Samsung Company Profile

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Company Profile

by Michael Gariffo

Docid: 00021349

Publication Date: 2101

Report Type: VENDOR


Samsung is an international technology conglomerate providing IT products
for the consumer electronics, home appliance, semiconductor, construction,
petrochemical, and insurance sectors among others. It is headquartered in
Seoul, South Korea, but has a large presence in dozens of other countries,
including the US, Brazil, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and
Spain. Samsung Electronics, the
firm’s flagship company, manufactures a range of consumer devices and is the one
of the leading manufacturers of smartphones and mobile phones worldwide.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: Samsung
*US Headquarters
85 Challenger Rd
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660 US
(800) 726-7864
(864) 752-1632
Type of Vendor: Advanced technology, Semiconductors, Other
Service Areas:
Employees: 489,000

*Samsung’s global corporate headquarters
is in Seoul, South Korea.


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History and Milestone Events

Samsung, now a multi-national technology conglomerate, was founded in Taegu,
Korea, in 1938. Over its nearly 80 year history, Samsung ascended to rank among
the top technology product manufacturers, being carried along by the rise of inventions and
products across a number of sectors.

The company moved its corporate offices to Seoul
in 1947. By the 1960s, Samsung had formed its first electronics-related divisions
including Samsung
Electronic Devices, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Samsung Corning, and Samsung
Semiconductor & Telecommunications.

1980-1990s: Growth in Technology Hardware Sectors. The company expanded into the
telecommunications hardware industry in 1980 through its purchase of

Hanguk Jeonja Tongsin. Although Samsung initially limited itself to
producing only switchboard systems, the groundwork was laid for the
infrastructure that would grow to encompass other products including home
phones, fax systems, and eventually mobile phones.

In 1982, Samsung introduced its first PC – Korea’s SPC-1000 –
and by 1983 it began manufacturing personal computers. The company launched
Samsung BP Chemicals in 1989. Samsung underwent reorganization in the 1990s to cut costs
and in 1993 the
company spun off ten subsidiaries and merged its remaining operations into three
market areas – electronics, engineering,
and chemicals.

At the same time, Samsung spent the early and mid-90s laying the foundation
for the technology that would make it one of the largest technology
manufacturers in the world: In 1991, the company developed its first mobile
handset; in 1993, it
built the word’s first digital video disk recorder (DVD-R); and in 1997, it built
some of the world’s lightest PCs, to that point.

World’s Largest Mobile Smartphone Manufacturer. Today, Samsung is the world’s largest mobile
manufacturer by unit sales ahead of Chinese phone maker Huawei, and Apple.1 While Samsung was a major player
in the mobile phone market almost from its inception, the company truly came
into its own during the smartphone revolution. Specifically, Samsung’s Galaxy S
and Galaxy Note line of Android-based smartphones have become so popular in
their respective categories that even Apple, arguably the creator of the
smartphone genre itself, has been forced to imitate some of Samsung’s design
decisions. Their position in the market has led Samsung to be Apple’s equal,
locked in a constant battle for the top spot in the smartphone arena.

Samsung Electronics vs. Apple. Samsung’s dominance in the
smartphone and mobile phone space have made it a prime target for litigation by
other companies against its designs, hardware, and technology.
The most high-profile of these seemingly never-ending court battles has been
Samsung’s war with Apple over several of the patents integral to nearly all
smartphones currently on the market. The duo have been at each others proverbial
throats in one court case or another since 2011, with judgments having come down
on both sides of the argument since then. In late 2015, Samsung offered to pay $548
million to settle its ongoing dispute with the iPhone maker. Even
this proposal, however, proved not be the last word on the matter, as Samsung
included a caveat that it can recover its payment should future
court decisions fall in its favor. To that end, the company managed to
get the US Supreme Court to hear its case, asking the highest court in the land to
weigh in not just on its spat with Apple, but also on the way design patent
cases in the US are decided in general.2 In December 2016, the Court threw
out the judgment against Samsung, which was rendered by a lower appeals court, as it was based
on the entirety of the profits earned from the offending devices. In the Justices’ collective
opinion, a defendant should not be expected to relinquish all profits from a device when only
a portion of the component parts were derived from patents that it did not own. To
determine a new judgment, the case was handed back to the US Court of Appeals for
the Federal Circuit in Washington, which is tasked with calculating a new figure for the
damages Samsung should pay Apple. The near-absurdity of the length of this
case reached new heights when, in October 2017, Judge Lucy Koh ordered an
entirely new trial for the sole purpose of determining whether the previous
judgment against Samsung should stand, or an entirely new trial to
determine damages is required. In an almost comical turn of events,
following about seven years worth of legal wrangling, the two companies
reached a settlement in 2018. The terms of the settlement were not

Although mobile phones are
Samsung’s current bread and butter, the company is still an international conglomerate that owns a diverse array of
companies, covering a wide range of industries including electronics, semiconductors,
construction, petrochemicals, and insurance among others.

It is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, but has a large presence in dozens of
other countries, including the US, Brazil, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Russia, and Spain.

  • 1938 – Samsung is founded by Lee
    Byung-chull as Samsung Sanghoe, a small trading company dealing primarily in
    food products. 
  • 1947 – Samsung moves its headquarters
    to Seoul, South Korea. Later in the year, the Samsung Trading Corporation is
    founded, creating the company that would become Samsung C&T.
  • 1967 – Samsung enters the electronics
    market, opening a factory in Suwon to produce its first black-and-white
    television sets. 
  • 1979 – The company diversifies its
    electronics offerings, expanding its product catalogue to include microwave
  • 1980 – The acquisition of Hanguk Jeonja
    Tongsin allows Samsung to move into the telecommunications industry, with
    its earliest efforts focused on switchboards.
  • 1985 – Samsung builds its first
    television manufacturing plant in New York.
  • 1987 – Company founder Lee Byung-chull
    passes away. Following its founder’s death, Samsung is split into four
    companies, one of which goes on to become the Samsung Electronics the world
    knows today.
  • 1992 – Samsung’s chip making business
    grows to become the second largest in the world behind Intel, a ranking
    which stands to this day.
  • 1995 – Developments at the company in
    LCD (liquid crystal display) technology set the stage for it to become one
    of the world’s largest and most successful producers of desktop and mobile
  • 2000 – Samsung opens a lab in Warsaw,
    Poland, which pioneers much of the early technology that goes into Samsung’s
    set-top boxes, digital televisions, and, eventually, mobile phones.
  • 2007 – Samsung sees the first in what
    would become a long string of financial scandals when former Samsung chief
    lawyer Kim Yong Chul claims he was coerced to participate in bribery and the
    fabrication of legal evidence by the company’s chairman at the time.
  • 2009 – Although not a true smartphone,
    the first Samsung Galaxy device is released as the GT-I 7500.
  • 2010 – Samsung releases the Galaxy S,
    its first true smartphone, and the mark of its blockbuster entry into the
    modern smartphone market. Although not a major success on its own, it opens
    the doors for its successors to drive Samsung to become the dominant force
    in the mobile phone market today.
  • 2011 – The Galaxy S line is followed by the debut of the Galaxy Note. Despite being ridiculed for what
    was seen as an absurdly large form factor at the time, the Note line goes on
    to become one of Samsung’s best sellers while almost single-handedly
    founding the "phablet" device genre. Later in the year, Samsung
    sells its hard disk drive business to Seagate. 
  • 2012 – Samsung passes Nokia to become
    the world’s largest producer of mobile phones. Also in this year, Samsung is
    ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages over patent infringement
    relating to its smartphone production.
  • 2013 – Work begins in the Thai Nguyen
    province of Vietnam on what would eventually become the largest mobile phone
    manufacturing facility in the world. Later in the year, the Galaxy Gear
    smartwatch is revealed as Samsung’s first entry into the burgeoning
    wearables marketplace.
  • 2014 – The Gear VR is introduced as a
    companion device for Samsung smartphones. The headset unit allows a
    connected smartphone’s internal components to provide the wearer with an
    immersive virtual reality experience. 
  • 2015 – Samsung officially surpasses IBM to receive the largest
    number of patents of any firm in the US for the year.4
  • 2016 – A series of fires seemingly related to faulty batteries
    causes Samsung to recall its flagship phablet of the year, the Galaxy Note
    7. Following a supposed fix and re-release of the device, a second round of
    fires result in another recall and the ultimate cancellation of the Note 7.
  • 2017 – Samsung’s acting president and heir apparent Lee
    Jae-Yong is sentenced to a five-year jail term for corruption after
    investigators discover a pattern of bribery, embezzlement, and other crimes
    relating to foreign regulatory officials. Shortly after, then CEO Kwon
    Oh-Hyun announces his plan to resign due to the "unprecedented crisis."
  • 2018 – Samsung reaches a settlement with Apple, ending
    their seven-year legal battle over alleged patent infringement relating to
    the iPhone. The terms were not disclosed. Later in the year, the company
    confirms that it is indeed working on a long-rumored folding smartphone,
    giving consumers a brief glimpse of the device in a press event before
    year’s end.
  • 2019 – Samsung debuts its first smartphone with a
    foldable screen, the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Following a disastrous test run
    among tech reviewers, the device is delayed and reworked to eliminate
    several design flaws in the screen and hinge.
  • 2020 – Samsung expands its foldable smartphone lines,
    adding the Z Flip and Z Fold 2. Both are praised for their innovative
    designs, but called out for their prohibitive costs. Later in the year,
    Samsung Heir Jay Y Lee is ordered back to prison to serve out the remainder
    of his sentence on bribery charges.


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Although it is the primary focus of this report, Samsung Electronics is just one firm
among Samsung’s extensive list of
holdings. Table 1 lists some of the companies.

Table 1. Samsung Companies
Category Company
  • Samsung Electro-Mechanics
  • Samsung SDI (serial device interfaces)
  • Samsung Corning Precision Materials
  • Samsung SDS (data systems)
  • Samsung Techwin
  • Samsung Mobile Display
  • Samsung Digital Imaging
  • Samsung Life Insurance
  • Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
  • Samsung Card
  • Samsung Securities
  • Samsung Investment Trust Management
  • Samsung Venture Investment
& Heavy Industries
  • Samsung Heavy Industries
  • Samsung Total Petrochemicals
  • Samsung Petrochemicals
  • Samsung Fine Chemicals
  • Samsung BP Chemicals
Affiliated Companies
  • Samsung C&T
  • Samsung Engineering
  • Chiel Industries
  • Samsung Everland
  • The Shilla Hotels & Resorts
  • Cheil Worldwide
  • S1 Corp
  • Samsung Medical Center
  • Samsung Human Resources Development
  • Samsung Economics Research Institute
  • Samsung Lions
  • The Ho-Am Foundation
  • Samsung Foundation of Culture
  • Samsung Welfare Foundation
  • Samsung Life Public Welfare

Many of these companies continue to play an integral role in Samsung’s well-being
as a corporation, as well having been instrumental in creating the
multi-national technology conglomerate Samsung is today. However, despite its
diverse portfolio of subsidiaries and divisions, Samsung’s largest money makers for the past decade have been its mobile phone and display
manufacturing businesses. 

