Samsung Galaxy S3 hits 10 million sales mark early
by Steven Musil
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Handset maker's chief had predicted the Android-powered smartphone would sell 10 million units by the end of July.
Samsung's chief executive predicted last month that sales of the Galaxy S3 would hit 10 million by the end of July and it appears to have passed that milestone a little early.
Shin Jong-kyun, the president of Samsung's information technology and mobile communication division, told reporters that the Android-powered smartphone surpassed the 10 million sales mark but did not reveal specific sales figures, according to the Yonhap news agency. That translate to about 190,000 Galaxy S3s sold every day for the past two months.
Samsung's flagship handset, which available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, is one of the most sought-after smartphones on the market. Last month, Sprint announced that "overwhelming demand" had forced the carrier to delay the handset's June 21 launch.
However, keeping it on retailers' shelves has been a bit of a battle. The phone has been swept up in a patent battle between Apple and Samsung, with the iPhone maker attempting to secure an injunction against U.S. sales of the device. However, that effort was tabled due to court docket overload.
The Galaxy S3, which offers a dual-core processor, a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution, has also been the target of an Apple injunction attempt, but that effort was tabled last month when Koh ruled there were already too many issues to consider. CNET awarded the Galaxy S3 an Editors' Choice rating, earning four stars out of five. Reviewer Jessica Dolcourt said that the handset is "an excellent, top-end phone," and includes "high-performing hardware and creative software features."
LG Display Workers Charged Over Samsung Mobile Technology Theft
By Saeromi Shin
Six employees of LG Display Co. (034220), the world's second-largest flat-panel maker, have been charged over theft of technology from Samsung Mobile Display Co.
The six leaked or stole Samsung Mobile's organic light- emitting diode technology and business secrets, according to an indictment filed with Suwon District Court in South Korea. The accused include two former Samsung Mobile employees.
Samsung Mobile requested LG Display formally apologize and take steps needed to prevent reoccurrence, the company, merged with Samsung Display Co. this month, said in an e-mail today in response to questions. LG Display systematically took Samsung's OLED technology and core staff to overcome its own shortcomings, according to the e-mail.
The information obtained is widely known in the industry and isn't considered a trade secret, LG Display said in a separate e-mail. Seoul-based LG Display said it plans to take legal action against Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), for defamation.
LG Display rose 1.8 percent to 23,100 won as of 11:46 a.m. in Seoul trading, while Samsung Electronics advanced 1.1 percent to 1,165,000 won. Samsung Display isn't publicly traded.
OLED televisions are as thin as 4 millimeters (0.2 inch) and produce sharper images than liquid-crystal-display models. Shipments of OLED TVs may surge 62-fold to 2.1 million sets in 2015 from 34,000 in 2012, according to an estimate by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc.'s iSuppli.
How to Delete/Clear Browsing History on Chrome for Android and iOS
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Chrome web browser for iOS is released some days back and now it has become one of the most popular app downloaded from the App Store. The popularity of this browser has risen since then. Chrome for mobile is available for two of the most popular platforms – Android and iOS, but for Android, Chrome is only available for devices with Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich and above. This means that Chrome can be used only on devices like Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC One V and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which runs on Android 4.0. Like most browsers, Chrome also lets you view and clear your browsing history, but sometimes things can get a little tricky. Let's learn how to delete/clear history on Chrome for mobile.
Clear Browsing History on Chrome for Android
Chrome for Android doesn't offer any such option from where you can delete the browsing history. That's why, just type "chrome:history" in the omnibox (the address bar). This also works on the desktop version for Chrome. This should open your complete browsing history.
If you want to delete a particular website (URL) then tap it to select that URL and then tap on "Remove selected items". Of course you can select multiple items and then remove them altogether from the history. But if you want to remove/clear your entire history, then tap on "Clear all browsing data".
