SEOUL: Samsung Electronics said on Monday (July 28) it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google’s Android system. The delay is seen as a blow to Samsung’s campaign to carve out a niche in mobile software and services, to complement its dominant hardware role. The Samsung Z, which has been specially developed by Samsung to run on the Tizen platform, was to go on sale in Russia in the third quarter of this year before reaching other markets.
While Uber has hit its toughest regulatory road block yet in Seoul, last-mile delivery service Naldo pushes forward with its plan to upend South Korea’s logistics industry. The company last week received an undisclosed series A round from Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. Tech in Asia soon after caught up with founder Ludolf Ebner to get the lowdown on his startup.
It can be tough getting the attention of airport gate staff. Soon they might have an additional distraction: smartwatches. Japan Airlines (JAL) on Wednesday demonstrated how some of its staff at Haneda airport in Tokyo are using Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 to locate and communicate with each other. JAL officials said smartwatches could help improve the efficiency of how and where airport staff are assigned, and improve passenger service. Attendants at two gates in the airport’s Terminal 1 building were sporting the smartwatches during the demonstration, which involved actual flights to domestic cities.
KakaoTalk, the startup messaging app with over 140 million registered users, beat the big boys like WeChat and Line to the punch with its social gaming platform, which launched two years ago. Today KakaoTalk revealed how that money-making gaming system is working out. Now KakaoTalk has 20 million monthly active users on its chat app-connected social games.
Chromebook shipments reached 1.8 million units in the second quarter of 2014, and Acer held the number one spot in shipments with a 30% market, surpassing Samsung Electronics for the first time, according to WitsView. According to WitsView research assistant manager Caroline Chen, Acer and Samsung were neck and neck with one another in terms of shipments during the first half of 2014, both with approximately 900,000.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) should support MediaTek with its technology and production capacity to counter the alliance between Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm in order to prevail in the 14/16nm segment. TSMC chairman Morris Chang admitted recently that TSMC will lose out to competitors in the 14/16nm process segment in terms of market share in 2015 before regaining its leading market position in 2016-2017.
Samsung Electronics has announced the launch of its new application hub – ‘Samsung GALAXY Apps’. An improvement upon its predecessor, the GALAXY Apps is a host of select 500 quality curated apps, 300 of which will be India centric Apps and 200 global Apps. The new Samsung GALAXY Apps will offer enriched display with new logo, icon, user interface, design and an augmented experience to the Galaxy smartphone consumers.
SINGAPORE: The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National IT Industry Promotion Agency of the Republic of Korea (NIPA) to support the expansion of Korean tech startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the South-East Asian market. In a statement on Monday (July 14), IDA said the MoU was signed last Friday, after South Korea picked Singapore as its South-east Asian hub to site IT Cooperation Centre.
LG’s 2014 marquee phone G3 can now be pre-booked at an online store in the sub-continent. Before the company could officially announce the release date of its flagship phone, a local e-commerce site, Infibeam has begun taking orders for LG G3 in India. The retailer has also disclosed the price of the 16GB and 32GB models – ₹46,990 (MRP: ₹49,990) and ₹49,990 (MRP: ₹54,990) respectively and adds that the delivery of the device would begin from 25 July.
One week ago, internet users in China started to report malfunctions on popular foreign services Line, KakaoTalk, Flickr, and OneDrive. The disruptions have yet to subside at the time of writing. Media organizations including Tech in Asia have run their own unscientific tests and found that some users in the mainland cannot access or use these services. GreatFire.org, an anonymous organization that monitors online censorship in China, claimed that that these services have indeed been “blocked” by Chinese authorities.
More than a day after Tech in Asia first observed that Japanese chat app Line was malfunctioning in China, it looks like another mobile messenger is hitting roadbumps in the Middle Kingdom – South Korea’s KakaoTalk. Reports of the disruption first surfaced in Korean media last night, with the first English-language report arriving this morning. A Kakao representative confirmed with Tech in Asia that pre-registered users in China were still able to maintain one-to-one chats but could not add new friends or use other features. Steven Millward, our colleague in Suzhou, was unable to register for KakaoTalk as a new user.
Hon Hai Group has purchased 2.45 million shares of SK C&C, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Group, representing a shareholding of 4.9%. Hon Hai published a report, stating that as a long-term investment, its subsidiary Best Leap Enterprises Limited acquired 2.45 million shares of SK C&C, with the price of KRW155,500 per share. The total trading value was KRW380.975 billion, which was about CNY2.34 billion.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. recently made a purchase of 4.9 percent share in SK C&C Co. The Foxconn Technology Group unit, the largest in the company, is still looking to expand further. Hon Hai spent $377 million or 381 billion won for all the stocks from SK Holdings Co. That’s about 155,00 per share, according to Chairman Chey Tae-won. The Taiwanese multinational electronics seems to be bent on venturing into automation, cloud computing, as well as, electric cars. This could mean Foxconn no longer wants to depend on Apple as its main buyer or maybe the company still wants to grow.
In view of continued growth in global demand for SSDs, Micron Technology and SK Hynix are interested in investing in Taiwan-based SSD controller IC design houses including Silicon Motion Technology, Phison Electronics and JMicron Technology to strengthen their competitiveness, according to industry sources.
South Korea and the EU have joined forces to promote and develop the world’s next generation of mobile internet network. Under a pact announced on Monday, the European Commission and South Korea will work towards a common definition of so-called 5G networks, in a bid to help set a rollout timetable and global standard by the end of 2015.
SAP has inked a deal in Korea that will see local IT consulting firm, LG CNS, drive deployments of the German software vendor’s cloud platform HANA in the Asian market. Both companies said they are targeting to tap in-memory computing capabilities to offer processes that require batch processing in real-time, reported The Korea Times on Monday. The new partnership will see SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud Center (HEC) set up in LG’s cloud data center located in Busan. The IT consulting vendor is the services subsidiary of LG Group.
LG Electronics is expected to see its smartphone shipments grow 20-30% sequentially to 15-16 million units in the second quarter of 2014, buoyed by the brisk sales of its latest flagship model, the LG G3, according to sources at the handset supply chain in Taiwan. Sales of the LG G3 reached 100,000 units in the first five days in Korea since its launch at the end of May, the sources noted. The LG G3 sports a 5.5-inch QHD display, Qualcomm 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 13-megapixel camera.
If you thought that tablets are stagnating and that innovation is missing, Samsung’s newest efforts might prove you wrong. We have just got our hands on some of the latest tablets from Samsung, due to launch in India within the next couple of months. These new tablets combine great hardware, the latest software and several new and useful features. All this in a unibody device that is just 6.6mm thick, lightweight and easy-to-carry. Plus, you can get it in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch sizes.
LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: Korea Telecom (KT) is looking to a range of converged services that make use of its network and platforms to differentiate itself from domestic rivals and drive growth. CTO Dongmyun Lee told delegates that with high bandwidth mobile broadband and unlimited data plans offered by all three operators in South Korea, this is no longer a differentiator, meaning KT is looking at other areas. “This kind of competition is beginning to weaken our cost structure so we are trying to escape from this vicious circle,” Lee said.
LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: Chang-Gyu Hwang, CEO of KT, this morning talked up the potential for operators to benefit from the growth of the internet of things (IoT) market, by evolving networks to support the new range of services and connected devices that are proliferating. “Convergence among industries will be accelerated through innovative technologies. Development of sensors, chips, the expansion of connected devices, the evolution of the mobile broadband network, cloud computing and big data analytics, these are all key drivers that will bring us to a smarter IoT era,” he observed in a keynote presentation.