If these areas of focus were not already obvious by 2013, the company
confirmed them in March of that year with the introduction of a new three CEO
system. Under this system, each CEO would be responsible for the typical duties
that office entails while also taking charge of a given area of the company.
These three areas consist of Samsung’s components business, including its chip
manufacturing; the IT & Mobile Communications division, which encompasses its
mobile phone, smartphone, tablet, and PC businesses; and its Consumer
Electronics business, which handles essentially all consumer-facing technology
products not handled by IT & Mobile communications. This novel approach to
leadership was put into place to better distribute the responsibilities of each
segment of the company. Samsung was reaching a point where a single CEO was
unable to manage the massive scale it was doing business on.

Since the creation of this highly complex leadership structure, Samsung has
faced continual questions from the public and investors alike on whether it
should remain as a single company, or if it should split into multiple
corporations to reduce the risk of collapsing under its own weight. While
Samsung has, so far, remained content to stay a singular entity, it has shown
interest in tweaking its leadership again in recent years in order to better
distribute its leadership responsibilities. 


Samsung currently finds itself as the number one smartphone maker in the world, as
well as the most successful maker of mobile phones in general.5 This
is thanks almost entirely to Samsung’s decision to invest heavily in the Android
mobile operating system before nearly anyone else had given it a chance. While
HTC actually pre-dates Samsung’s entry into Android with its manufacture of
Google’s G1 handset, the birth of Android as a true competitor to Apple’s iOS
began with the creation of the Samsung Galaxy S and reached its tipping point
with the introduced of the follow-up Galaxy S II. The rampant sales of the GSII
and its seemingly endless variants led the press and public alike to stop
thinking of Android as a shoddy upstart and proved to many that Google’s
operating system may very well be able to beat Apple in a genre the company

Although these strong and fundamental ties to Android have resulted in
Samsung becoming embroiled in even more legal battles than it would have
otherwise, the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue produced by
Android-based sales far more than make up for any legal judgments and costs.
Samsung currently finds itself as not only the top Android device maker, but
also in a constant battle for the top of the smartphone market. The company has been such a
fierce competitor for Apple that it has done
what many thought was impossible: influenced Apple’s own design
philosophy. While the late Steve Jobs famously mocked Samsung’s ever-enlarging screens
many years ago, current Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to acquiesce to the
fact that Samsung had indeed found a desire in the public for mobile phone
displays as large as six inches. This is not just a philosophical victory on
Samsung’s part but also proof positive that its fate in the smartphone arena is
now firmly in its own hands. 

While smartphones are the dominant technology of the day, the importance of
Samsung’s chip and display businesses should not be underestimated. Not only do
these important components power many of Samsung’s own devices, Samsung-made
chips can be found in products from numerous other top-tier manufacturers,
including Apple. This gives Samsung an important source of revenue and a bargaining chip to use with and against competitors in any of its areas of
technological interest. 


For all of Samsung’s diversification, its true success for the past decade
has relied almost solely on its mobile device business. This has proven to be a
point of strength for the most part. However, it does make Samsung much more
vulnerable to both the whims of the market, and to any single blunder in its
mobile device business. The company has, in recent years, suffered fluctuating
smartphone phone sales when compared to its peak device distribution levels in
2013.6 While Samsung managed to rebound from this dip by
mid 2016, its disastrous release of the Galaxy Note 7 undid much of the progress it
had made. The decision to cancel the Note 7 entirely, following a pair of
recalls was unprecedented and had both financial and public relations
ramifications that Samsung may continue to feel for years. Not only has the
company lost most of the development costs related to creating the Note 7, but
its advertising, distribution, and subsequent recall costs have all resulted in
zero profits as a result of the blunder. Thankfully for Samsung its subsequent
smartphone releases since then have been off largely without a hitch, somewhat defraying the
impact of the fiasco. This may be why the public was as ready to forgive the
company as it was, pushing its follow-up Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus models to new
sales records in the following year.

That said, Samsung once again showed it was not immune to blunders in 2019,
when it allowed a slew of tech reviewers and influencers to test out its
pre-release Samsung Galaxy Fold. Although many of them liked the extra screen
real estate provided by the device’s unfurled display, the biggest news to come
out of the test run was the alarming number of units that had failed within days
of being taken out of their box. Reasons ranged from reviewers unwittingly
removing an integral film from the screen after mistaking it for a screen
protector; dust and debris making it behind the device’s folding display via the
gap Samsung had left in its hinge design; and completely unexplained failures of
the folding screen. Samsung did drastically retool the device before it was
finally released nearly six months later than its original launch date. However,
the negative press was another blow to the company’s already less-than-perfect
track record for adequately testing its smartphones before release. Thankfully,
fears of folding devices being a completely unsustainable design choice were
largely put to rest in the following year with the much more successful launches
of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Flip models.

Despite these blunders, Samsung is not, in any way, in danger of failing as a
company. Even its fluctuating profit levels in some recent years are still high
enough to have made its eyes pop just half a decade ago. Nonetheless, it must
now be more careful about how it proceeds in the smartphone market, avoiding
embarrassments like the ones mentioned above. For a time, its position as a
leader seemed unassailable by even its closest competitors. However, that was
never truly the case, and incidents like the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy Fold
releases only serve to weaken the company’s already somewhat-assailable lead.

While the US, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia remain very strong markets
for Samsung, it has done comparatively little to capture a significant portion
of the developing markets that are quickly becoming the main battlefield in the
smartphone wars. While most developed countries are at or near their saturation
points, places like China and India include many citizens that are still hungry for their first dose of
smartphones. This has made for incredible strides for companies like OPPO and
Xiaomi that are based locally and can take advantage of the local
economy. Even the firmly US-based Apple has managed to capture a significant
portion of the pie. Samsung, unfortunately, has yet to experience anywhere near
its now-typical success in these burgeoning lands, however. If the company
wishes to continue using the smartphone market as its personal cash cow through
the remainder of this decade and into the next, it needs to capture the same kind
of dominance in developing countries that it has already managed to snag in its
incumbent geographies. 

Key Executives

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Co-CEOs: Hyun Suk Kim, and Dong Jin Koh

President, CEO (Samsung Electronics North America): KS Choi

President, CEO (Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.): Ki Nam Kim

Major Products

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Samsung’s product lineup is very large and spans
a number of industries, most notably its successful mobile and computing product
lines. Table 2 provides an overview of Samsung’s portfolio of
electronics products.

Table 2. Samsung Electronics Products
Category Products
Mobile Cell
phones, smartphones, tablets, wearables, smartwatches
Computing PCs,
laptops, Chromebooks, monitors, printers, memory, storage products
TV, Video,
and Home Audio
Blu-ray and DVD players, home theater systems including multi-room
audio, sound bar, wireless audio, portable speaker, shelf stereo systems
Semiconductors DRAM,
system logic, Flash, mobile memory, application processors, CMOS image
sensors, chips for consumer devices
Photo Cameras,
Additional Home
appliances, LED lighting, accessories for TVs, cell phones, tablets, printers,
laptops, and cameras

Major Competitors

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Samsung competes against major global consumer electronics vendors,
including the following list:


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Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures

Samsung announced that it has completed its acquisition of
TeleWorld Solutions (TWS), a network service provider based in
Virginia. Prior to its buyout, TWS served as a provider of
network design, testing and optimization services to mobile
service and cable operators, equipment OEMs, and other
companies. Samsung claims that the purchased assets will be
leveraged to “address the network upgrade cycle occurring in the
U.S.” The acquired company will continue to operate in its
current form as a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung, and will
continue to service its current customers and provide its current
catalogue of offerings. Samsung also plans to keep the current
leadership team in place. No financial terms for the acquisition
were disclosed.


Products and Services

Samsung debuted its
oft-leaked Galaxy S21 smartphone line at this year’s Unpacked
event. As expected, the new device comes in three variants, the
Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra. While all three handsets skew
towards the iterative side of annual updates. Both the S21 and
S21+ both also show a shift in focus toward more affordable
models, even if that comes at the cost of some high-end specs. In
the case of the S21, this trade-off brings a resolution of just
2,400×1080 for its 6.2-inch display. This is compared to the
older Galaxy S20’s 3,200×1,440 display at the same size.
Thankfully, this is the only major downgrade, with the S21
advancing upon its predecessor by including the new Snapdragon
888 or Exynos 2100 CPU alongside 8GB of RAM and either 128GB
or 256GB of onboard storage. Unfortunately for those wishing to
up their storage after purchase, Samsung has chosen to leave out
an SD card slot this time around. On the photographic front, the
S21 sports a triple-lens rear camera system packing a 64MP
telephoto shooter, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 12MP wide-angle lens.
The selfie camera is a standard 10MP shooter. The specs of the
S21+ are essentially identical to the S21, including the
aforementioned resolution, which is further stretched across a
larger 6.7-inch display. The S21 Ultra, meanwhile, upgrades the
resolution to a more modern 3,200×1,440 for its 6.8-inch screen,
while also bumping the RAM up to either 12GB or 16GB, and
adding a 512GB internal storage option. Its camera array also
adds a second telephoto lens for additional photo options. As
leaks suggested, all three devices do now support Samsung’s
S-Pen stylus. Pricing for the line begins at $800/$850 for the
S21 storage options, rises to $1,000/$1050 for the S21+’s, and
tops out at $1,200/$1,250/$1,380 for the S21 Ultra’s trio of
sizes. All three devices are available for pre-order now, with an
expected ship date of January 29.


Alongside its new flagship Galaxy S21 launch, Samsung also debuted its
new Galaxy Buds Pro
wireless earbuds. The new audio peripherals include a 2-way
speaker setup with an 11mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter, improved
ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) technology, and an enhanced
microphone system for making calls and voice chat. The Galaxy
Buds Pro are available now for $199.99 from Samsung, with retail
partners expected to join them in the coming days.


Shortly after debuting its Exynos 2100 chipset, Samsung revealed that AMD silicon will power the GPU
in the company’s next flagship smartphone core. The unit in
question, which is expected to serve as a follow-up to the Exynos
2100, is the result of a collaboration originally announced in
2019 between the smartphone maker and chip manufacturer. While
Samsung itself did not provide any specific details on which
device the chipset might make its debut in, a tweet from well-known leaker Ice Universe suggests that the
unit might power Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Fold 3 smartphone.
No other details are known about the upcoming collaboration.
However, AMD’s position as one of the top PC GPU makers in the
market suggests that the as-yet-unnamed chipset will provide a
significant boost in graphical and gaming performance when it
does reach the public.


Samsung debuted its
new Exynos 2100 smartphone chip at CES 2021. The new CPU,
which will very likely power several versions of the upcoming
Galaxy S21 smartphone line, is Samsung’s first to support both
mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networks, while also offering a 20
percent reduction in power consumption when compared to the
company’s last Exynos chip. The new unit is touted as offering 40
percent better graphical performance than its aforementioned
predecessor, the Exynos 990, and 30 percent faster multicore
performance. Samsung is also upping its photography game as
well, introducing a new Image Signal Processor (ISP) that can
handle information from six separate camera modules
simultaneously, while also supporting resolutions up to 200MP.
While the Exynos 2100 will likely be Samsung’s fastest chip yet,
the company is still widely expected to opt for the Qualcomm Snapdragon
888 chipset to power the North American variant of the S21,
continuing a trend followed by its past several flagship models.
Samsung is expected to officially debut its S21 lineup later this
week during the last day of CES 2021.


