Samsung to sell defence and petrochemical units for $1.7 billion

Samsung has announced the sale of stakes in four petrochemical and defence affiliates for $1.7 billion as the South Korean giant steps up restructuring efforts ahead of a generational ownership succession.

The sale to the Hanwha conglomerate, which has major petrochemical holdings, is expected to be finalised in the first half of next year, Samsung said in a statement.

The deal involves Samsung Electronics and other group affiliates selling their combined stakes in defence firm Samsung Techwin and Samsung General Chemicals.


A 50-percent stake held by Samsung General Chemicals in its joint venture with the French energy giant Total, called Samsung Total, will also be sold to Hanwha, along with Samsung Techwin’s 50-percent holding in a joint venture with French defence firm Thales.

It marks the first sale of Samsung affiliates since the group was forced to shed its struggling carmaking unit in 1997 during the Asian financial crisis.

Samsung is comprised of dozens of units including Samsung Electronics, the world’s top maker of mobile phones and TVs, which earn a collective revenue equal to around 20 percent of South Korea’s annual economic output.

The family-run group currently chaired by Lee Kun-Hee has merged, broken out or newly listed some of its key units in recent years as he prepares to hand over helm to his son, J.Y. Lee.

The founding Lee family has been under growing state pressure to unravel its complex cross shareholdings and make its governing structure more transparent.

The sell-off announced Wednesday indicates a desire to streamline the behemoth so as to concentrate on its key profit-making units, said Kim Ji-San, analyst at Seoul-based Kium Securities said.

“The deal shows Samsung is determined to shed non-core units deemed not competitive enough globally and to focus on key businesses like electronics, finances, construction and engineering,” Kim said.

Samsung Techwin, a developer of security equipment and aerospace technologies, reported a net profit of 133 billion won last year, but has amassed a net loss of 14.5 billion for the first three quarter of this year.

Samsung’s restructuring has not always been smooth sailing.

Last week it had to scrap a merger between two major units — Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung Engineering — due to the spiralling cost of buying back stock from shareholders opposed to the deal.

Samsung Galaxy S5 said not selling as well as S4

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 might be one of the most advanced smartphones the company has launched, but it’s reportedly not selling as well as the company hoped.

In the first three months since its April release, Samsung sold 40 percent fewer of the big-screen Galaxy S5 smartphones — designed to take on Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — than expected, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. In total, Samsung sold 12 million Galaxy S5 units during the three-month period, compared to 16 million Galaxy S4 units during the same period, the report claims, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Samsung’s plans.

For its part, Samsung has not disclosed actual Galaxy S5 sales, but the company reported a 74 percent year-over-year drop in profit in its mobile business during its last fiscal quarter. It also warned that conditions would remain tough in smartphones as competition heats up toward the end of the year.

The Journal suggests the company could be shaking up its corporate structure. Samsung is contemplating removing J.K. Shin, the company’s current mobile chief, from his post and replacing him with B.K. Yoon, who currently serves as chief executive of the company’s home appliances and television operations, the Journal reported. It’s not clear when a decision might be made on the matter.


Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday on the Journal’s story.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 to much fanfare in April. The device was viewed as an evolutionary upgrade to the Galaxy S4, featuring a textured backplate and improved resistance to dust and water.

However, the company’s mobile troubles have been well-documented over the last several months as it has been forced to acknowledge that increased competition internationally — especially in China — and growing concern over its margins have caused it to rethink its mobile strategy. Samsung is planning to reduce the number of devices it sells and maintain more of its focus on those that are particularly popular.

Despite the Galaxy S5’s troubles, it actually sold better than the S4 in the US, according to the Journal. In China, arguably one of the most important mobile markets worldwide with the growing consumer market, sales were down 50 percent compared to the Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S5 to feature iris scanner

Will Samsung take biometrics to the next level with the Galaxy S5?

Rumors surrounding Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S5 have been rife as of late. We’ve heard in recent weeks that the device could (finally) feature a premium, metal chassis and that it is likely to be the first Android-based device to launch with a 64-bit chipset, to rival Apple’s iPhone 5s. If today’s little slice of gossip is to be believed, Samsung apparently has decided to add an iris scanner to the device’s spec sheet, along with some other bleeding-edge tech! This would make the manufacturer’s next flagship device leapfrog Apple’s as the technological gadget du jour.

Ordinarily, with rumors that sound a little far-fetched, we’d be rather blasé, but the source of this particular rumbling is none other than ZDNet Korea, a site that has been spot-on with some of its predictions in the past.

