Samsung to Open Source Bada

Samsung, one of the largest Android device manufacturers, launched its own smartphone platform – Bada – in 2009. It was a huge hit in Korea, with the Samsung Wave selling millions of units there. However, it was completely overshadowed by the success of the Samsung Galaxy S, its flagship Android device.

Samsung has launched a few more Bada devices since then, and they have all seen moderate success. However, Samsung’s Android devices have been hogging all the limelight. It is now the top Android smartphone manufacturer and with good reason. Its last two major releases – the Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2 – have been the best Android phones of their times.

When Samsung launched Bada, many analysts questioned its move of launching yet another operating system when there were so many already. However, when Google acquired Motorola, it became clear that Samsung was right in hedging its bets on the Android platform with investments in other platforms like Bada and Windows Phone 7.

According to a report by the WSJ, Samsung plans to open source the Bada OS, and make it available to everyone. Android started the “open” trend, and even Nokia open sourced Symbian last year.

Samsung hopes that open sourcing Bada will help turn its fortunes and make it a popular alternative to Android and Windows Phone 7, but that strategy didn’t help Nokia much. Bada still doesn’t have as much developer support as Android, iOS or even Windows Phone 7. I doubt this move will have much of an impact on the prospects of Bada.

Samsung to Target Apple’s iPhone 5 with Patent Lawsuits in Korea

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, no one, except maybe Steve Jobs, foresaw how successful it would become. None of the existing platforms could match what the iPhone offered, and it soon became the number one smartphone in the U.S.

Even Android wasn’t able to offer devices which could compete with the iPhone, no matter how hard its partners tried. But then, Samsung launched the Galaxy S. It was probably the first Android smartphone which could go head to head with the iPhone. It was the most popular Android smartphone in 2010, and probably the only phone which Apple could possibly have perceived as a threat.

Apple recently filed lawsuits against Samsung in multiple countries, alleging patent infringement. It claimed that the Galaxy devices by Samsung copied many of the design elements of the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in a mud slinging contest ever since. Apple has won a couple of injunctions barring the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Europe and Australia. Samsung recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in France, over the use of UMTS in the iPhone 4. Even though Samsung’s components make up a large part of Apple’s devices, both parties seem to be in no mood for any kind of settlement.

According to Apple Insider, Samsung is already planning to block sales of the soon to be launched iPhone 5 in its home turf — Korea.

“Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights,” said an anonymous Samsung senior executive.

Samsung may have some kind of advantage over Apple in Korean courts, as it is one of the biggest Korean companies. However, Apple’s potential sales in Korea are much smaller compared to Samsung’s potential sales in Europe and Australia, so Samsung will still be at a disadvantage even if it wins, unless all the lawsuits are settled.

Former Samsung Manager Reveals Role in Leaking Apple iPad Production Data

Today, Bloomberg reports  on the recent  testimony of former Samsung manager Suk-Joo Hwang. On Wednesday, Suk-Joo Hwang, a 14-year veteran of Samsung, testified in a federal court being granted immunity from prosecution. He admitted to having lunch in Mountain View, CA, with Primary Global Research executive James Fleishman and a hedge fund manager and providing confidential information about Samsung’s shipment of LCD screens to Apple for the iPad.  “One particular thing I remember vividly was that I talked about the shipment numbers of Apple, it was about iPad,he said.  Samsung was one of the original suppliers for the iPad.

Hwang said that during lunch at a restaurant in Mountain View, California, with Fleishman and a hedge fund manager he identified as Greg,he gave them confidential information about Samsung’s shipment of liquid crystal display screens it was supplying to Apple. The iPad made its U.S. debut in April 2010, four months after the lunch.

One particular thing I remember vividly was that I talked about the shipment numbers of Apple, it was about iPad,he said. This is in December 2009, before it came out with the tablet PC, they didn’t know the name then, so I talked to them about the tablet shipment estimates in that meeting.

If convicted,  Fleishman faces 25 years in prison of the two counts of conspiracy he has been charged with. Fleishman was arrested last December  as part of a wide-ranging Securities Exchange Commission probe investigating the practice of expert networks. When asked how Fleishman and the fund manager reacted to the information he provided, Hwang said, They didn’t know about it,adding that the fund manager was very excited. In addition, a former Apple employee was arrested in connection to the probe.

A Samsung spokeswoman in  San Jose, California, declined to comment on Hwang’s testimony.



Samsung’s New Lawsuit Targets Apple’s iPhone, iPad in France

Apple vs Samsung

Last month, Apple  won  a preliminary injunction granted by the German court to block the  Samsung Galaxy  Tab 10.1 in the entire European Union except for Netherlands. Last week, Apple successfully got Samsung to  pull  the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from a German trade show floor after a court injunction forced Samsung to cease promoting its newly unveiled tablet. This week, Samsung has announced yet another lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit was filed in France, accusing Apple of infringing three mobile phone patents with the iPhone and iPad. The first hearing is expected to occur in December, according to Agence France-Presse.