Samsung finally
provided details on its
Galaxy Upcycling program as part of its initial CES 2021 press
conference. Samsung originally announced the Galaxy Upcycling
program years ago, but had remained mum on the initiative. The
apparently still-forthcoming program aims to use old smartphones
for other purposes, ranging from baby monitors, to light sensors,
and as other connected devices. The company plans to provide
software updates for older devices in order to facilitate these
functionalities. Samsung hopes such repurposed devices will
remain useful instead of ending up in landfills. Additional
details on Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling program can be seen
within a YouTube video posted by the smartphone maker.


Samsung‘s Head of
Mobile Communications, TM Roh, published a blog post hinting at
the company’s smartphone plans for the coming calendar year.
Among the most important details revealed in the post are a focus
on bringing some of the Galaxy Note line’s “most well-loved
features” to other Galaxy devices. This aligns with rumors that
Samsung was planning to end its Note line in 2021, integrating
features like S-Pen compatibility into its Galaxy S line instead.
Aside from this revelation, Roh also promised that Samsung would
be exploring “more accessible” folding smartphone devices in
2021, suggesting that the $1,500+ price point that all of
Samsung’s current foldables have launched at may finally be
coming down to the point where its future flexible smartphones
can attract a larger audience. While the Head of Mobile did not
reveal any specific plans, the company should provide additional
details soon at its planned CES 2021 keynote and next Unpacked
event, both scheduled for January 2021.


Samsung is
reportedly set to unveil its next-gen Galaxy S21 smartphone
family on January 14, 2021. The specific date follows a recent Android Authority
report – citing a phone-based
confirmation by Samsung’s Opera House outlet in Bengaluru, India
– that seemed to confirm prior whisperings put forth by Android
. Sales of the flagship series are expected to commence
in India on January 29th, with presumably other major markets
such as the US following a similar timeline. Preorders for the
Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra will also reportedly be
available after the unveiling. The reports also indicate that the
set, at least in India, will feature the Exynos processor and be
available initially in grey, pink, purple, and white (Ultra in
black and silver). Previous “leaks,” Android Authority noted,
include the presence of a 108MP front-facing camera, two 10MP
sensors, and support for laser autofocus, with a fourth, 12MP
“shooter” sensor also rumored.


Samsung has
confirmed that it will debut its Galaxy S21 flagship on January
14, with a planned sale date of January 29. The new device will
sport an Exynos 2100 CPU in some markets, and, very likely, an
undisclosed Qualcomm Snapdragon core in others. It will come in a
total of three versions, the standard S21, the S21 Plus, and the
S21 Ultra. According to Android Authority,
all the standard S21 will come in four colorways: gray, pink,
purple, and white, while the S21 Plus will ship in pink, purple,
silver, and black. The top-end Ultra will sport a smaller
selection of colors, just black and silver. Pricing and complete
spec lists remain unknown. However, potential owners will find
out everything in just a few weeks.


Samsung announced the official launch of its One UI 3.0 Android update. The
latest refresh of the company’s Android skin is based on Android
11 and brings with it a variety of new and updated features,
including new, smoother visual transitions; updated notification
panes; revamped lock screens and media control widgets; new
AI-based photo management features; a refreshed customization
pane; and expanded digital wellbeing applications. Samsung noted
that the update is rolling out now to Galaxy S20 series devices
(Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra) in the US, South Korea, and
most of Europe. This will be followed by the Galaxy Note20, Z
Fold2, Z Flip, Note10, Fold, and S10 series, in the coming weeks,
and by the Galaxy A series of devices sometime during the first
half of 2021.


Samsung may be planning to discontinue the Galaxy Note
smartphone line, according to Reuters. The report claims that the Korean smartphone
maker will shift its focus to its Galaxy S and foldable
smartphone lines in 2021, skipping an annual Note phablet refresh
for the first time since the product’s launch. According to
Reuters’ sources, a significant drop in high-end smartphone sales
during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic played a major part in this
decision. However, Samsung’s Galaxy Note series has also been
the victim of growing smartphones over the years, with its
formerly massive phablet size having been eclipsed by many
standard smartphone releases over the years. For those still
wishing to use a stylus with their smartphones, Reuters claims
Samsung will add support for the company’s S-Pen to the
upcoming Galaxy S and flexible smartphones, for the first time.
The stylus will now likely be a separate purchase and will
require a compatible case for storage. Samsung had not
commented on the news at the time of writing.


Samsung‘s Galaxy
S21 or S30, whichever it ends up being named, has once again
leaked. The latest rumors were posted by
AndroidPolice and
illustrate several firsts for the line. The included information
claims that the upcoming release’s Ultra model will ship with a
display cribbed from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, including its
power-saving LTPO capability and S-Pen support. While the stylus
is not expected to ship with the device, it will apparently be
available alongside cases that will allow for its storage with
the S21/S30. The lineup as a whole will reportedly include a
6.2-inch standard model in addition to the 6.7-inch Ultra
version. Internal specs are expected to include a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100; a new 108MP camera sensor on
the Ultra model; 4K video capture at 60FPS; and faster Wi-Fi 6E
connectivity. The veracity of these rumors should become clear
early next Year when Samsung is expected to officially reveal its
next flagship lineup.


The personal computer market continued its impressive growth
during the third quarter with total shipments up 23 percent
compared to the year-ago period. Canalys’s latest market research puts Lenovo at the top of the global
market with 23.5 million tablets, notebooks, and desktops
shipped, followed closely by Apple with 22.1 million Macs
and iPads. Chromebooks were the best performing client PC
product in Q3, as shipments grew 122 percent to a total of 9.4
million. Detachables (tablets and notebooks) grew 88 percent and
were the second-best performing category in personal computing.
The overall desktop market experienced a 32 percent decline, but
tablets as a distinct category posted “stellar growth” with
shipments of 44.3 million units, up 43 percent year-on-year. Apple‘s iPad maintained the top slot with shipments of 15.2
million units and growth of 47 percent. Overall, Apple’s tablets
control 34 percent of the market share. Samsung placed second
with growth of 80 percent to break the nine million unit shipment
mark for the first time since Q4 2015, and Huawei built on its strong
position in China and Europe with growth of 38 percent to secure
third place with shipments of 5.1 million tablets.


Google announced a
major expansion of its Android
Enterprise Recommended
program, including the addition of
several major industry players. The program, which was founded in
2018, aims to “help customers select, deploy and manage devices
with more confidence.” It does this by evaluating and approving
devices and hardware for use by enterprise customers via a
stringent review of hardware security and manufacturers’ software
update policies. The program launched with 7 hardware partners,
and has now grown to include a total of 30 Android device makers.
The latest batch of participants added to the program with this
announcement includes Samsung, Lenovo, OnePlus, OPPO, and
Xiaomi. As part of the same announcement, Google also noted that
the Android Enterprise Recommended program was being updated
with new guidelines as well, including tighter hardware
specifications, improved testing, and more transparency around
device update support.


Samsung has
reportedly confirmed plans to unveil its
next-gen Exynos 1080 processor set on Thursday, November 12th.
According to SamMobile, this
revelation comes via Samsung’s Chinese-language Weibo account,
which noted that the smartphone manufacturer will release
detailed information at a press conference in Shanghai. The news
outlet noted that Samsung will likely use the chipset for select
next-gen Galaxy handsets in 2021, albeit not the expected
flagship Galaxy S21. Although detailed specifications have yet to
be published, SamMobile said that the chipset should be an
“absolute ripper,” and noted that it is rumored to include an ARM Cortex-A78 core for 20
percent performance increase over previous generations, as well
as the Mali-G78 GPU. The 5nm processor is also expected to
include an embedded 5G modem. Samsung has offered no further


Samsung released a
new update for its original Galaxy Fold to bring to the original
folding smartphone several features introduced with its Galaxy Z
Fold2 follow-up handset. Among the inherited features is App
Pair, which lets a user group up to three apps together to launch
simultaneously. The selected apps will then always open in a set
split-screen layout of the device owner’s choice. In addition,
the update adds the option to use the original fold with a
companion smart TV via Samsung’s DeX platform using the
external DeX Dock accessory. Other, more minor upgrades include
several camera app improvements, a new selfie mode that employs
the rear camera, and secure Wi-Fi password sharing to supported
Galaxy devices. The free update is rolling out to the original
Galaxy Fold smartphone now.


Samsung‘s next
flagship smartphone, presumably named the Galaxy S21 or S30,
has allegedly been leaked by well-known tipsters
OnLeaks and Pigtou.
The supposed renders of the new device show a display that is
configured almost identically to its predecessor, with the same
centered punch-hole camera and nearly non-existent bezels.
However, the rear of the standard edition of the device looks
vastly different, with a new triple-camera array located up in
its top-left corner, in a raised bump that spills over the
device’s edge. Meanwhile, OnLeaks further predicts that the Ultra
version of the upcoming smartphone will have an even larger
camera bump with a quad-camera setup. As for sizing options, the
standard S21 or S30 is expected to come in at 6.2 inches, while
the Ultra model is predicted to fall between 6.7 and 6.9 inches.
Potential buyers hoping to learn the truth of these early leaks
may not have as long to wait as usual, as SamMobile is reporting
that Samsung will debut both devices early in January 2021.
Samsung usually debuts its Galaxy S flagships in late February
through March. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has
rearranged nearly every major tech release for the past year. It
would hardly be surprising if Samsung chose to modify its
traditional release window as well.


Samsung introduced
a new 5G mmWave small cell designed specifically for indoor use.
The new Link Cell unit, part of the Samsung Link line of indoor
telecom offerings, is designed to provide connectivity within
“enterprises, including manufacturing or distribution facilities,
corporate offices, and entertainment or public venues (such as
shopping centers, stadiums, or hotels).” Unsurprisingly, given
its reliance on mmWave technology to power its fastest 5G
speeds, Verizon
will be the first company in the US to deploy the
new hardware. While mmWave-based 5G connectivity can provide
speeds in excess of 1Gbps, it is also known for having a shorter
range and more issues with structural interference than slower,
but wider-reaching technologies. Because of the indoor nature of
the Link Cell, the majority of these issues are eliminated,
allowing clear line-of-sight travel for the ultra-high-frequency
(28GHz in the Link Cell’s case) carrier waves that power mmWave
5G. Samsung noted that Link Cell will also be joined by Link Hub
and Link Hub Pro in Q1 2021, both of which will provide similar
functionality for lower frequency 5G connectivity.


Samsung officially
unveiled its Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) smartphone at its latest
Unpacked event. The device is designed to be a more
budget-friendly and aesthetically varied smartphone than the
original Galaxy S20, offering a total of six different color
variations for $700. For that price, users will receive a unit
with very few compromises, when compared to its originator. It
includes the same Snapdragon 865 CPU, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of
internal storage (expandable to 1TB via MicroSD), and a 4,500mAh
battery. Its camera array includes a 12MP standard wide camera
with optical image stabilization, a 12 ultra-wide sensor, an 8MP
telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom, and a 32MP selfie shooter.
The handset’s display comes in at 6.5-inches, with the same
120Hz refresh rate offered by the original S20. However, its
resolution tops out at Full HD, unlike its predecessor which
could be set to a higher resolution at the cost of some refresh
rate. The mid-range device offers full 5G support for all major
global networks, with a variant that offers speedier mmWave 5G
launching exclusively at Verizon Wireless for a
$50 premium. All of this hardware is packaged in a polycarbonate
body that comes in the aforementioned six shades: Cloud Red,
Cloud Orange, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy, and Cloud
White. Preorders for the device are live now at Samsung’s own
online store fronts, as well as from major electronics retailers
and US carriers. The Galaxy S20 FE is expected to begin shipping
to consumers on October 2.