Clear Browsing History on Chrome for iOS (iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone)
Typing "chrome:history" in the omnibox won't work on Chrome for iOS. It should have worked as it works on all other platforms, but strangely this trick doesn't work on iOS for now. To clear browsing history, open Chrome and tap on menu button next to address bar. You'll now be able to see various options, just tap on "Settings" and then "Clear browsing data."
Changes ring in the smartphone market
By Gao Yuan
Four out of the top five best-selling mobile devices in China were manufactured by Chinese companies, data from Sino Market Research Ltd showed in April. Chinese smartphone makers have managed to dominate the low- and middle-end market over the past several years. Provided to China Daily
Chinese companies look to cheaper end but suffer lower profit margins
Chinese smartphone manufacturers are taking more than half of the market share in China but find it hard to increase their profit margins, while the entry of newcomers will make competition more intense, industry insiders said.
In April, four out of the top five best-selling mobile devices in China were manufactured by indigenous Chinese companies, data from Sino Market Research Ltd showed. The top four local brands took more than 40 percent of the total sales volume in the market.
South Korean electronics maker Samsung Electronic Co's smartphones topped the best-selling list in April in the nation, selling more than 2 million smartphones, data from Sino showed.
"Chinese smartphone makers have managed to dominate the low- and middle-end market over the past several years but large numbers of buyers are price-sensitive and only willing to spend a little money in purchasing mobile phones," said Henry Lin, chairman and co-chief executive officer of NQ Mobile Inc, the world's largest mobile security provider.
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Only a few Chinese smartphone makers are in the high-end market. Lower priced cellphones usually have narrow profit margins.
"Apple Inc took only about 2 percent of the market share in the smartphone market but it took more than 80 percent of the profits," said Lin,
He added that high-end cellphone makers are willing to pay a higher cost in boosting innovation and user experience because their customers are expecting the best product performance.
The profit statement for the smartphone industry shows a more difficult situation for Chinese makers. Samsung and Apple Inc's products hold 99 percent of the profit, while local brands have to compete with other overseas manufacturers for the remaining 1 percent of profit, Southern Metropolis Daily reported, citing research released by Huabao Securities Co.
Moreover, overseas cellphone giants are targeting the Chinese market as the nation's smartphone penetration rate remains at about 10 percent.
In March, Nokia Corp introduced its first phone that runs on Microsoft Inc's Windows Phone operating system to the Chinese market. The move was believed to be a signal that the Finnish cellphone maker was trying to maintain its hold in the country's mobile phone market.
"The only way to change the situation in the Chinese market is to introduce more great products," said Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia.
Most of the local brands are focusing on producing lower-price devices - costing about 1,000 yuan ($159) each. Sales were boosted by contract phones. High-end cellphone makers are concentrating on lifting user experience because their customers seem to worry less about the price of the product.
"China has great potential for generating about 1 billion smartphone users over the next several years," said Lin, adding that one user will have more than one device at the same time, creating an even larger market for mobile device makers.
High-end brand makers seem to find it easier to sell their devices in China.
In April, China's smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp sold 150,000 phones in just 12 minutes as it launched the seventh round of an online sale.
The company makes high-end performing smartphones at affordable prices.
The company's phones are priced at 2,000 yuan. More than 1.65 million units had been sold by April since its debut in late October 2011, said a Xiaomi spokesman.
A number of Chinese Internet companies started to go mobile this year, their first incursion into the smartphone market.
In May, the Chinese Web search engine Baidu Inc teamed up with Sichuan Changhong Electric Co, China's home appliance maker, to promote low-end smartphones. The model was sold for less than 900 yuan.
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The e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd introduced its first smartphone based on a self-developed operating system this month. The price of the new gadget was priced at 999 yuan, the same as a bluetooth earphone for an iPhone.
On the same day, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, an Internet-based IT firm, also released a slightly higher priced smartphone, Bambook. The highest priced for the device is 1,499 yuan, enough to buy two Samsung Galaxy SII phones.
Qihoo 360 Technology Co, an Internet security company, also announced it would enter the mobile phone market this year.