The site’s source is claiming that Samsung’s next big thing will launch in February 2014, at Mobile World Congress, and that the device’s proposed hardware could be leagues ahead of what we’re already seeing in the current smartphone market.

The device is said to feature a qHD display, which will run at 2560 x 1440, a 64-bit, octa-core Exynos chipset and an iris scanner for security purposes. That will require users to pop the device up to their peeper to unlock it. While the process may sound a little inconvenient the security applications are potentially groundbreaking, as the process is considered far more secure than more “simple” biometric measures such as fingerprint recognition.


According to sources, Samsung has perfected technology to do the job of scanning users’ irises and the company is now looking into viable methods of mass producing the modules that will do the job.

The decision to bypass a potentially more mature technology in fingerprint recognition may not necessarily be a game-winning move, though. Iris reading tech is still considered to be in its infancy, despite it being utilized by certain countries around the globe. Security experts have mused that even now, commercially available iris scanners can sometimes be fooled by high-resolution images of a subject’s eye, so it will be interesting to see how Samsung has gotten around this potentially huge issue if indeed the company has decided to make use of the technology for security purposes.

Other rumors regarding the upcoming device suggest that it will come in different flavors to suit different tastes. Users who prize build quality will be able to pick up a metallic version, for example, and perhaps a more surprising suggestion is that Samsung may move away from Android for the release of the Galaxy S5, preferring instead to use its own Tizen OS.

MWC is mere weeks away now though, so we shouldn’t have long to wait before we find out whether these rumors are startling fact or mere science fiction. So stay tuned folks, 2014 looks like it’s going to kick off in style!

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Climbing to the top of the leader boards for most of the year, the Galaxy S5 continues to be a darling of a gem in the mobile space – where its reign of dominance is rarely tested. Not surprisingly, it received much acclaim for its unprecedented set of features and impressive overall performance, but its design still came off undesiring for something so high-end. That’s where Samsung does justice with the Galaxy Alpha, a profoundly better designed phone. But is looks alone enough to catapult it over the renowned Galaxy S5, especially when they’re priced identically with a 2-year contract?



The Galaxy Alpha is the best designed phone out of Samsung’s camp, making the Galaxy S5’s design obsolete.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. The Galaxy Alpha is the best designed smartphone to come out of Samsung’s camp, thanks to its solid construction, attractive metal-trimmed bezel, and compact feel in the hand. Indeed, it’s a stark contrast to the design of the language of the S5. Despite the S5’s less-than-desirable looks and its all plastic construction, it features a water-resistant element – something that the Alpha doesn’t offer.

Seeing that they’re closely related, it doesn’t shock us that they offer pretty much the same set of features, ports, and button. In fact, they share common things like their finger print sensors, removable batteries, and heart rate sensors. However, the Galaxy S5 packs on some additional amenities that clearly indicates it’s Sammy’s pride and joy – like its microSD card slot and IR blaster.


Size and resolution, those are what’s most apparently different with these two displays from a first look. The Galaxy S5 stuffs a larger 5.1-inch 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED panel into its body, while the Galaxy Alpha has a more hand-friendly 4.7-inch 720 x 1080 Super AMOLED display. While the two appear on par to one another from a details standpoint from a normal viewing distance, the Galaxy Alpha’s decision to rely on a PenTile pixel arrangement makes it less sharp – and it doesn’t help either that its resolution chimes in at 720p.Well, a comforting quality about the Galaxy Alpha’s display is that it offers a more well-balanced color reproduction than the Galaxy S5. It’s stark contrast to the Galaxy S5’s over-saturated color reproduction, which definitely gives it that showroom wow factor, but it’s not accurate at all. Aside from that, they pretty much offer the same qualities with their displays – such as their wide viewing angles, deep black color, and similar brightness outputs.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5 – Interface and Functionality

Using the AT&T variants of the two smartphones, they’re actually powered by the same chipset – a quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU. Looking into their performances, they’re pretty much identical with real-world tasks, so there’s not one that’s necessarily snappier.

Bearing the same on-contract pricing, $200, we’re given a spacious 32GB of internal storage with the Galaxy Alpha – while the Galaxy S5 has half that at 16GB. We’re not too bummed by that revelation because we can supplement the Galaxy S5’s capacity with its microSD card slot, which

Internet and Connectivity
The basic task of surfing the web is intact here, since they offer responsive navigational controls and speedy 4G LTE connectivity. Due to its larger and higher resolution display, in addition to its secondary feature of being able to scroll vertically via its Air

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs Samsung Galaxy S5 – Interface and Functionality
Being world phones, you’ll be able to bring both of them abroad with no issues in compatibility – plus, they offer the same LTE band support (7 to be exact). In addition, they’re packaged with the same set of modern connectivity goodies. Specifically, they consist of aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and NFC.


