork ‘Care Centers’

Samsung is teaming up with co-working startup WeWork to create customer "Care Centers" that are similar to Apple's own in-store Genius Bars, reports Fast Company.

Apple's Genius Bars are designed to allow customers to receive technical support and repairs on a range of Apple products, including Macs and iOS devices. Samsung's upcoming Care Centers will work in the same way, but Samsung wants to one-up Apple with a better waiting experience.

A WeWork facility in New York

At one of three pilot service centers opening in WeWork locations in Detroit, Miami, and New York later this month, Samsung customers can come in and get help for their products while also using the WeWork facilities.

Because it's a co-working space, WeWork gives customers a place to get their own work done while also enjoying fresh coffee and fruit-infused water.

Samsung Electronics America VP of design Mick McConnell tells Fast Company that he came up with the idea while waiting for an hour and a half at a Genius Bar at an Apple retail location. "I was like, there's gotta be a better way to do this," he said.
"Service is a hassle. I know I'm going to have to take time out of my day to do it," says McConnell. "The concept was, if I take time out of my day, at least I can sit in a conference room, make phone calls, and do work, as opposed to sitting in a busy room with a bunch of angry people."
Samsung is taking over a portion of each WeWork location and installing a steel and glass box with shared tables and Samsung workstations. The space features a midcentury-inspired design that matches up with the rest of the WeWork facility, but with special touches like higher-end furniture and Samsung video conferencing systems.

Image via Fast Company

Samsung Retail Design project director Danny Orenstein told Fast Company that the aim is to make Samsung customers "feel welcome" at WeWork while also making WeWork subscribers feel comfortable working in the Samsung space in an effort to expand Samsung's potential customer base.

Along with offering Care Centers at select WeWork locations, Samsung also plans to host after-hours talks with creatives in WeWork spaces, much like Apple does at its own retail stores.

Samsung will use the WeWork spaces to experiment with what works and what doesn't work before considering expanding to additional locations. WeWork currently has 235 locations, and should the project pan out, it could mean a major expansion of Samsung customer support locations.

At the three centers opening this month, Samsung will offer "tier 1" support, letting customers get help with using features on their phone. Staff can also send Samsung equipment to repair centers, but there are no on-site repairs available.


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Apple vs. Samsung Lawsuit to Drag Into Seventh Year With Retrial Scheduled Next May

The never-ending legal battle between Apple and Samsung over the design of the iPhone will likely stretch into its seventh year of proceedings.

Apple's original complaint accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design

Lucy Koh, the judge who has been presiding over the case since it began in April 2011, has scheduled a five-day retrial between May 14 and May 18 of next year, according to court documents filed electronically on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Koh ordered that a new trial is required to determine whether Apple's $399 million award for Samsung's design patent infringement should stand or whether a new damages trial is required.

The lawsuit dates back to 2011, when Apple sued Samsung for infringing upon the iPhone's patented design, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen.

Apple's damages were awarded based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones, but Samsung argued that the amount should be a percentage based on individual components like the front bezel or display.

The case progressed all the way to the Supreme Court, which recommended that the U.S. Court of Appeals reconsider the damages amount that Samsung owes. The trial has since returned to the U.S. District Court in Northern California where it began.

Apple's statement about the case from last December:
Our case has always been about Samsung's blatant copying of our ideas, and that was never in dispute. We will continue to protect the years of hard work that has made iPhone the world's most innovative and beloved product. We remain optimistic that the lower courts will again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right.
Apple was initially awarded nearly $1 billion in damages, but a significant part of the decision was reversed in 2015, leaving Samsung owing $548 million. The amount was eventually lowered to $399 million, and now it may be adjusted again.


Tag: Samsung

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Apple’s Lengthy Lawsuit With Samsung Over Copying iPhone’s Design Headed Back to Court

Apple's over six year old legal battle with Samsung for copying the iPhone's design is headed back to court yet again.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh on Sunday ordered that a new trial is required to determine whether Apple's $399 million award for Samsung's design patent infringement should stand or whether a new damages trial is required.


Apple and Samsung have until Wednesday to propose a retrial date, according to intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller, but he believes there is about a 30 percent chance the two parties could settle out of court before then.

The lawsuit dates back to 2011, when Apple successfully sued Samsung for infringing upon the iPhone's patented design, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen.