According to the report, the complaint is related to  three Samsung patents covering UMTS, or third-generation high-speed data transfer on cell networks. The lawsuit  targets the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, as well as the first- and second-generation iPad models with 3G radios.  “The complaint focuses on three technology patents, and not on the design of the tablets,” a Samsung spokeswoman reportedly said.

Unlike Germany and Australia, where Samsung is banned from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1, the tablet is currently available in France.

Apple is currently involved in legal disputes against Android handset makers, including Samsung and HTC. The company has recently won cases against both Samsung and HTC.

Samsung Focus Flash Announced; Mango Update Coming To AT&T’s WP7 Handsets This Fall

Along with the Samsung Focus S, AT&T and Samsung also announced the Focus Flash. The Focus Flash is a smaller and cheaper sibling of the Focus S. The Focus Flash comes with a 3.7-inch Super-AMOLED screen with WVGA (480×800) resolution.


Like the Focus S, the Focus Flash is also powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (MSM8255T) processor, along with an Adreno 205 GPU and 512MB of RAM. The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera, with a VGA camera in the front accompanying it.

The Focus Flash will run on the latest version of Windows Phone a.k.a WP7.5, which is also known as Mango. The press release from AT&T does not mention anything whether the Focus Flash will support its upcoming 4G network or not. AT&T  did not mention anything about the internal memory capacity of the Flash as well.

Along with the Focus S and Focus Flash, AT&T also announced that it will be among the first operators to roll out the WP7.5 a.k.a Mango update for its current-gen WP7 based phones like HTC Surround, HD7S and the Samsung Focus. The Mango update will be hit these devices sometime in fall.

The Focus Flash will be available sometime in Q4 this year.

Samsung Focus S Announced; Sports a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED+ Display

Samsung and AT&T have just announced the Focus S, the successor to one of their first Windows Phone 7 based phone, the Focus.


The Focus S continues the trend of manufacturers releasing a mildly updated version of a handset, and naming it xxx S. HTC started this trend with the Desire S and Incredible S, and Sony Ericsson continued the trend with the Xperia Arc S, and now Samsung is following on their footsteps.

The Focus S is among the slimmest WP7/WP7.5 Mango based phone around, with a slim waistline of 8.55mm.

The Focus S is powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (MSM8255T) processor and an Adreno 205 GPU, and packs 512MB of RAM. The original Super-AMOLED screen on the Focus has also been upgraded to a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Plus screen. The resolution of the camera at the back of the phone has been bumped to 8MP, and there is a 1.3MP camera in the front as well.

The press release from AT&T also states that the Focus S will be capable of 4G speeds, but does not mention anything whether it’s the so-called 4G (HSDPA+) network, or the real’ upcoming 4G LTE network from AT&T.

The Focus S will hit the States under the AT&T’s network, sometime in fall.

Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

The Samsung Galaxy S was one of the most popular Android phones in 2010. The handset sold in excess of 10 million units, before being succeeded by the almighty Samsung Galaxy S II. Most SGS owners, and Samsung haters, usually crib about the poor software support from the Korean company.


While the U.S. versions of Galaxy S are still stuck on Android 2.2 FroYo, the European version has been rocking Android 2.3.3 since March, this year. The Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.3.4 based firmware leaked a couple of months ago, and now the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread firmware for the handset has leaked online. The leak comes courtesy of SamFirmware and the Darky ROM team.

The Android 2.3.5 update was only rolled out to the Sprint’s Nexus S 4G. Other Nexus S variants got the Android 2.3.6 update after a couple of weeks. The Android 2.3.5 update mainly fixed some network and NFC related issues on the Nexus S 4G.

While there are no visible changes in the leaked firmware, the phone does feel smooth. There are some new system fonts, and some of the system files have been updated, and that’s about it. The Quadrant score on the leaked firmware (JVS) is around the 19xx range. Interested Galaxy S owners can download the leaked firmware from here.

Apple Wins Permanent Ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany

Apple vs Samsung logo

Last month, Apple won a preliminary injunction granted by the German court to block the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the entire European Union except for Netherlands. Earlier this week,  Apple successfully got Samsung to  pull  the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from a German trade show floor after a court injunction forced Samsung to cease promoting its newly unveiled tablet. Today, a new ruling from a court in Dusseldorf confirms the previous, the previous temporary decision to ban sales of Samsung’s 10-inch tablet.. In Friday’s decision, the court said that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks too much like Apple’s iPad, according to Bloomberg.