The Galaxy Alpha snaps some sharp looking photos, but the Galaxy S5’s quality is simply better.

The megapixels war is ongoing, one that’s not going to end anytime soon – especially when phones are constantly receiving higher resolution cameras. Totting along some juicy gear for the occasion, a 12-megapixel camera for the Galaxy Alpha and an even beefier 16-megapixel one on the Galaxy S5, they’re complemented by their identical camera apps, which are filled with a handful of manual controls and shooting modes to please all sorts of shutterbugs.

Call Quality

Phone calls can be problematic, just because of their unfavorable qualities.

Honestly, call quality is rather tough with both phones, seeing that they have some unsavory qualities. For example, the Galaxy S5 performance is muffled sounding through the earpiece – while the Galaxy Alpha is bogged down on both ends of the line with robotic toned voices.


Don’t let its compact size fool you, that’s because the Galaxy Alpha slightly edges out the Galaxy S5 when it comes to battery life.

Impressively, the smaller 1860 mAh battery capacity of the Galaxy Alpha is more long lasting than the larger 2800 mAh battery in the Galaxy S5, but it’s not a whole lot more. In our battery benchmark test, the Alpha achieves a mark of 7 hours and 50 minutes – while the Galaxy S5 isn’t too far behind at 7 hours and 38 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is now official, and we’re bringing you every little tidbit of information, as only Android Central can.


Be sure to check out our Here, now, are the complete and official Samsung Galaxy Note 4 specs:


2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps)


2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor
1.9 GHz Octa-Core (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad-Core) Processor


5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)

Operating system

Android 4.4.4 KitKat


Rear Facing: 16 megapixel autofocus camera with smart OIS
Front Facing: 3.7 megapixel camera with f/1.9 aperture
Rear Facing Camera : HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty face, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot & More, Dual Camera
Front Facing Camera: Selfie, Wide Selfie


Codec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8
Recording & Playback: up to UHD


Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support

S Pen features

Air Command (Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip, Screen Write), S Note, Snap Note, Direct Pen Input

Additional features

Multi Window, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Voice Recorder (Normal Mode, Interview Mode, Meeting Mode, Voice Memo)
Download booster, S Health 3.5, Dynamic Lock Screen, Briefing

Google Mobile

ServicesChrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube


WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80) MIMO PCIe
NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.1 (BLE, ANT+)
IR LED (Remote Control), USB2.0, MHL 3.0


Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB,IR-LED
Proximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor, Finger Scanner, UV, Heart Rate Monitoring, SpO2 (Dependent on market)


32 GB Internal memory + micro SD slot (up to 64GB)


153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g


Standard battery, Li-ion 3,220mAh, Fast Charging (Adaptive Fast Charging & QC2.0)

Samsung Launch Galaxy Note 4 Early After Success of iPhone 6

The massive response to Apple’s bigger iPhone 6 models has inspired Samsung to push up the launch of the new Galaxy Note 4 phablet, according to a news report.

A Samsung employee said the “positive reaction from consumers to those two Apple devices prompted us to launch the Note 4 earlier than previously scheduled,” according to The Korea Times.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-4-Early-After-Success -of-iPhone-6

Apple set a new record for opening sales with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, doling out some 10 million units in the first 72 hours of retail, the company said. In a statement, Tim Cook said Apple “could have sold many more” with a greater supply.

The Galaxy Note 4 was originally slated for release in October, but its Korean launch is planned to be pushed up to Sept. 26 in response to the Apple sales surge, The Korea Times reported. No word on how this would impact the U.S. market, but the Note 4 is available for preorder in the states, with shipping penned to begin Oct. 14.

Samsung is known for its larger-display phablets, a fact it recently used to poke fun at Apple in an ad mocking the heftier-than-usual iPhone 6 Plus.

If bigger is better, the Note 4 — with a display of 5.7 inches — edges out the iPhone 6 Plus’ 5.5.

On top of that, the Note 4 has a Quad HD resolution and a fast-charging battery, the company says. It also runs on KitKat, Android’s latest operating system, and a 2.7GHz quad-core processor.