Samsung revealed
that its Samsung TV Plus app, previously only available on its
line of Smart TVs, would be coming to the Galaxy Store and
Google Play on select Galaxy-branded smartphones. The app will
provide the same functionality as its TV counterpart, offering
free streaming video channels and on-demand content. The latest
version of Samsung TV Plus includes 135 live channels and a
catalogue of movies and TV shows such as Baywatch and Kitchen
Nightmares. Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 20, S20,
Note 10, and S10 will all be able to download the app starting on
September 23. It remains unclear if the company plans to offer
the app to older Galaxy devices, or any units not within the Note
or S flagship lines.


Samsung announced
another “Unpacked” event scheduled for
September 23 at 10 AM ET. Although the company was vague
about what exactly customers can expect to be revealed at the
online-only press event, the teaser video is titled “[Invitation]
Galaxy Unpacked for Every Fan,” pointing to the likely debut of
the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition that has been heavily rumored in
recent weeks to be coming from Samsung. The unit’s specs have
leaked from multiple sources, with the general consensus
coalescing around a device that offers minor internal hardware
upgrades from the original Galaxy S20, as well as a range of new
colors, which is corroborated by the color-changing rectangles
seen in the Samsung teaser video that appear to match the
suggested range the S20 Fan Edition is expected to include. All
should become clear on September 23.


Samsung announced
a major software update for its Galaxy Watch Active 2 wearable
that will bring several of the features introduced with the
company’s newer Galaxy Watch 3 to the older device. Among
these are new running analysis features which will help athletes
better track their pace, asymetry, regularity, stiffness,
vertical oscilation, and other granular details of their run.
This feature is joined by the new VO2 max tracking feature
introduced with the Galaxy Watch 3, which detects the “maximum
amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise.”
Not all of the new features are fitness-centric, however. Samsung
also announced that fall detection and improved messaging
features will be added to the wearable in this update. The latter
includes new access to emoticons and photos for attachment to
messages, improved smart replies, and new stickers. The new
Galaxy Watch Active 2 update can be downloaded now.


Samsung is
reportedly planning to suspend sales of electronic components to
Huawei on September 15,
the same day the US Commerce Department’s latest round of
restrictions on doing business with the controversial Chinese
manufacturer go into effect. The news was originally published by
South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo and was later translated by U
. If true, this will come as the latest in a long series of
major blows to Huawei brought on by US federal government
opposition, which stems from US intelligence agency claims that
Huawei was participating in international espionage for Chinese
governmental organizations. It is likely Samsung will comply with
the latest round of restrictions, which call on any company
operating in the US, no matter its home country, to stop selling
parts to Huawei that could be used to make telecom hardware for
sale in the US. Samsung’s heavy presence in the US market gives
it a great deal to lose if it should run afoul of UD federal


Samsung has signed
a $6.6 billion contract with Verizon Communications to
provide network hardware for the carrier’s wireless
infrastructure. The equipment in question is likely to play a
major part in the carrier’s continuing 5G rollout across the US.
Samsung noted its position as a “pioneer in mmWave, sub-6, and
virtualised RAN innovation, and a leader in end-to-end 5G
solutions” as defining factors in Verizon’s selection of its
products and services. The contract is, by far, the largest
Samsung has signed with any US carrier for 5G hardware, and
larger than any it has signed in its home nation of South Korea.
A report on the
topic by ZDNet further
speculated that the value of the deal may actually be in excess
of the Samsung Networks division’s average annual sales for the
past several years, though this has not been confirmed. No
mention was made on when the acquired hardware may actually
start powering 5G networks in the US.


Hot on the heels of revealing its most expensive smartphone
ever, the Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung teased a new
mid-range smartphone in the Galaxy A42 5G. The device, which
was previewed during Samsung’s IFA keynote address, includes a
6.6-inch Super AMOLED display, a rear quad-camera setup, and a
waterdrop-style front camera notch centered on its touchscreen.
Its rear panel also includes an unusual, textured design that is
shaded in a gradient pattern. Aside from these facts, Samsung
remained vague on the internal components, pricing, and release
date for the unit. However, given the company’s naming convention
for the Galaxy A series, the price will likely be less than its
$500 A51 and the $600 A71 predecessor.


Samsung announced
the full details of its latest flagship folding smartphone, the
Galaxy Z Fold2. The new device offers several improvements over
its predecessor, including an upgraded 7.6-inch folding main
screen and a 6.2-inch front display running at 2208×1768 and
2260×816, respectively. Both displays also support 120hz for
smooth motion. Internal components include a refreshed 64-bit
Octa-Core CPU running at a maximum of 3.09GHz, 12GB of RAM,
256GB of internal storage, and a larger 4,500mAh dual battery.
The second-generation folding phone also includes an updated
triple camera array with 12MP ultrawide, wide-angle, and
telephoto shooters, paired with a 10MP front/cover camera. The Z
Fold2 also brings 5G connectivity with it, allowing users to
access speedier networks on all major US carriers. The Z Fold2
will be available for pre-order on September 2 at and all major
carriers in the US. The device is expected to ship on September
18. Unfortunately for those hoping Samsung would choose to make
its follow-up folding smartphone a more affordable model, the
opposite is true; the Galaxy Fold Z2 will retail for $2,000, $20
more than its predecessor’s launch price.


Samsung posted a
brief teaser to reveal that its
“Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2: Unpacked Part 2” event will be held on
September 1 at 10:00 am ET. While the existence of the Galaxy Z
Fold2 was already revealed at the first part of the Unpacked
event earlier this month, the unit was not fully detailed
alongside the other launches at that press event, which included
the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Live earbuds, and Galaxy Watch 3.
The second-gen foldable is expected to include improvements to
its hinge, flexible display, and various internal components. It
remains unclear is Samsung intends to sell the phone around the
same $2,000 price point as its predecessor, or if it plans to
make the device more attainable. All should become clear in a few
days on September 1.


Gartner‘s latest smartphone sales figures show a dramatic decline to global
sales brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to
the measurement company’s latest study, global smartphone sales
suffered a decline of 20.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020,
moving a steeply reduced 295 million total units during the
period. The largest impact among the top 5 vendors was seen by
Samsung, while Apple
managed to nearly maintain its Q2 2019 sales levels. Huawei also performed well
under the circumstances, moving into a “virtual tie” with Samsung
for first place, with Samsung holding 18.6 percent of the market,
while Huawei held 18.4 percent. The remainder of the top five
consisted of Apple (13 percent), Xiaomi (8.9 percent), and OPPO
(8.0 percent). Additional stats and details can be found at the
link provided above.


Microsoft revealed a
to the Your Phone app for Windows 10 that will allow
Samsung device owners
to access supported mobile apps from their connected PCs. The
mobile apps will run in a discrete window on the user’s PC
desktop, giving them access to all of the same features as the
on-device versions of those apps. Applications used in this way
can be pinned to the user’s Start menu or their Taskbar and can
be used with a keyboard and mouse for non-touch-enabled PCs.
The new functionality will be available from any Samsung
smartphone running Android 9.0 (Pie) or newer. The PC and
smartphone in question must also be connected to the same Wi-Fi
network. While the updated build is available now to members of
the Windows 10 Insider program, Microsoft did not reveal a
specific date when the new feature is expected to reach the
general public.


Samsung officially
rolled out its Galaxy
Note20 5G and Note20 Ultra 5G series in the US. The “productivity
powerhouse” Android devices generally feature an enhanced S Pen,
more flexible Samsung Notes app experience, and enhanced
gaming features. The standard version measures 6.3″x2.96″x0.33″
and features an all-glass Gorilla Glass 5 display; Qualcomm
SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ chipset with octa-core processor; up to
128GB RAM; and triple 12/64/12MP (rear-facing) and 10MP
(front-facing) cameras. Shipping with nearly identical internal
specs, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G measures 6.49″x3″x0.32″ with
a Gorilla Glass Victus display and 108/12/12 rear-facing camera.
Units are available for approximately $9.73 (standard) to $18.07
(Ultra) per month when entering into a new or renewed carrier
contract with one of the three major providers.


Samsung introduced
AppStack a new “cloud software marketplace designed for
SMBs.” The just-launched platform spans desktop, Chrome-based,
and mobile operating systems while providing easy onboarding for
applications in numerous categories. Samsung notes the apps
included in the marketplace support ease-of-use features
specifically designed for SMBs such as customized business email
address provisioning, time tracking, point of sale features, and
more. Notable products available at launch from AppStack include
the full Google G Suite, Paymo, Canva, eHopper, and Pipedrive.
The platform also supports cloud-based solutions for project
management, CRM, and messaging, such as ClickUP,
FreshBooks, and Seal Messenger. Samsung made clear that it
plans to continue to add new apps to AppStack based on work with
partners and customers.


Samsung issued a
new commitment to provide three
generations of Android OS upgrades for nearly its entire
smartphone and tablet lineup. The new promise ensures that all
current and future generations of Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy
Note, Galaxy Z, and Galaxy A smartphones, as well as its Galaxy
Tab tablet line will receive at least three full generational
refreshes before updates are terminated. The company plans to
begin this policy with the upcoming Android 11 update scheduled
for some time in the fall of 2020. The device maker revealed that
the Galaxy S20 line will be the first units in its catalog to
receive the planned Android 11 update this year, followed by the
remainder of the aforementioned device lines. This new
commitment expands upon previous, line-specific promises from
Samsung that generally only guaranteed two full generation
updates before support would be terminated for a given device.


Samsung appears to
be planning a refreshed version of its Galaxy S20 smartphone
dubbed the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition
(FE). The device has been
leaked by multiple sources, including and, more recently,
Evan Blass. The
images and included info paint a picture of a device that appears
almost identical to its original counterpart, with a slightly
larger 6.4-6.5 inch display, versus the Galaxy S20’s 6.2-inch
screen. Other purported components include a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 865 CPU, a 4,500mAh battery, and a 32MP
front-facing camera. Samsung previously used the FE designation
in a mid-year refresh of its doomed Galaxy Note 7, but has not
re-used the monicker since then. The updated device is widely
expected to sell for less than the original S20, with some
suggesting a price point in the mid-$700 range. Leaks also show a
model with new color variants, including options in blue, mint
green, white, red, pink, and orange. No planned release date is
yet known.


Samsung introduced
a new display technology designed to significantly lower power
consumption for smartphone devices. The low-power OLED
adaptive frequency technology allows smartphones to dynamically
alter the refresh rate of their displays to reduce power drain.
Samsung notes that this can range as high as 120hz when playing
mobile games, or as low as 10hz when browsing the Web or
viewing still images. The manufacturer claims that, even at 10hz,
no flickering can be detected by the user. The new displays will
allegedly reduce power consumption by as much as 60 percent
while in 10hz mode, and 22 percent on average. Samsung did not
provide any specific timeframe for when this technology might be
seen in customer-facing products.


Alongside its Note 20 smartphone release, Samsung also used its
Unpacked 2020 event to reveal a pair of new connected devices,
the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Buds Live. The new Galaxy
Watch 3 is the company’s latest flagship smartwatch. Like its
predecessor, the original Galaxy Watch (there was no Galaxy
Watch 2), the Galaxy Watch 3 runs on Samsung’s own Tizen
platform, and provides features such as detailed health tracking,
an FDA-approved Electro-Cardio Gram (ECG), blood pressure
monitoring, and gesture-based controls for media and incoming
calls. It will be available in the coming days in 41mm and 45mm
variants starting at $400 and $430, respectively. An LTE-enabled
model will also retail for $449. In addition to the new
smartwatch, Samsung debuted its Galaxy Buds Live truly wireless
earbuds. The unusual headphones are bean-shaped, and are
designed to be more ergonomic. Other features include Active
Noise Cancellation (ANC), access to Samsung’s Bixby digital
assistant, and a wireless charging case. The Galaxy Buds Live
will be available for $170 later this month.