Apple's damages were awarded based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones, but Samsung argued that the amount should be a percentage based on individual components like the front bezel or display.

Last December, the U.S. Supreme Court recommended that the U.S. Court of Appeals reconsider the damages amount that Samsung owes.

Apple's statement at the time:
The question before the Supreme Court was how to calculate the amount Samsung should pay for their copying. Our case has always been about Samsung's blatant copying of our ideas, and that was never in dispute. We will continue to protect the years of hard work that has made iPhone the world's most innovative and beloved product. We remain optimistic that the lower courts will again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right.
Calvin Klein, Dieter Rams, and over 100 other top designers backed Apple last year, arguing the iPhone maker is entitled to all profits Samsung has earned from infringing designs. They cited a 1949 study stating that more than 99 percent of Americans could identify a bottle of Coca-Cola by shape alone.

Apple was initially awarded nearly $1 billion in damages, but a significant part of the decision was reversed in 2015, leaving Samsung owing $548 million. The amount was eventually lowered to $399 million in subsequent retrials.


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Samsung Announces ‘Bixby 2.0’ Designed for Smart Home Products Like Refrigerators and TVs

Samsung today announced the second-generation version of its Bixby voice assistant, seven months after Bixby was first unveiled ahead of the launch of the Galaxy S8.

According to Samsung, Bixby 2.0 is a "fundamental leap forward for digital assistants" and a "bold reinvention of the platform," designed with the aim of making Bixby available on "any and all devices."


Bixby 2.0 will be available on smartphones, TVs, refrigerators, home speakers, and other connected technology products. Bixby 2.0 will be "open," allowing developers to choose how users interact with Bixby in their services.

Samsung says Bixby 2.0 features enhanced natural language capabilities to support more natural commands and complex processing, so it can "really get to know and understand" who you are and who members of your family are.

Bixby, a Siri competitor, was designed to be deeply integrated within apps, differentiating it from other AI-based assistants like Siri and Cortana. Samsung ran into trouble with Bixby early on, though, and was not able to include the assistant in the English versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ due to performance issues.

While Bixby performed well in Korean, its English voice recognition capabilities lagged behind, and so Bixby was not added to the Galaxy S8 and S8+ models in the United States until July, three months after the devices launched.

Galaxy S8 owners have complained that Bixby can be confusing and frustrating to use, and a lack of enthusiasm for the feature has even caused Samsung to implement a feature that allows the dedicated Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 to be disabled.

Bixby was built using technology Samsung acquired from Viv, an AI assistant that was developed by some of the creators originally responsible for Apple's Siri.

Samsung is launching a private beta program with the Bixby SDK, available for select developers.

Tags: Samsung, Bixby

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Samsung CEO Resigns as Tech Giant Forecasts Record Profits

In a surprise move, Samsung announced on Friday that its CEO and vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun is to step down. Kwon was expected to take a bigger role at the company after de facto leader J Y Lee was arrested and jailed for bribery, but his surprise resignation has deepened concerns of a power vacuum.

"It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off," Kwon said in a letter sent to employees. "As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company to start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry."
The news came on the same day that Samsung forecast record third-quarter operating profit thanks to its thriving memory chip business, which has allowed the South Korean tech giant to brush off a punishing period in 2016 in which the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 recall made the biggest tech headlines.

Semiconductors were Samsung's top earner in the three months through June, making a record 8 trillion won ($7.19 billion). While memory chips were responsible for most of Samsung's profits, its mobile phone business was given a boost by its new Note 8 smartphone which received the company's highest number of pre-orders.

The timing of the announcement and Kwon's references to an "unprecedented crisis" suggest that Samsung is gearing up for major changes to its operational structure and internal culture following Lee's corruption scandal, but the move also increases uncertainty as to who will fill the gap that Kwon leaves.

Kwon has essentially functioned as the number two in Samsung Group, being not only the chairman of the board and a board director, but also head of the components business and Samsung Display. Also known as "Mr Chip", Kwon was instrumental in making Samsung's semiconductor business a global leader.

"We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments," continued Kwon in the letter. "We are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now."

Kwon said he will see out his term as chairman of the board and board director until March 2018, and will remain in his two other roles during the same period.

Tag: Samsung

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