The time for the Galaxy S6 is now

The new iPhone is here and it’s amazing. The new Moto X is here and it’s brilliant. But where’s Samsung? The Korean company that still sells the most smartphones worldwide seems to be off in the corner, doodling on its Galaxy Note 4 and muttering under its breath about how it invented the big-screen smartphone. Samsung can feel justifiably proud for showing the way, but its lead has been undermined by its American competitors who can now claim to have the two best phones on the market. A response is called for, and it must be something more substantial than sharp-tongued ads, it should be something corporeal that people can buy. A Galaxy S6, perhaps.

Samsung is alone among Android phone manufacturers in being able to turn a consistent and reliable profit from the venture. Motorola makes awesome handsets, but keeps bleeding money. Sony just put a $1.7 billion price on its failure to develop a legitimate mid-range phone portfolio, and HTC is reeling so badly that breaking even is now considered a financial success. LG is doing merely okay. The point about Samsung is that this company has figured out how to make the most out of a very tricky market and deserves credit for a series of correct decisions that have earned it its current position.

Samsung -Galaxy-S6-is-now

The problem now is that faster-moving competitors are making Samsung’s offerings appear inadequate, disjointed, and behind the times. At the moment, the most attractive Samsung phone is the Galaxy Alpha, the most durable and versatile Samsung phone is still the flagship S5, and the most advanced and capable Samsung phone is the incoming Note 4 (or its near-identical sibling, the Note Edge). So if I walk into a store today and say, give me Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 6, which of the three would you offer me? There’s no obvious and satisfying answer. Granted, the Note 4 matches up well against the iPhone 6 Plus, but for all the praise both devices have received, they will not be either company’s best selling device. Samsung needs a Note 4 mini to go up against the iPhone 6 regular.

The 4.7-inch Galaxy Alpha is intended to play the role of iPhone 6 party spoiler. It’s as well designed and good looking a Samsung phone as there’s ever been, but is compromised on the inside. Its battery is almost a third smaller than that of Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact (which is roughly the same size), and the Galaxy S5’s waterproofing and microSD memory expansion are both lost in the translation to a smaller and thinner device. The Galaxy Alpha also can’t record video at 240fps like the iPhone 6 can. The new super slow motion video in the upgraded iPhones is just part of an excellent new camera system that sees Apple grabbing the spec lead in a way that makes a real difference.

Beyond the imperative to respond to refreshed high-end competition, Samsung would also do well to simply shift its annual upgrade cycle. Every year, the next big Galaxy handset is introduced around March and on sale sometime in April or May. Every year, the biggest sales and revenues from electronics are made in November and December in the buildup to the gift-giving season. As good as Samsung’s mobile strategy has been so far — and as many Galaxy S devices as the company has sold — it’s never been optimal to have a half-year-old flagship phone competing with newer and shinier competition. And now things are even more muddled thanks to the existence of the prettier Alpha and the upgraded Note.

I want the beautifully crafted 4.7-inch body of the Alpha together with the new camera, long-lasting battery, and display excellence of the Note 4. To put it another way, I want an iPhone 6 running Android and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sony comes closest with the Xperia Z3 Compact, the Moto X is in the vicinity but has grown too large without improving its camera enough, and LG and HTC refuse to sincerely compete at this size. For all the scorn Samsung has received for copying the iPhone, a great deal of its success has actually been built on being a technological leader — whether it be in chipsets, displays, or battery technology. All I’m asking of the company now is to bring them all together into one reasonably sized device. It’s okay to follow Apple’s lead if that means an awesome and uncompromised phone for those of us who prefer using Android.

It’s been a long time since a Samsung flagship phone could be shown to be unequivocally better than the competition. With the big Android L update coming up and the new iPhone threat already here, isn’t now the perfect time for Korea’s foremost electronics maker to reassert itself as the king of Android?

Samsung Galaxy Alpha is now available in the UK

Right on schedule, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha has become available to purchase in the UK. Although today is the official release date for the handset, not all retailers seem to have it in stock already.

There are exceptions, though. For example, if you’re willing to get the Alpha with a two-year contract, Carphone Warehouse is happy to oblige. It will give you the phone for free if you choose a plan that costs at least £33 per month.


Over there the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is currently available in black and white, but on October 3 you’ll also get to choose from two additional hues: silver and blue (the latter being exclusive to Carphone Warehouse).

Speaking of exclusives, the gold Galaxy Alpha will only be sold in the UK by Phones 4u. Although you can currently order one from this retailer’s website, it’s unclear if it’s already in stock or not. To pay nothing upfront, you’ll need to choose a two-year plan that will set you back at least £34.50 per month.