Samsung finally debuted what may have been the most leaked
phones in history, the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. The
display on the Note 20 comes in at 6.7 inches with a resolution
of 2400×1080, while the Note 20 Ultra ships with a 6.9-inch
display running at 3088×1440. Both devices support a 120hz
refresh rate at full HD resolutions, but are restricted to 60hz
at anything higher. Aside from the varying displays, the internal
components of both the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are similar,
including a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 865+ processor; 8 or 12GB of RAM; and 128, 256, or
512GB of internal storage. On the photography front, the Note 20
includes a 12 MP wide-angle, 64 MP telephoto, and 12 MP
ultrawide shooter on the rear. The Note 20 ultra bumps that array
up to a 108 MP wide-angle, 12 MP telephoto, and a 12 MP
ultrawide. Both devices also feature a 10MP front-facing
wide-angle camera. As usual, both Note 20 units ship with
Samsung’s trademark S-Pen stylus, which the company claims
has four times less latency than previous generations. The Note
20 will start at $999, while the Note 20 Ultra is expected to
sell for $1,299. Pre-orders for both devices begin on August 6,
with an expected ship date of August 21. In addition to unveiling
the Note 20 family, Samsung also debuted the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Although details on the company’s second shot at making a
folding, tablet-sized smartphone are relatively scant, it did
reveal that the second-generation device will feature a larger
7.6-inch display and a 4,500mAh battery, despite being thinner
than its predecessor. Samsung promised to reveal additional
details at a stand-alone Z Fold event scheduled for September 1.


Samsung announced
that it is expanding the availability of its Citizens Broadband
Radio Service (CBRS) hardware to all mobile operators. The CBRS
solutions support MIMO technology which the manufacturer claims
is capable of providing high throughput data services to unserved
and underserved rural communities. The hardware in question
leverages existing cell sites to offer a “more cost-effective
approach than cable or fiber-based solutions.” Samsung was
already providing the equipment to AT&T in the US, and will now
expand that availability to any carrier looking to make a deal.
Each unit is currently designed to provide 4G LTE services on the
3GPP Release 15 standard, with a software-based upgrade path to
5G New Radio (NR) standards in the future. Additional information
about Samsung’s hardware can be found within its press release.


In an effort seemingly designed to remove any mystery
whatsoever about what it will reveal at its upcoming Unpacked
2020 event, Samsung
posted a new teaser video which features easily recognizable
silhouettes towards the end of the five items the company has
confirmed for the debut. Although there is, of course, no
official confirmation of this, the general consensus is that the
devices are, from left to right, the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet (back),
the Galaxy Buds Live truly wireless headphones (front), the
Galaxy Watch 3, the next generation Galaxy Fold, and the Galaxy
Note 20. All of these devices have already leaked elsewhere,
though some names, such as the Galaxy Buds Live, are less
confirmed than others. In any case, the truth of all these teases
and leaks will be revealed on August 5 when the event airs


Samsung unveiled a 5G variant of its Galaxy
Z Flip folding smartphone. The simply named Galaxy Z Flip 5G
features essentially the same internal configuration and external
appearance as the original Z Flip, simply adding 5G connectivity
to the mix. Samsung’s folding smartphone offerings have, so far,
remained fairly niche devices. This is unlikely to change with
the launch of this new handset as it will retail for $1,499 in
the US. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G will be available in both carrier
and unlocked versions, and will be sold at AT&T, Best Buy,, T-Mobile, and Amazon when it launches on August


In a strange move, Samsung confirmed in an
“end of service” notice that it is removing the
Weight, Calorie, and Caffeine Tracking features from its Galaxy
Health apps on Android and its own Galaxy smartwatches. The
notice was distributed to customers in Germany, but is presumed
by Samsung-centric blog SamMobile to be on its way
to other markets as well. The loss of features will go into
effect with the V6.11 update of the Galaxy Health app on Android
and the V4.1 update for Samsung smartwatches. Samsung did not
provide a specific reason for this reduction in capabilities. It
is however possible that the popularity of third-party solutions
had reached a point that the smartphone maker no longer felt it
was worth continuing to support these tracking metrics within its
own apps.


Samsung teased
what will be revealed at its upcoming Unpacked event scheduled
for August 5. The annual event is the traditional home of
unveiling for the smartphone maker’s Galaxy Note series of
devices. This year is expected to be no exception, with the debut
of the Galaxy Note 20 all but officially confirmed for the press
event. However, the Unpacked stage also often plays host to other
device debuts. Samsung has now confirmed in a blog
that this year’s edition of Unpacked will host 5 new
device reveals. Doing the math and matching those figures with
the slew of leaks from Samsung in recent months suggest those 5
devices will be the three expected edition of the Galaxy Note 20:
the Note 20, Note 20 Plus, and Note 20 Ultra, as well as
Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch and new pair of truly wireless
Galaxy-branded earbuds. However, other rumors have pointed to a
new folding smartphone debuting at the event as well. In any
case, all will be revealed in about two weeks when Unpacked 2020
will take place online for the first time in its history.


Samsung announced
a software update for its Galaxy A51 and A71 5G smartphones that
will equip the pair of devices many of the features previously
only found on its Galaxy S20 series of smartphones. First, owners
of both units can now use many of the photographic features as
owners of the S20, including Single Take, a mode that shoots a
burst of photos and selects the best one to save; Pro Mode, which
opens up more granular controls over the camera; and various
photo filters. Additionally, sharing features such as Quick Share
and Music Share will now make it easier for users to swap files
and songs, while the keyboard and gallery functions of the
devices have been expanded as well. A full list of new
capabilities added in this update can be found within the
Samsung’s press release.


After months of Note 20 leaks and rumors, Samsung officially
announced that its Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event will be held on
August 5. In an online “invitation” video, Samsung showed off what
appears to be an S-Pen stylus dripping paint in a shade similar
to the new colorway leaks have claimed the Note 20 will arrive in
this year. This is followed by the reveal of the August 5 date
for the online-only event. While the unveiling of the Note 20 is
all but a certainty, other devices rumored for debut at the event
include the Galaxy Watch 3, the Galaxy Z Flip 2 smartphone, and
a redesigned pair of wireless earbuds. Samsung, for its part, has
not even confirmed the existence of any of these products yet,
let alone their reveal date.


Samsung appears to
have accidentally leaked images of its rumored, but
as-yet-unannounced, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra smartphone. Frequent
leaker Max
tweeted out an image which had been posted on the Russian, Ukrainian,
and Chinese versions of its Galaxy Note web page. The photo
depicts the rear of a Note device, confirmed by the presence of a
recognizable S-Pen stylus. However, the camera array on the
device itself appears to closely mirror the one found on
Samsung’s recent Galaxy S20 Ultra, with what appears to be a
periscope camera situated below two more traditional-looking
lenses. The handset also shows off a new color for Samsung,
which Weinbach’s sources are calling “Mystic Bronze.” Little
about the device’s internal components has been confirmed by
reliable sources. However, potential buyers shouldn’t have too
long to wait, as Samsung has traditionally revealed its Note line
updates in August.


Samsung introduced
its newest comprehensive smartphone security solution, Knox
. The new offering is designed to provide
enterprise-class customers with a “complete set of tools to
secure, deploy and manage devices, all with a streamlined user
experience for IT administrators.” The offering includes features
drawn from Knox Platform for Enterprise, combined with
cloud-based services like Knox Mobile Enrollment, Knox Manage,
and Knox E-FOTA. Samsung is offering a free trial of the new suite
for business customers.


Samsung officially
unveiled its new Samsung Money by SoFi payment platform. The
new offering will be tightly tied with its existing Samsung Pay
mobile payment service, with the added option to use a new cash
management account and accompanying Mastercard debit card
alongside all existing Samsung Pay services. The tech
manufacturer is marketing the new features as “secure, with no
account fees,” and notes that it “rewards users for
saving-earning higher interest relative to the national average
of transactional accounts.” Other features include joint cash
management options, no-fee withdrawals at more than 55,000
locations in the US, one-tap activation for all SoFi Mastercards
distributed via Samsung Money, and FDIC insurance up to $1.5
million on all deposits. Samsung Money is expected to launch
some time this summer.


Samsung debuted its
new mid-range Exynos 880 CPU, its more budget-friendly follow-up
to the high-end Exynos 980 it unveiled late last year. The new
chipse is built using the same 8-nanometer FinFET process that
the company pioneered on the 980. It supports download speeds of
up to 2.55Gbps with upload rates of 1.28Gbps over 5G networks.
The 880 also offers a hybrid 4G/5G option, which can combine
networks to provide theoretical download rates of up to 3.55Gbps.
It powers these speeds via two onboard ARM Cortex A76 cores
clocked at 2GHz, alongside six ARM A55 cores running at 1.8GHz.
The chipset also has integrated graphics processing thanks to its
ARM Mali-G76 MP5 GPU, which supports both full HD displays
and high-refresh rates for mobile gaming. Lastly, the Exynos 880
includes full support for the latest memory specs, including
LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 onboard storage. While the mid-range
chip can match its more powerful cousin in nearly all other
areas, it is limited to a 64MP main camera setup. The 980, for
comparison, can support up to 108MP, as in the recently-released
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. While Samsung has not yet
announced any first-party offerings to use the chipset, Vivo has
already debuted its Y70 smartphone, which is built around the


upcoming Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20+ have seemingly leaked in a pair of posts from The pair of devices
represent the 2020 iteration of Samsung’s seminal phablet. In the
leaked renders, the Note 20 appears relatively similar in form
factor to its predecessor, shipping with a 6.7-inch display this
time around. Meanwhile, the larger Note 20+ will come with a
6.9-inch display. While the leaks include no specific information
about either unit’s photographic prowess, the rendered camera
bumps point towards a high-end array along the lines of the
periscope camera in the Galaxy S20 Ultra. If previous trends hold
true, the Note 20 will likely also include slightly more RAM than
this year’s S20 lineup, as well as a possible CPU upgrade.
Samsung typically releases its new Note models in late summer.
However, it remains unclear if this year’s debut will be impacted
by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Samsung unveiled its
new ISOCELL GN1 chip, a 50MP image sensor which it claims is
capable of producing faster autofocus performance and brighter
images than competing solutions already on the market. According
to the company, the new chip does this by employing its large
1.2µm-sized pixels to more quickly gather light and provide sharp
visuals. It also employs both Dual Pixel and Tetracell
technologies to provide “elevated light sensitivity for stellar
low-light photos and DSLR-level auto-focus speeds.” While 50MP is
a figure that has already been surpassed by several smartphone
makers, this chip, according to Samsung, is capable of employing
a software algorithm that takes light information from each
photodiode to produce image resolutions comparable to 100MP.
The device maker noted that the ISOCELL GN1 started mass
production this month, but did not specify when the chip may
reach consumers, or which smartphones may employ it.


