Samsung Electronics unveils high-end phones in search of sales boost

admin   •   August 17, 2015   •   2472

 

A man writes on a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 at the product’s launch event in New York August 13, 2015. REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) unveiled a new Galaxy Note phablet and a larger version of its curved-screen S6 edge smartphone on Thursday, marking a fresh bid by the South Korean company to revive momentum in its handset business.

Samsung is the world’s top smartphone maker but its market share fell in the second quarter when the company released its critically acclaimed S6 models, squeezed by Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) upscale iPhones and cheaper offerings from Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL].

The manufacturer responded with S6 price cuts and moving up the Note unveiling from its usual early September spot, ahead of the latest iPhone launch expected in September.

The event announcing the new gadgets was attended by more than 1,000 people, almost filling the Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Samsung has made several hardware changes for the new devices, including a faster processor for the Galaxy Note 5 and increasing the screen size of the S6 edge+ to 5.7 inches from 5.1 inches on the S6 edge.

Samsung has high hopes for the Note. “Each new version has been more popular than the last,” said Justin Denison, vice president of product strategy and marketing for Samsung Electronics America.

Both are powered by Samsung’s Exynos chips, the company said.

The phones will go on sale on Aug. 21 in the United States and Canada. They will be available on the four major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

One expert said he was not sure how well the phones would help Samsung’s efforts in the competitive smartphone market.

The phones were not different enough, said Jonathan Roubini, editor-in-chief of Lab Reviews, “So that’s why it’s very hard for them to gain that market share from Apple.”

Roubini said that they may frustrate Android users. “The phone looks very cool, but you cannot change the battery, and you cannot add memory to it.”

Samsung shares closed at 1,140,000 won on Thursday, down 1.21 percent.

Samsung also said its mobile payment service Samsung Pay will launch on Aug. 20 in South Korea and Sept. 28 in the United States.

Samsung Pay lets users make payments by having phones send signals to existing magnetic stripe card readers, offering greater store coverage than Apple’s Apple Pay service which requires retailers to install compatible equipment.

The payments service will expand to the United Kingdom, Spain and China, the company said, without giving dates.

(Additional reporting by Mari Saito and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Bill Rigby and Grant McCool)

 

 

Trump urges U.S. to halt most social activity in virus fight, warns of recession

UNTV News   •   March 17, 2020

President Donald Trump urged Americans on Monday (March 16) to halt most social activities for 15 days and not congregate in groups larger than 10 people in a newly aggressive effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.

Announcing new guidelines from his coronavirus task force, the president said people should avoid discretionary travel and not go to bars, restaurants, food courts or gyms.

As stocks tumbled, Trump warned that a recession was possible, a development that could affect his chances of re-election in November. The Republican president said he was focused on addressing the health crisis and that the economy would get better once that was in line.

The task force implored young people to follow the new guidelines even though they were at lesser risk of suffering if they contract the virus. Older people, especially those with underlying health problems, are at the greatest risk if they develop the respiratory disease.

Reporters staggered their seating, sitting in every other seat in the White House briefing room, to follow social distancing measures.

Trump said the worst of the virus could be over by July, August or later. He called it an invisible enemy.

The president has taken criticism for playing down the seriousness of the virus in the early days of its U.S. spread. On Monday, when asked, he gave himself a good grade for his response.

“I’d rate it a 10. I think we’ve done a great job,” he said.

Trump said a nationwide curfew was not under consideration at this point.

Normally a cheerleader for the U.S. economy, he acknowledged the possibility of a recession while brushing off another dramatic decline on stock markets as investors worried about the virus.

“We’re not thinking in terms of recession, we’re thinking in terms of the virus. Once we stop, I think there’s a tremendous pent up demand, both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy,” Trump said. The president has long considered soaring stock markets to be a sign of his administration’s success.

Trump said the administration had talked regularly about domestic travel restrictions but hoped not to have to put such measures in place.

He said he thought it would still be possible for G7 leaders to meet at the Camp David retreat in Maryland in June. Trump upset European countries, which make up a large part of the G7, by instituting travel restrictions from European countries without consulting with them first. (Reuters)

(Production: Katharine Jackson)

The show won’t go on: Broadway closed on coronavirus fears

Robie de Guzman   •   March 13, 2020

Broadway theaters, among New York’s biggest tourist attractions, were shut down for a month on Thursday (March 12) in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the city.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 500 people, including theatres, starting on Thursday evening. Most Broadway theatres have around 1,000 seats.

The Broadway League said in a statement that shows would be suspended until April 13. They include crowd-pleasers like “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The decision was part of a range of extraordinary measures in the nation’s biggest city. Some 328 people in New York are confirmed to have the disease, Cuomo said.

The spreading virus has already led to cancellation or postponement of dozens of U.S. entertainment industry events, including the Coachella and South by Southwest festivals, CinemaCon, the E3 videogames convention and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Broadway was spooked on Wednesday (March 11) when an usher who had worked at two New York theatres tested positive for coronavirus. Owners of the two venues said they had ordered deep cleanings and their shows went ahead on Wednesday.

Television talk shows “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” said they would tape their broadcasts in New York venues without audiences going forward.

Several Broadway plays and musicals had previously put a halt to cast members greeting fans and signing programs at stage doors.

Some 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season that ended in May, bringing $1.8 billion in box office receipts, according to the Broadway League. Some 63% of those going to shows were tourists, from outside the United States or outside New York.

“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement on Friday. (Reuters)

(Production by: Catherine Koppel and Hussein al Waaile)

Streets deserted in Milan during coronavirus lockdown

UNTV News   •   March 11, 2020

A handful of people were seen on the streets of Milan on Wednesday morning (March 12) following stringent measures imposed to contain the coronavirus.

Shops and restaurants closed, hundreds of flights were cancelled and streets emptied across Italy on Tuesday (March 10), the first day of an unprecedented, nationwide lockdown imposed to slow Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus.

Just hours after the dramatic new restrictions came into force, health authorities announced the death toll had jumped by 168 to 631, the largest rise in absolute numbers since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

The total number of confirmed cases rose at a much slower rate than recently seen, hitting 10,149 against a previous 9,172, but officials warned that the region at the epicentre, Lombardy, had provided incomplete data.

The government has told all Italians to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel until April 3, radically widening steps already taken in much of the wealthy north, which is the epicentre of the spreading contagion. (Reuters)

(Production: Marissa Davison)

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