If you’d rather go the SIM-free route, for now your only choice seems to be Unlocked Mobiles. This retailer is asking for £499.87 for a Samsung Galaxy Alpha sans any operator commitments. Clove and Expansys are also going to offer it in SIM-free form, but it’s still unclear when.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Blackberry Z30 – Comparison of Interface and Software Specifications

Samsung released the Galaxy S5 handset with a different approach with respect to the design and features of its flagship smartphone.

The handset does not come packed with a plethora of enthusiasm for the potential user. However, the Galaxy S5 is the product for the people, looking forward to have a delightful smartphone experience. The GS5 comes equipped with requisite features and specifications, which are meaningful and offer the user with an enhanced smartphone experience. The aim of the company is to provide the potential user with a decent smartphone experience, not to complicate it.

In comparison, the Blackberry comes equipped with a large screen, bigger battery and a superb processor, running the state of the art, BB 10.2 operating system. The Blackberry Z30 is the new flagship smartphone from the company, replacing its predecessor, the 4.2-inch Blackberry Z10 smartphone.

Let us compare the two handsets in terms of their interface and functionality.


Interface and Functionality

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Android version 4.4.2 KitKat powers the Galaxy S5’s TouchWiz user interface. The handset has been given simple visual enhancements; such as built-in widgets appear flat and simple looking, offering solid colors to the user. Overall, the UI has been improved to provide the potential user with a simple, cleaner and a more polished look. The introduction of tap effect and effective response timings offer a great UI experience.

Phonebook: The dark layout, user friendly and large buttons offer the potential user with great smartphone experience. The AMOLED displays offer darker colors while consuming less energy. The dialer comes equipped with numeric keys, which are spacious as in its earlier siblings. The contact list comes with similar options as that of its predecessors.

Messaging: The messaging application of the GS5 handset offers the user with flattened visuals and a helpful set of options. The built-in QWERTY keyboard works better in the landscape mode, providing the user with bigger letter keys.

Fingerprint Sensor: The fingerprint sensor is placed under the display of the GS5 handset. The user has to swipe the finger across the screen, for the sensor to recognize the fingerprint. However, the success rate of the sensor recognizing the fingerprint is very less as compared to that of the Apple iPhone 5S handset. It is better to register the index finger or any other finger onto the device, which can be placed perfectly in the position to provide a better success rate.

Heart Rate Monitor: The heart rate monitor is designed to track an array of parameters in relation to your health. A finger placed on the LED flash, located on the back panel, would calculate your pulse. The S Health offers the user with a plethora of other fitness applications.

Blackberry Z30

The BB 10 OS is snappy, fluid and polished, similar to any other modern day smartphone operating system should be. The new UI of the Blackberry Z30 offers the user with a smooth functioning of the smartphone along with giving its adversaries a run for their money. The Blackberry 10.2 offers the user with neat features, aiming to make the life easier for the potential user. The company has put in a lot of efforts, for the user to gain access to the notifications with ease.

Messaging: Blackberry handsets are renowned for their messaging dexterity. The user friendly QWERTY physical keyboard is a boon to have. However, the BB Z30 comes equipped with a touchscreen, with a different keyboard layout. Despite the touchscreen not being equipped with latest gimmicks, the on-screen keyboard does not fail to impress the potential user. The bigger display of the Blackberry Z30 comes equipped with large and responsive buttons.

Software: The BB Z30 handset comes equipped with a plethora of apps, approximately 70,000 apps in the Blackberry World. However, they are not complete in terms of features, as compared to similar apps on other platforms.

Overall, both the handsets offer the potential user with a great smartphone experience.

Samsung takes a stab at Apple for joining the phablet word

It took Apple a crazy 5 years to finally consider increasing the screen size of its beloved iPhone from 3.5-inches to 4 with the iPhone 5. Even so, many believed that there was more opportunity for growth as Apple continued to push for the importance of one-handed usability. Yesterday’s launch of the bigger iPhone 6, and the gigantic iPhone 6 Plus marks a complete contradiction to the company’s mentality, and as a result, competitors begin chiming in.


The Samsung Mobile crew in Philippines tweeted a photo that repeats a famous phrase from the late Steve Jobs: “No one is going to buy a big phone,” and with some added text that reads: “Guess who surprised themselves and changed their minds,” along with some added publicity for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Steve Jobs became famous for saying this at Apple’s Antenna Gate event for the iPhone 4 after referring to devices like the Motorola Droid X and the HTC HD2. Jobs even went as far as to call these two particular phones “Hummers.”

If you think of it, Samsung has a point. You could argue that Apple doesn’t care about being late to any particular game as long as it does things better than the competition, but it’s hard to find any improvements in the iPhone 6 Plus when compared to any of the Galaxy Notes ever launched.