Despite the growing competition, industry insiders believe there is still a lot of room for newcomers as the market remains young and heavily relies on the development of the mobile Internet, an even younger industry.
"The silver bullet for Chinese competitors to survive is to find a segment of the market and make specialized devices for that particular sector," said Lin.
Cellcom Lowest Signals Need for New Markets: Israel Overnight
By Shoshanna Solomon and Sridhar Natarajan
Israel's mobile phone market has grown enough to ensure sufficient competition in the industry and the government is encouraging companies to enter the fixed- line and cloud computing markets to augment revenue.
Cellcom Israel Ltd. (CEL) (CEL), Partner Communications Co. (PTNR) and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. (BEZQ), the country's three largest mobile phone operators, lost more than $15 billion in market value this year as government measures boosted competition in the industry and reduced costs for customers. Cellcom fell 5.9 percent to 21.3 shekels, or the equivalent of $5.32, the lowest level on record at the close in Tel Aviv today. Partner declined 6.9 percent to 12.8 shekels, or $3.20, the lowest since February 2003.
"The number of players in the market is the number we wanted," Eden Bar Tal, the director general at Israel's Ministry of Communication, said in a telephone interview on July 19. "Players who want to increase revenues should do this by providing additional services and not by taking advantage of a lack of competition."
The three stocks are the worst performers on the benchmark TA-25 Index this year as the measure lags behind the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index. (CCMP) The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index (ISRA25BN) of the most-traded Israeli companies in New York recorded the largest weekly rise this year as Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (MLNX) (MLNX) surged 35 percent.
The government required service providers cut fees by disbanding inter-network call charges and opening up the sector to new competition.
Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. (HOT), along with Golan Telecom Ltd., moved into Israel's mobile-phone space on May 14. Golan, partly owned by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, began offering unlimited wireless services for less than 100 shekels, or $24.96, per month.
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The products compete with packages of Cellcom, Partner and Bezeq, which controlled 95 percent of the Israeli mobile-phone market, according to data from the Ministry of Communication.
"Pricing wars are heating up," Michael Klahr, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., wrote in a an e-mailed report on July 16. New operators like Golan Telecom and Hot will grab 7.7 percent of mobile phone subscribers from the incumbents within a year, a number that is higher than initial expectations, Klahr said.
Bezeq, the Tel Aviv-based company, which operates in the mobile phone industry through its unit Pelephone, gained 3 percent to 4.17 shekels, trimming this year's loss to 39 percent.
'Dynamic and Developing'
Cellcom, Israel's largest mobile phone provider, fell to the lowest level on record last week in New York as Partner, the nation's second-largest, capped its biggest five-day slump in two months. The company's New York shares have fallen 62 percent to $3.39 this year.
Rami Levi Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (RMLI), Israel's third-largest supermarket operator, began offering mobile-phone services in December in cooperation with Pelephone. The company said last month that the service now has 56,000 customers and that it's in talks with other operators to provide cheaper wireless packages to consumers.
"The telecom market is dynamic and developing all the time," Bar Tal said. "Players who want to increase revenue should do this by providing additional services and not by taking advantage of a lack of competition." Israel has a mobile phone subscription penetration rate of 130.2 percent compared to 130.5 percent for Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.
Israel's TA-25 Index (TA-25) has dropped 1.2 percent this year, lagging behind an advance of 8.4 percent for the S&P Index and 12.3 percent on the Nasdaq Composite Index.
Israel, whose population of 7.8 million is similar in size to Switzerland, has about 60 companies trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the most of any nation outside the U.S. after China. The country is also home to more startup companies per capita than the U.S.
The Bloomberg Israel-U.S. index recorded the biggest weekly advance since December 2011, led by gains for Mellanox, the largest company on the gauge.
Mellanox fell 3.4 percent to 361 shekels, or the equivalent of $90.12, in Tel Aviv today. The New York-traded shares reached $89.24 last week.
The company more than doubled its second-quarter sales over the same period last year and its third-quarter revenue forecast was 50 percent more than analysts' estimates.
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