Samsung Electronics has posted quarterly profit that topped analyst estimates on growth in its memory chip business, but signalled caution in semiconductors by announcing a cut in capital spending for the year. Original Link
Samsung Electronics is overhauling its line-up of premium phones for next year, preparing to launch its first 5G-capable smartphone, a cheaper flagship model and a foldable-screen device to challenge Apple. Original Link
Xiaomi delivered a 68% revenue jump and quarterly profit in its maiden earnings report, as the Chinese smartphone giant made strides overseas while fending off a challenge from local rivals such as Oppo. Original Link
Sluggish global smartphone sales are starting to crimp earnings at Samsung Electronics, which posted profit that fell short of estimates.
The maker of Galaxy phones reported that operating income rose to 14.8-trillion won (US$13.2-billion) in the three months ended June, according to preliminary results released on Friday from the Suwon, South Korea-based company. That compares to the 15.3-trillion won average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Smartphone sales started to cool last year after a decade of robust growth, but Samsung had managed to weather the slowdown, thanks to demand for memory. While the world’s biggest chip maker dominates in both DRAM and NAND markets, the company has struggled with weaker-than-projected sales of its Galaxy S9 smartphones unveiled in the first three months of the year. Sales of organic light-emitting diode screens to Apple have also been weaker than expected, while the growth of semiconductor prices has been slowing.
“While chip sales keep rising, smartphones aren’t looking good,” said Jung Sang-jin, a fund manager at Korea Investment Management. “While chips and phones cancel each other out in profit, the weakening won may work in Samsung’s favour in the second half.”
Sales for the second quarter fell to 58-trillion won, compared to the 60.8-trillion won average projection compiled by Bloomberg. Samsung won’t provide net income or break out divisional performance until it releases final results later this month.
Shares fell as much as 2% in morning trade in Seoul. The stock has declined more than 11% this year after trading near record highs in 2017.
Samsung warned in April that its mobile business would see “stagnant sales of flagship models amid weak demand and an increase in marketing expenses” in the second quarter. Samsung’s market share is forecast to fall to 20.4% in the second quarter from 21.4% in the previous quarter, while Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Xiaomi would all raise theirs, according to TrendForce. Chinese companies have also been challenging Samsung in the LCD television market where the South Korean manufacturer leads.
Samsung also faces an investigation in China over allegations of collusion in chip sales with Micron Technology and SK Hynix while facing regulatory pressure at home over corporate governance.
The semiconductor business forms the largest portion of Samsung’s profit. Contract prices for 32GB DRAM server modules climbed 2.8% in the June quarter from the March period, which saw them rise 5.6%. Prices for 128GB MLC NAND flash memory chips fell about 9%, according to inSpectrum Tech.
Protectionism may end up benefiting the South Korean chip maker if the US puts tariffs on Chinese imports and China retaliates, Jung at Korea Investment Management said. Samsung offers China an alternative to Micron in chips and US companies may look to Samsung for displays if Chinese firms like BOE Technology Group are hit, he said.
The won may also help Samsung to bounce back in the second half. The Korean currency has weakened sharply since early June after fears of a trade war reignited.
“The won depreciation is working in Samsung’s favour,” said Claire Kim, an analyst at Daishin Securities. “Samsung’s semiconductors sales are still beating expectations and chips are making more money than smartphones are losing.” — Reported by Sam Kim, with assistance from Myungshin Cho, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP
Chinese smartphone maker OPPO has revealed that its high-end flagship smartphones are coming back. The flagship series has been silent for years and the comeback will be headed by Find 9.
What is interesting about the launch is that the new flagship may come with Super VOOC (Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging) flash technology, according to local media speculation (in Chinese). The Super VOOC is capable of recharging a 2,500 mAh battery in just 15 minutes. It can also charge a battery to about 45% in just 5 minutes. The charging technology was showcased during Mobile World Congress in February 2016 and after almost two years, it is believed that OPPO has improved the technology. If Find 9 can integrate Super VOOC it will no doubt spark attention.