Global smartwatch shipments grew 20 percent annually from
11.4 million units in Q1 2019 to 13.7 million in Q1 2020,
according to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics.
The market research firm suggests that one reason for the growth
is the COVID-19 pandemic, which is prompting consumers to use
their devices as health and fitness monitors during virus
lockdown. Strategy Analytics also notes that smartwatch sales
through online retail channels have been strong. Apple Watch shipped 7.6 million
units worldwide in Q1 2020, a 23 percent growth from 6.2 million
units in Q1 2019. Apple’s surge was good enough for it to capture
55 percent of the worldwide market. The number two market leader
is Samsung with 1.9
million units shipped, while Garmin returned to third position
for the first time in two years and shipped 1.1 million. Garmin’s
jump from 0.8 million in Q1 2019 was enabled by new models that
are proving popular with sports and fitness fans who like to
track their daily activity.


Samsung‘s A51
smartphone is now coming to both AT&T and Comcast‘s Xfinity Mobile.
The device was available to Sprint customers, prior to the
T-Mobile merger, and through Verizon Wireless. Now, Samsung’s
mid-range flagship is available at all three major carriers and
Xfinity Mobile for $399. The smartphone is based on an Exynos
9611 chip. It also includes a 6.5-inch 1080p OLED screen, and a
quad rear camera array (48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro,
and 5MP depth sensor). All of this is powered by a 4,000mAh
battery. The A51 also includes an increasingly-rare headphone
jack, something even Samsung’s high-end flagships have lacked for
some time. It should be noted that the version being carried by
AT&T and Xfinity is still the 4G version, though Samsung plans to
launch a 5G variant sometime this summer.


Global smartphone shipments fell by 20 percent (sequentially) and 12 percent (year to
year), for the 2020 first quarter – which is being called the
“largest annual decline ever” – amidst worldwide response to the
novel coronavirus pandemic. According to “preliminary data”
posted by IDC, manufacturers
shipped just 275.8 million devices over the three-month period,
with the largest regional decline (20.3 percent) recorded in
China, the country that traditionally constitutes about 25
percent of shipments. Other noteworthy dropoffs included Europe
(18 percent) and the US (16 percent). It was also noted that,
while China’s “supply-side” limitations started to recover in
March as the country was able to ease restrictions, other nations
experienced a “demand-side” impact that led to a “flatline” in
consumer spending. Top device manufacturers, globally, included
Samsung‘s 58.3 million
smartphones, which held a 21 percent market share despite a 19
percent Y2Y decline; Huawei‘s 49 million, with 18
percent market share on 17 percent dropoff; and Apple‘s 37 million, with a
relatively flat 13 percent market share. Other leading developers
by units shipped included Xiaomi (30 million) and VIVO (25 million).


Samsung is
reportedly planning its first phone with a pop-up selfie camera,
according to a leaked image and video posted by tech
blog Pigtou and well-known
tipster @OnLeaks. A render of
the device shows a moveable camera located at the top of the
unit, similar to the pop-up camera used in the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Although OnePlus has since moved on to a “punch hole” style of
front-facing camera within their latest smartphones, the OnePlus
8 and 8 Pro, the attraction of the completely uninterrupted
screen enabled by a pop-up front camera makes it a worthwhile
feature for pursuit, as the leak suggests. While it remains
unclear exactly which line the device will be joining, the
likeliest scenario is the Galaxy A series, based on other leaked
specs that peg the device as being budget-friendly. Samsung had
not commented on the leak at the time of writing.


Samsung announced
that it is the “first TV brand to integrate Apple Music on its Smart TV
Platform.” With this announcement, owners of any Samsung smart
TV model produced during 2018 or later will gain access to the
Apple Music service on their set. The service provides ad-free
streaming of more than 60 million songs, as well as access to
music videos and curated playlists. Owners of compatible
televisions can download the new Apple Music app from the
Samsung Smart TV App Store. An Apple ID and Apple Music
subscription are required for use.


Samsung was forced
to pull a publicly released update for its ultra-high-end Galaxy
S20 smartphone after multiple users reported bugs brought on by
the software distribution. According to a report from
Samsung-centric blog SamMobile, the
over-the-air update was found to be causing a green tint on some
users’ screens, as well as slower charging rates for the device’s
batteries. Unfortunately for users of the device, this update was
designed, in part, to fix an already-extant issue with the
device’s premium camera array which has resulted in reports of
slow or inconsistent autofocus performance. Given the unit’s
$1,400 price tag and its obvious focus on camera quality and
performance, the issues are a particularly noticeable black mark
on an otherwise successful smartphone launch. Samsung has, so
far, not commented on when users can expect a revised update or
a fix for those that already installed the erroneous software
package. However, it is expected to be actively working on both.


Samsung announced
that its budget-minded Galaxy A series of smartphones is coming
to the US, bringing 5G support with it for the first time. The
new wave of devices begins with the non-5G Galaxy A01 and A51
on April 9 at select carriers and retailers. The A01 will ship
with a 5.7-inch HD+ display; a multi-lens rear camera array
including a 13MP rear camera and 2MP Depth camera, and a 5MP
front-facing camera; as well as a 3,000mAh battery. Meanwhile,
the A51 comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, 4GB
of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage, a 48MP main camera, and a
4,000 mAh battery. The devices will sell for $249.99 and $399.99,
respectively. The first 5G entrants in the series will be
available later in the summer with a 5G variant of the A51
($499.99) and an all-new A71 packed with 5G, a 6.7-inch FHD+
Super AMOLED Plus display and a quad-camera system with a
64MP main camera. That device will retail for $599.99.


Samsung said it will
cease production of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels by the
end of 2020, according to Reuters. The company was a
leading provider of LCD screens for Apple‘s use in the iPhone, iPad,
and Apple Watch, but with transition to newer technologies such
as OLED (organic light emitting diode), the company has seen
falling demand. At least some of the factories currently
producing LCD screens are being converted to quantum dot
displays that employ a construction similar to traditional LCD
panels. Apple, meanwhile, still relies on LCD screens for some
products and will continue to be supplied by companies such as
LG, Japan Display, and Sharp.


Samsung announced
that several of the new features that launched with its Galaxy
S20 smartphone will soon be added to its older S10 and Note 10
models via a software update. The new capabilities, expected to
roll out in the coming weeks, include new photo modes like Single
Take, a burst photography technique that chooses the best image
of several taken in rapid succession; improved Night Mode
performance; a Pro Video mode that allows users to adjust shutter
speed, ISO, and more; and post-processing editing options like
Clean View and Quick Crop, which help organize and optimize the
quality of captured images and video. Lastly, the S10 and Note 10
will also benefit from new sharing options, including Quick Share
for photos and videos, and Music Share, which allows multiple
users to connect to a single Bluetooth speaker at the same time.


Samsung is
reportedly patching the
auto-focus issue plaguing unlocked Galaxy S20 handsets in the
US. According to SamMobile, the
developer is believed to have released new firmware to the Galaxy
S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra – build G98xU1UEU1ATCH – that
“noticeably improves the focusing speed” of their cameras. The
update is “making its way” to US-based Qualcomm Snapdragon
variants after reaching international Exynos models “earlier this
week.” SamMobile did note that – as the update’s changelog
specifically mentions an “improved camera for the Galaxy S20 and
S20+” – is as yet unconfirmed as to whether the update works for
all three models as has been assumed.


The number of telecommunications providers and device
makers that have closed their stores within the US has grown. The
latest list of companies that have chosen to shutter all or most
of their retail outlets in response to COVID-19 now includes Samsung, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Apple, Sprint and, most recently AT&T. The exact percentage being
closed varies between each company, with Apple taking the
approach of temporarily shutting down all retail outlets, while
most carriers are currently operating around 20 percent of their
brick-and-mortar locations.


Samsung announced
that it has commenced production on a new mass storage chip for
“flagship smartphones.” The first-of-its-kind chip provides 512GB
of eUFS (embedded Universal Flash Storage) 3.1 space for devices.
In addition to its half-terabyte capacity, the component also
provides write speeds of up to 1,200MBps to handle massive files
like 8K videos or huge photo folders. Samsung claims the eUFS3.1
protocol is up to 60 percent faster than its eUFS 3.0
predecessor. The smartphone maker notes that, in addition to the
initial 512GB model, 256GB and 128GB versions of the chip are
expected to be available within flagship smartphones some time
“later this year.” A breakdown of the new chip’s capabilities
along with comparisons to its predecessors, can be found within
press release


Ericsson announced
a new collaboration with Samsung which will see it
powering the Korean manufacturers eSIM activation needs. The
new technology, which is already in use in the recently-released
Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip, allows smartphones’
eSIM modules to be activated remotely, without the need for QR
codes or physical store visits. The company claims that the
combination of its Ericsson Secure Entitlement Server and
Ericsson eSIM manager allows for “fully automated device and
subscription orchestration” for both ”smartphones and other
devices.” Ericsson noted that it will deploy the same solution
with multiple other undisclosed providers in the near future.


Samsung announced
the signing of an agreement with Spark New Zealand to take part
in building that company’s 5G network in 2020. Spark is New
Zealand’s largest mobile carrier, and it has been working with
Samsung on its 5G trials since last year. Under the terms of the
new contract, the Korean hardware maker will provide Spark with
its latest 5G New Radio (NR) devices, including Massive MIMO
radios and low-profile networking equipment. Samsung notes the
hardware is capable of running on both the 2.5GHz/3.5GHz and
mmWave (28GHz/39GHz) bands. No specific terms for the
agreement were disclosed.


LG revealed that it
temporarily shuttered operations at a display manufacturing plant
in Gumi, South Korea after a bank employee near the facility
tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second smartphone maker
to have its production affected by the Novel Coronavirus, with Samsung also having
recently shut down operations at a facility in Gumi for a little
over a day. While both incidents appear relatively minor in
isolation, they could be the vanguard of additional supply chain
interruptions that will have a significant impact on the bottom
lines of LG, Samsung, and companies that rely on components
from both manufacturers, including Apple and others.


Researchers have previously studied how ultrasonic waves sent
through the air can activate commands, including from unwanted
third parties, to cell phones. Now, a scientist at Washington
University in St. Louis has discovered that phones can also be
compromised by ultrasonic waves transmitted through solid
surfaces. According to Help Net Security Nin Zhang, an
assistant professor of computer science and engineering, has been
able to send “voice” commands to a phone sitting on a table from
a specially outfitted microphone placed beneath the table. Zhang
and his team were able to successfully retrieve a text passcode
sent to the device and make a fraudulent call. “We did it on
metal. We did it on glass. We did it on wood,” Zhang said, noting
that placing the phone in different positions and adding other
objects to the table to weaken the signal had no effect.
According to Help Net Security, 17 different phone models were
tested, including Apple‘s
iPhone, Samsung‘s
Galaxy and Motorola
‘s Moto models. All but two were vulnerable to the
ultrasonic wave attacks.


An Australian policy group has named Apple as one of the companies
benefiting from the used of forced labor in China. The Australian
Strategic Policy Institute’s (ASPI) report, Uyghurs for
, claims that Apple along with Samsung, Huawei, Sony, and Nike are among 83
global brands whose suppliers use labor from the ethnic Uighur
population “under conditions that strongly suggest forced
labour.” Since 2017, the Chinese government has forced more than
one million of the Muslim practicing Uighurs into “re-education”
camps in what some say is a “systematic government-led program
of cultural genocide.” Now, estimates say that more than 80,000
Uighurs were transferred to work in factories across China
between 2017 and 2019, with some sent directly from detention
camps. Chinese government documents indicate that the workers
are assigned “minders” and have limited freedom of movement.
ASPI found evidence of forced Uighur labor at four separate
factories in Apple’s supply chain including the Foxconn Zhengzhou
facility known as “iPhone City” that produces over half of the
world’s iPhones.