“The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible,” Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffman said in the verdict. In addition, he also said that    “For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks” like  the design Apple has officially filed for ownership of in Europe.

The ban applies across the European Union to Samsung’s German sales unit. Meaning that Samsung Germany cannot sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its home country or anywhere else across the EU. However, the  court cannot stop Samsung from selling the device through other avenues in other EU countries.

In addition, the court didn’t compare the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an actual iPad,  but instead focused on a design that Apple filed with the European Union. The court found that Samsung’s tablet didn’t differentiate itself enough from the iPad 2.

Yesterday, Apple sued  Samsung again in Japan over iPhone and iPad patent violations.  In addition, Apple has also  filed  patent disputes against HTC. If Samsung wasn’t really infringing on Apple’s intellectual property, what’s the cause for so much hoopla?

Can The Samsung Galaxy S II Survive A 15-Foot Fall?

I got my first phone nearly 5 years ago. It was the sleek and sexy Moto Razr V3i, which nearly everyone must have owned at one point of his or her life. I clearly remember that I started modding and flashing that phone the very next day. Since then, I have owned many phones including SE W580i, Nokia 5800, Galaxy S, Desire Z, Arc, and now the Galaxy S II, and I’ve modded and flashed every one of them.

In fact, I flash a new ROM on my Galaxy S II nearly every night. You see, I still need to use the phone for calling, messaging, emailing, and tweeting etc. during the daytime, so all my modding activities usually start when everyone is sleeping soundly. Last night, I decided to flash CM7 on my SGS2. There are no decent AOSP based ROMs for the SGS2 except for CM7, and I was pretty bored with the ones based on Samsung firmware. After installing CM7 and playing around with the phone for around 20 mins, I decided to check out the GPS performance of SGS2 on CM7.

I stood near the window in my room, and fired up GPS test. However, after a minute or so, the phone found around 10  satellites  and connected to 8 of them, but the accuracy was a terrible, 180 feet. Then I changed the modem/baseband of the phone, and again decided to check out the GPS performance. This time, the GPS test showed an  accuracy  of around 100 feet. That’s a pretty decent improvement, but still not good enough. Finally, I decided to stretch my hand outside the window to see if the GPS performance would improve when the phone was in clear sky.

As I stretched my hand, something went wrong and the SGS2 slipped from my hand. Everything went into a slow-mo. mode as I saw my precious phone fall down from my window, which is on the 1st floor. The bottom part, i.e. the part where the microUSB port of the handset is located, hit the ground first, and the phone bounced back up, nearly 3 to 4 feet. After that, the phone hit the ground a couple of times before finally lying still. I was horrified! I had absolutely no hope that my Samsung Galaxy S II would survive a 15-foot fall.

I ran downstairs and quickly picked up the phone. To my surprise, the phone was still in one piece with just one of the latches of the back cover partially opened. I quickly checked the screen, and to my surprise, the screen was working fine as well. If anyone from Corning is reading this, you guys just got another feature to boast about for your popular Gorilla Glass.

The steel rim surrounding the phone was not covered by the Zagg InviShield, and thus got some minor scratches

I checked the phone thoroughly, and there were absolutely no issues with it. Everything was working just as it was before the fall. The only physical damage was on the bottom part of the phone, which had hit the ground first. There are some small scratches on the bottom of the steel rim surrounding the phone, but it’s noticeable only if closely inspected. The phone could have got more scratches, if I was not applied the Zagg InviShield on my phone.

After this incident, my confidence regarding the build quality of the phone has increased. Sammy may have made the SGS2 with plastic, but it surely did not compromise on the physical strength of the phone. So, the 7million+ SGS2 owners, if you are reading this, next time someone cribs about the poor build quality of the phone, you just need to point them to this article.


Apple Sues Samsung in Japan over Alleged iPhone, iPad Patent Violations

Apple vs Samsung logo

Recently, Apple and Samsung have been involved in lawsuits regarding many patent disputes. Today, Reuters reports that Apple has filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court. Apple has asked the government to ban sales of the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Tab 7 in Japan. The first hearing on the case was held on Wednesday, according to a source.

In April, Samsung first sued Apple in Japan. Apple reportedly responded with a countersuit that was filed on August 23, in which it seeks 100 million yen, or $1.3 million, in damages in addition to the bans. Also, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not included in the latest suit, launched in Japan with carrier NTT Docomo.    The president of the carrier told reporters that he was told by Samsung that they were able to proceed with sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Earlier this week, Apple successfully got Samsung to pull the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from a German trade show floor after a court injunction forced Samsung to cease promoting its newly unveiled tablet.

Apple has accused Samsung of copying the look and feel of its iPad and iPhone devices. Samsung has also accused Apple of violating several patents of its own. In addition, Apple has also filed patent disputes against HTC.