Currently, Oppo’s VOOC charge is able to charge certain OPPO devices from 0 to 75% in just 30 minutes. OPPO started offering its VOOC Flash Charge 1.0 technology in 2015 with its Find 7 smartphone.
A picture of Oppo’s new flagship was leaked on the internet. (Image source: QQ News)
OPPO is one of China’s top four smartphone creators which include Huawei, Xiaomi, and Vivo. In 2016, OPPO managed to take over Huawei in terms of market share in China. Owned by billionaire Duan Yong Ping, the brand is the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer globally and it has made its fame by selling low-cost models.
South African consumers are about to get their first taste of Chinese phone maker OnePlus’s line of smartphones. The company will launch its flagship OnePlus 5 device in South Africa next week, TechCentral can reveal.
Distribution for the brand in South Africa was recently awarded to Cernotech, a technology distributor responsible for brands such as CAT Phones, Deeper and Amaryllo. The OnePlus phones will be available first through First National Bank, and directly from Cernotech, through its website.
The OnePlus phones have attracted a growing audience of consumers drawn to the phones’ high-end specifications and midrange pricing.
OnePlus was founded in 2013 by Pete Lau, a former vice-president at Oppo, another big Chinese smartphone brand, and Carl Pei. It falls under BBK Electronics, which owns Oppo, Vivo and other smartphone and consumer electronics brands.
Known for its payoff line “Never Settle”, the company’s new flagship, the OnePlus 5, was launched internationally in June. The company is now planning a follow-up, the OnePlus 5T, which will be unveiled at an event in New York next week. It’s not immediately clear when the 5T model will be available in South Africa. The international price of the 5T will reportedly be the same as the 5.
The OnePlus 5 will be available in South Africa on 15 November at a recommended retail price of R11 999. Only the 128GB version will be made available locally. The OnePlus 5 will also be available through FNB Connect for R599/month as part of a 24-month contract.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, coupled with up to 8GB of RAM. A review unit delivered to TechCentral ahead of the launch came with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage; it was powered by Google’s Android 7.1.1.
The OnePlus 5 has dual rear cameras, one with a 16-megapixel sensor and other with a 20MP sensor with a telephoto lens to determine the distance between the sensor and objects in the environment.
In portrait mode, the two sensors work together to create a focal separation between faces and backgrounds, while a custom software algorithm makes your subject clear and well-lit, OnePlus said.
This results in a professional depth-of-field (bokeh) effect that keeps faces sharp in front of a blurred backdrop.
A “smart capture” feature combines optical zoom with multi-frame technology to let user’s zoom in with more clarity, while the dual-camera system is used to calculate depth so as to speed up autofocus.
There’s also a “pro mode” offering ISO, white balance, shutter-speed, focus and exposure modification, as well as an on-screen histogram and RAW image file support.
OnePlus claims half an hour of charge using its “dash charge” technology is enough to power the phone for a day. It has a 3 300mAh battery.
Craig Wilson, editor of South African consumer technology magazine Stuff, said he has “always been really impressed by OnePlus devices”.
“They’ve consistently offered flagship-matching or even -beating specs at considerably lower prices than bigger-name brands. The OnePlus 5, for example, includes a 20MP and 16MP dual-camera setup and 8GB of RAM, which best even Samsung’s recent Note8, which costs almost R7 000 more,” Wilson said.
“In its early days (2014-2015), OnePlus did a shrewd job of building a mystique around the brand by using an invite-only ordering system. That made its devices even more desirable and exclusive but also meant the company could effectively manage its supply chain and ensure it could match demand while avoiding building any handsets that wouldn’t be sold,” he added.
“It’s exciting that OnePlus products will at last be available to South African consumers through an official channel. If the local importer is able to offer reliable after-sales support, it could do well in the local market, especially as there are a growing number of consumers opting for Sim-only packages and a standalone handset purchase, instead of contracts with subsidised devices — that’s precisely the sort of consumer OnePlus targets. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media