Samsung Electronics is rumored to be working on a smart watch product known as the Galaxy Altius. The Altius would compete against the rumored Apple iWatch. It is unknown when the Altius would arrive. According to a Korean message board, the Altius is definitely coming though.
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Samsung Electronics has released a new series of feature phones called REX. The REX line of phones works with the company’s TouchWiz user interface, but they will not come bundled with Android. Almost every Samsung smartphone that has been released over the last several years works with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. The Samsung REX is based on Java and will compete against the Nokia Asha line of phones. Nokia launched 12 Asha phones in the past 12 months. Nokia has sold 16 million Asha phones in the second half of 2012.
Samsung Electronics has invested in a cloud-based mobile enterprise company called Cloudant. Cloudant is a database-as-a-serve company that was even backed by the U.S. CIA agency as a customer and investor. Other investors in Cloudant includes Y Combinator and Avalon Ventures. Cloudant was a Y Combinator class in 2008.
Samsung Electronics has announced two new Android handsets called the Galaxy Young and the Galaxy Fame. The two new Android handsets were specifically designed for the youth market as it has a focus on gaming and media.
Samsung is spending $1.1 billion on a new Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC). The SSIC will be a “global engine to accelerate innovation and to drive new business creation.” The company will have three offices worldwide and will give the opportunity for the company to interface with entrepreneurs outside of the company. Samsung will also provide mentorship for new businesses.
LG and Samsung have resolved their lawsuits regarding OLED patents. In September 2012, LG filed a lawsuit against Samsung regarding OLED display and filed a countersuit in November 2012. The two companies have settled outside of court after a government ministry persuaded the CEOs of LG Display and Samsung Display to meet at a hotel in Seoul.
Apple beat Samsung as the top mobile maker by volume in Q4 2012 according to Strategy Analytics. This is the first time Apple was at the top after taking a record 34% marketshare as the company had around 17.7 million smartphone shipments. Samsung was in second place with a 32.3% marketshare and they hit 16.8 million smartphone shipments. LG was in third place at a 9% marketshare with 4.7 million smartphone shipments.
Samsung Electronics has bought a 5% stake in stylus and design tablet company Wacom for $58.9 million. Wacom is especially known for manufacturing digital drawing tablets and their technology is used in the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note II. The investment is likely to be very strategic since Samsung believes strongly in styluses’. The Galaxy S IV is rumored to be getting an S-Pen also and should be built into future Samsung “Note” devices. Following this investment, Wacom is expected to get more business from Samsung.