Samsung told The Verge that it is working
on a bug fix to address issues with the camera systems in its
Galaxy S20 smartphones that have emerged in some early reviews
of the devices. Several tech blogs and device reviewers have
complained of slow and inaccurate auto-focus performance,
resulting in blurry photos and videos. Others have also pointed
at overzealous photo processing resulting in overly smooth skin
tones. Samsung did not provide any timeframe for when the fixes
might arrive, but the company would likely prefer to complete the
camera software patch before the S20 line’s March 6 release date.


forthcoming Galaxy S20 smartphone line has a new feather to stick
in its cap, as the USB
Implementers Forum (USB-IF)
has certified the devices as the
first smartphones to receive its USB fast-charger certification.
This means that all three units in the line can be charged via
the Programmable Power Supply (PPS) and USB Power Delivery
(USB PD) 3.0 specifications. The certification and protocols are
designed to create a standardized set of parameters for their
party accessory makers to follow when making fast chargers. In
the case of the S20 line, the S20 and S20+ both support 25W
chargers, while the S20 Ultra supports a 45W charger. Assuming a
suitably equipped charger is connected to one of the devices,
they can charge in a fraction of the time typical smartphone
chargers would require to top off their batteries.


Samsung announced
that it has entered into a commercial agreement with US Cellular
to provide 5G and 4G LTE network solutions. Under the terms of
the deal, US Cellular will purchase Samsung’s network solutions,
including 5G New Radio (NR) technology, to help with its ongoing
network and service expansions. In addition to expanding existing
LTE installations, the new hardware will also form the basis of
US Cellular’s initial 5G rollout. The carrier claims it chose
Samsung’s hardware due to its ability to deliver “reliable indoor
and outdoor service.” No financial terms for the deal, nor any
timeframe for when the network improvements might launch, were


Samsung suffered an
embarrassing blunder as it accidentally sent what was meant to be
an internal test notification out to millions and millions of
Galaxy smartphone users. The message appeared to be from the
company’s Find My Mobile app, and included only one character,
the number “1”. Multiple sites are reporting that users who
contacted their carriers for support over the strange message
were told that it was simply sent in error. Meanwhile, Samsung
itself remained largely quiet on the incident, only speaking
directly to Korean news site Yonhap
. According to the company’s statement, the internal test
was misconfigured resulting in the test message being sent to not
just the correct target devices, but to all Galaxy-branded
smartphones able to receive it. Samsung noted that the message
should have had no impact on user’s devices. Most users reporting
their experience seemed to concur, although a few scattered
reports did mention a slight uptick in battery usage from the
Find My Mobile app after the message was received.


Microsoft announced
a major update to its Your Phone app that brings support for RCS
(Rich Chat Services) messaging features to the platform for the
first time. The company revealed in a tweet that the first devices to support the new feature will
be Samsung‘s Galaxy
S20 line. Users of Your Phone could already send and receive text
messages via their connected, Windows 10-based PC. Now, with
the added functionality, the Windows app will also support
functions such as typing indicators, read receipts, and other
RCS-based services, when paired with Samsung’s messaging app.
While Microsoft did not specify that the expanded support would
be coming to other smartphones, the spokesperson responsible for
the tweet strongly hinted at the fact that it would be expanded
to at least include other Samsung handsets by saying the rollout
was “starting with” the S20 line.


users that were hoping to have a base-model Samsung Galaxy S20 in
hand on launch day may be disappointed, as the company confirmed that it will sell its version of the
Galaxy S20 until Q2 2019. The sticking point for the device
appears to be the mmWave 5G that the carrier’s Ultra Wideband
network runs on. The model of S20 launching at retailers and
other carriers in March does not support this network protocol,
requiring Samsung to produce a variant with added support for
Verizon’s mmWave architecture. However, the pricier Galaxy S20+
and S20 Ultra will include support for the aforementioned 5G
protocol from the get-go, meaning S20 buyers will have to shell
out an additional $200 or $400 above the base model’s $999 price
point in order to avoid waiting until Spring for an S20 able to
user Verizon’s 5G.


Samsung finally
debuted its incessantly leaked 2020 flagship smartphone lineup at
its Unpacked event, including the flexible Galaxy Z Flip. The
company’s standard flagship for this year will come in three
varieties: the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. The standard
model will ship with a 6.2-inch display running at 3,040×1,440
with a 120hz refresh rate for smooth playback of fast motion. Its
internals will include a Samsung Exynos 9825 core running a
2.7GHz Octa-core CPU; 12GB of RAM; 128GB of internal storage;
and a microSD card slot. The device’s camera array includes a
12MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP telephoto shooter, and a 64MP
standard lens, with a 10MP selfie camera. All of this will be
powered by a 4,000mAh battery. The Galaxy S20+ bumps the
screen size up to 6.7-inches, includes a 4,500mAh battery, and
offers a 512GB internal storage option. It also adds a fourth
camera: a 12MP wide-angle lens. Finally, the S20 Ultra launches
with a massive 6.9-inch display, includes a 5,000mAh battery, and
bumps its wide-angle camera up to a staggering 108MP, with a
40MP selfie shooter. The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra are
priced at $999, $1,199, and $1,499, respectively. All three are
expected to go up for pre-order February 21, with an official
release date of March 13. Despite the ultra-premium nature of
Samsung’s latest flagship release for its standard smartphone
line, the most anticipated device of Unpacked 2020 was likely the
Korean smartphone maker’s Galaxy Z Flip. The company’s second
attempt at a smartphone with a flexible display mirrors
Motorola’s recent RAZR revival by using a clamshell folding
design. It also abandons the company’s problematic plastic
display, used in its Galaxy Fold, in favor of an ultra-thin
flexible glass display, which Samsung claims is more durable and
comfortable to use. The device’s internal’s are less impressive
than its inflexible cousins, but still fairly high end, including
a 6.7-inch folding display, a Snapdragon 855 CPU, 8GB of RAM,
256GB of internal storage, a pair of 12MP rear cameras, and a
10MP selfie cam. All of this runs on a 3,300mAh battery. The
folding device is going on sale nearly one month before the S20
line, on February 14. It is priced at $1,380.


In an unusual move, Samsung aired a full
commercial for its as-yet unreleased Galaxy Z Flip smartphone
during the 2020 Academy Awards broadcast. The ad showed off the
device’s folding display in full view, including a
never-before-seen shot of its outer notification screen in
operation. Another revelation from the ad is the fact that
certain apps on the device appear to be designed for use with the
unit half-folded at a 90-degree angle, mirroring a tiny laptop
form factor for tasks such as video chat. Despite the unusually
detailed look at a pre-release device, Samsung remained mum on
any specific stats or figures, only promising that it would show
the device off at its Unpacked event scheduled for February 11,
just two days after the commercial aired.


The number of companies pulling out of the forthcoming Mobile
World Congress (MWC) show in Barcelona later this month jumped
sharply over the weekend. Since LG announced it would not be
attending the show due to the risk its staff would be at to the
ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, it has been joined by Ericsson, Sony, Amazon, Samsung, and others. While
some still plan a limited presence at the show, most have chose
to abandon the event entirely in favor of online product
launches. GSMA, the association that puts on the MWC event, has
said the show will go on as scheduled. However, it has announced
a series of precautions it will be
taking to handle the possibility of infection for attendees.
Chief among these is a requirement that any Chinese attendees
present valid proof that they have been outside of China for no
less than 14 days, via their passport stamps or health
certificates. Attendees originating from the Hubei province,
where the infection began, will be denied entry entirely. GSMA
also plans to hold on-site temperature screenings, to ensure that
attendees are not currently ill. Additional precautions and tips
for attendees can be found at the link above.


Samsung‘s still
un-announced Galaxy Z Flip smartphone appears to have leaked in
a new video which shows the full device in motion. Although leaked
images purported to be of the device have already been posted,
this is the first time the foldable smartphone’s display and
hinge have been shown in use. The video, posted to Twitter by
veteran leaker Ben Geskin, shows the clamshell-style handset
being unfolded and refolded. Although it is impossible to tell
from the short clip if the unit actually uses the rumored
flexible glass covering that previous leaks have suggested it
will sport, the screen does appear very smooth and relatively
unmarred by a crease like the one found on the Samsung Galaxy
Fold, and most other folding smartphones that have debuted so
far. That said, the relatively low quality of the video may still
be concealing any flaws the device’s display does have. Those
wishing to know for sure what the Galaxy Z Flip’s components are
do not have too long to wait; Samsung is widely expected to
reveal the device at their Unpacked 2020 event on February 11,
alongside an updated Galaxy S flagship smartphone.


Three year-end reports looking at the smartphone sector as
reported by The Verge show Huawei beating Apple to become the world’s
second best selling smartphone manufacturer. Strategy Analytics,
Counterpoint Research, and Canalys all have Samsung in the top spot for
the year with Huawei leveraging its Chinese roots to overtake
Apple. Counterpoint Research notes that Huawei controls nearly 40
percent of the smartphone market in China. Strategy Analytics,
meanwhile, places full-year 2019 smartphone shipments at 1.41
billion, dropping one percent from 1.43 billion in 2018 – the
second consecutive year the worldwide market has seen a loss.
Although it fell a spot for the year, the fourth quarter was very
good for Apple, with strong iPhone 11 demand pushing the
company past both Samsung and Huawei into first for the period,
according to all three analyses.


Samsung posted a
short press release and video teasing its
upcoming Unpacked 2020 event. The press event, which is
scheduled for 11 AM PST on February 11, is typically where
Samsung reveals its flagship smartphones for the year,
traditionally including an update of its Galaxy S line. However,
this year’s dominant rumor is that the company will unveil a
second foldable smartphone, widely believed to be named the
Galaxy Z Flip. The event has a tagline of “Change the shape of
the future,” while several square-shaped silhouettes can be seen
in the teaser video under a concealing cloth. These factors
combine to strongly suggest that the leaks about the upcoming
flexible smartphone debuting in February are true. All should
become clear when Unpacked 2020 kicks off in San Francisco in
less than two weeks.


Alleged images of Samsung‘s February-due Galaxy S20+
smartphone have been published in a leak. The pictures – which were sent to
XDA Developers via “a
source who wishes to stay anonymous” – would point to the
presence of four rear-facing cameras, a flash, and, per XDA,
“what looks like a microphone hole.” Also visible are a
right-positioned volume and power button; small, front-facing
bezels; an Infinity-O display that is “much less curved than
before” with, apparently, 2.5D glass; a hole punch that is
smaller in appearance to that of the Galaxy Note 10; and
pre-installed screen protector. The handset is rumored to debut
at Samsung’s Unpacked 2020 event on February 11, 2020, with
fully apparent specs to follow at that time.


Samsung noted that
it has shipped more than 6.7
million 5G devices in 2019, which is good for 53.9 percent (as of
November 2019) of the global next-gen smartphone marketplace.
This data – which it was noted was provided by CounterPoint
– saw Samsung “sell-through” up less than 1 percent
on “strong” domestic performance, compared to Apple‘s 5 percent year-to-year
growth. The performance, Samsung noted, is based on the
company having generally “led the industry in offering consumers
five Galaxy 5G devices globally,” including the Galaxy S10 5G,
Note 10 5G, and Note10+ 5G, among others. Data did not,
however, reflect the 2020-due Galaxy Tab S6 5G.


Samsung has
officially scheduled the 2020 edition of its annual Unpacked
event for February 11 in San Francisco. The press event typically
serves as the debut of the company’s latest flagship Galaxy S
smartphone, as well as many other important product releases.
This year is expected to bring the unveiling of the Galaxy S11,
which some rumors suggest might be named the Galaxy S20.
Other leaks have claimed that Samsung will also show off its next
foldable smartphone, which many expect to be a clamshell design
similar to Motorola’s recent RAZR revival. For its part, Samsung
remained vague in its press release, only hinting at “new,
innovative devices that will shape the next decade of mobile
experiences.” All should become clear in a little over a month
when Unpacked 2020 opens it doors.


Samsung debuted a
new Chromebook model aimed at the high end portable PC market.
The new Galaxy Chromebook 2-in-1 device features a 13.3-inch
screen which can fold flat for use as a laptop or tablet. Other
hardware specs include a Intel 10th generation Core Processor,
Intel UHD Graphics, up to 1TB of local storage, Wi-Fi 6, and a
built-in stylus. The Galaxy Chromebook will launch in two colors:
Fiesta Red and Mercury Gray. It is expected to retail for $999
and up, and will be available some time in Q1 2020.


Alliances and Joint Ventures

Samsung and IBM announced a new alliance
under which the duo will jointly develop solutions for the edge
computing, 5G, and hybrid cloud markets. According to the
companies, the goal of the collaboration is to “help businesses
across all industries modernize their operations and realize the
promise of Industry 4.0.” Samsung will be providing its Galaxy 5G
mobile devices and end-to-end enterprise network solutions, while
IBM will offer its network management, hybrid cloud, and edge
computing solutions, as well as AI-based industry products and
Red Hat architecture. Additional details on planned solutions and
the duo’s “Industry 4.0” plans can be found within their press release.


Google and Samsung announced a new
collaboration focused on their respective smart home platforms.
Under the terms of their alliance, Google’s portfolio of
Nest-branded products will become part of Samsung’s SmartThings
ecosystem. This means that all Nest thermostats, cameras, and
doorbells will gain the “Works With SmartThings” (WWST) certified
designation, allowing users to interact with them through
Samsung’s smart home platform and apps, and allowing the
devices to interact with other WWST certified devices. The new
interactivity is expected to be available in January 2021.


VMWare and Samsung have entered into an agreement to assist
CSPs (Communications Service Providers) more easily meet the
requirements of 5G networks. The partnership will specifically
optimize Samsung’s portfolio of telco offerings for CNFs
(containerized network functions) and VNFs (virtualized network
functions), with VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform.


Microsoft and Samsung expanded on their existing partnership
to extend integration between Samsung “productivity” devices and
Microsoft 365, Windows 10, and Xbox apps and services. Particular
support is now available for linking Your Phone and Link to
Windows to select Samsung devices; pinning Android apps to the
Windows 10 taskbar or Start Menu; accessing Note20 on one’s
PC; viewing and editing Notes across various devices; adding
Samsung Reminders to Windows 10; extending integration for
Samsung Galaxy watches; and, coming soon, automatically
connecting Samsung Notes and OneNote.


Microsoft and Samsung have established a global collaboration agreement to focus on digitally
transforming real estate development and property management.
The deal will combine Samsung smart appliances and Microsoft
digital cloud technology to “optimize building operations,
equipment maintenance, energy management, asset performance,
and new tenant experiences.”


Samsung and
Korean carrier SK Telecom have revealed what they are calling the
world’s first smartphone with quantum security technology built
in. The device, appropriately named the Galaxy A Quantum, comes
equipped with a “Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG).”
While the device’s other internal hardware is essentially
identical to the already-released Galaxy A71 5G, the onboard
QRNG chipset provides an extra, allegedly unhackable level of
security when logging into select smartphone services, including
payment platforms and two-factor authentication providers. The
security chip works by using an internal LED to emit “image
noise,” which is then picked up by a companion CMOS sensor
which captures the noise’s “quantum randomness.” The result is an
unpredictable string of numbers which is then applied to the task
of securing the aforementioned logins. While the device is
currently slated to be a SK Telecom exclusive, the technology
could easily be installed into smartphones for other carriers
elsewhere in the world.


Samsung revealed
plans to release a new Samsung Pay debit card and
“mobile-first” money-management platform. This Samsung
Pay-based system, which comes via a partnership with SoFi, is designed to support
contactless payments. The new Samsung Pay card and
cash-management app will roll out “this Summer.” Further details
will be made available “in the coming weeks.”


Samsung is
reportedly teaming with Google to provide the
processor technology for the search giant’s upcoming Pixel
smartphone. Citing “media reports,” The Korea Times claims
that the chipmaker has agreed to supply its Exynos series
semiconductor technology as part of a new Pixel rollout that
could come “as early as this year.” The plan would see Samsung
provide a customized 5-nanometer Exynos processor chip – which
KT speculated will be made with Samsung’s LPE process – to
Google. The octa-core processor is expected to feature two
Cortex-A78 CPU cores, dual Cortex-A76 CPU cores, and four
Cortex-A55 CPU cores. The chipset, it was also noted, may
employ ARM‘s upcoming Mali
MP20 graphics processor microarchitecture. Samsung declined to
confirm the reports.


McAfee is extending
its partnership with Samsung to secure
Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S Series, Galaxy
S20, and Galaxy Fold. These devices will come pre-installed with
McAfee’s anti-malware protection. The partnership also extends to
Samsung’s PCs and laptops.


Personnel and Organizational

Samsung Chairman
Lee Kun-hee passed away yesterday at the age
of 78. Lee is the son of company founder, Lee Byung-chul, and
oversaw company operations for 30+ years. According to The Wall
Street Journal (WSJ), Lee
was Samsung’s “largest individual shareholder,” and was
instrumental in assisting Samsung’s transformation from a
“second-tier electronics parts maker into the world’s biggest
manufacturer of smartphones and televisions” prior to a 2014
heart attack leaving him hospitalized. No successor has been
named; his son Lee Jae-yong – who the WSJ noted has been
“groomed for years as the likely successor” – awaits trial on
bribery charges and, potentially, financial fraud. The news
outlet further speculated that a share-transfer to his surviving
children may be problematic due to “South Korea’s substantial
inheritance tax.” In an official statement to news outlets,
Samsung called Lee a “true visionary who transformed Samsung
into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a
local business. His legacy will be everlasting.”


Samsung has
reportedly promoted Taemoon Roh to oversee its Smartphone division. According to
Bloomberg, the
smartphone manufacturer will look to this “engineering maven” and
“lieutenant credited with building up the marquee Galaxy line” to
replace Koh Dong-Jin. Koh – who was responsible for the unit
during a series of public relations snafus in recent years – will
continue to lead IT and mobile communications. Other Samsung
divisions such as Semiconductors, Consumer Appliances and
Electronics, and IT Services, will be unaffected by the change.



Samsung issued preliminary guidance for
its forthcoming third quarter financial results, showing a
surprising bump in profits. According to the early release, the
electronics maker expects operating profits for the quarter to
amount to approximately $10.6 billion, a 58 percent rise over its
corresponding figure for the year-ago quarter. This is
particularly surprising given the fact that this quarter occurred
during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Reuters noted that this boost in sales may have been driven primarily by the
company’s lower-cost, mid-range smartphones, rather than flagship
units like the Galaxy S20. The exact source of Samsung’s
improved fortunes should become clear in a few weeks when the
company release its full third quarter results.


Samsung posted its
financial results for the second quarter of its 2020 fiscal year.
For the period, the company’s revenue reached KRW 52.97 trillion
($44.36 billion), a notable decline from the KRW 56.13 trillion
($47 billion) posted one year ago. This follows along with
Samsung’s warning, issued in April, that it expected to see
negative impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for the next
several quarters. However, bucking that trend is the company’s
rising operating profit of KRW 8.15 trillion ($6.83 billion), up
from Q2 2019’s KRW 6.69 trillion ($5.6 billion). It should be
noted that this figure was boosted by a one-time gain earned by
its display business. Although the manufacturer did not disclose
the source of this gain, CNET
suggested that it could have been derived from a $950 million
penalty Apple is rumored to have paid to Samsung due to failing
to purchase the required number of OLED displays listed in a
contract signed by the two companies. Net profit for the quarter
was KRW 5.56 trillion ($4.66 billion), down slightly from the
previous year’s second-quarter total of KRW 5.18 trillion ($4.34
billion). Samsung’s mobile sales dropped 18 percent year over
year, likely also due to COVID-19-related slow-downs.


Samsung issued its
2019 full-year and fourth-quarter earnings information, noting a
significant year-to-year dropoff in both cases. For the 12-month
period ended December 31, 2019, Samsung noted that its profits
were KRW21.7 trillion (US$18 billion), or KRW3,166 (US$2.64) per
share, marking a 51 percent decline in net income from 2018’s
KRW44.3 trillion (US$37 billion), or KRW6,461 (US$5.39) per
share. Revenues over this same timeframe totaled KRW230 trillion
(US$190 billion), which is down by 6 percent from 2018 sales of
KRW244 trillion (US$200 billion). In terms of revenue by segment,
Consumer Electronics registered a 6 percent year-to-year gain, to
KRW44.8 trillion (US$37 billion); Device Solutions fell 5 percent
to KRW65 trillion (US$54 billion); and IT & Mobile Communications
grew 6 percent to KRW107.3 trillion (US$90 billion), with Mobile
sales alone accounting for KRW102.3 trillion (US$85 billion) of
that figure. Fourth quarter profits, meanwhile, were KRW5.2
trillion (US$4.3 billion), or KRW769 (US$0.64) per share, marking
a 39 percent decline from 18Q4 earnings of KRW8.5 trillion
(US$7.1 billion), or KRW1,226 (US$1.02) per share. Q4 sales
reached KRW60 trillion (US$50 billion), which is up by 1 percent
from KRW59.3 trillion (US$50 billion). Consumer Electronics
revenue grew 8 percent year to year to KRW11.8 trillion (US$9.9
billion), Device Solutions sales fell 10 percent to KRW16.79
trillion (US$14 billion), and IT & Mobile Communications revenue
increased 7 percent to KRW24.95 trillion (US$21 billion). Within
the latter segment, Mobile sales accounted for KRW24.05 trillion
(US$20 billion) of this amount.



1 "Gartner Says Global Smartphone Sales Declined 5.7% in Third Quarter of
2020." Gartner.
November 30, 2020.

2 Jordan Golson. "Supreme Court Hears Samsung v. Apple Oral Arguments"
The Verge. October 11, 2016

3 Jacob Kastrenakes. "Apple and Samsung Settle Seven-Year-Long Patent Fight
Over Copying iPhone." The Verge. June 27, 2018.

4 Todd Bishop. "New Stats: Samsung Surges
Past IBM to Lead U.S. Patent Race for 2015." GeekWire. December 15, 2015. 

5 Ibid.

6 Eugene Kim. "Samsung Replaces Head of its
Phone Business." Business Insider.
November 30, 2014.

About the Author

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Michael Gariffo is
an editor for Faulkner Information Services. He tracks and writes about
enterprise software and the IT services sector, as well as telecommunications
and data networking.

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