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'Sense of crisis' at Samsung could affect patent disputes with Apple

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Samsung's chairman sees a need for a "sense of crisis" at his company, with rumors suggesting a shakeup could be coming in the company's ongoing patent disputes with Apple.

To date, Samsung and Apple have been in adamant opposition against one another in a series of patent infringement suits filed around the world. But that could change after Samsung's Lee Kun-hee recently returned from a three-month trip to Japan and Hawaii, according to The Korea Times.

flattery


Lee has a history of taking lengthy overseas trips before making major changes at Samsung, including new directions for the business and managerial changes. The chairman has been on 20 such trips since 1993.

Sources who spoke with the Korean publication indicated that Samsung's ongoing patent dispute with Apple is one of "several pending issues" that Lee plans to personally consider. Just last week, a judge with the International Trade Commission ruled that Samsung's products are infringing on an Apple patent related to text selection on mobile devices.

As part of its anticipated changes, Samsung may also reportedly seek a way to "cut reliance on its mobile business." Lee met with reporters at Gimpo International Airport upon returning from his three-month sabbatical, where he said he believes Samsung should "always have a sense of crisis," and strive to "run faster and always study to have insights."

Any changes the chairman plans to implement could be announced as soon as Wednesday, when he plans to meet with reporters once again.

Lee's return comes only days after Samsung announced that its profits were up 53 percent year over year in the first three months of 2013 to 8.7 trillion won, or $7.7 billion U.S. The sales, which came ahead of the launch of the company's flagship Galaxy S4, were believed to have been primarily driven by low- and mid-level smartphones.

Separately, a new report from Korea's ETNews on Monday claims that Samsung is working on a smartphone with a large 6.3-inch display. The handset, which would double as a "smart pad," could launch as early as June, the report said.

Samsung, and the rest of the smartphone industry, have been trending toward larger screens in recent years. Apple even followed last year with the iPhone 5 debuting a 4-inch display, though at that size it still remains one of the smaller screen options on the market.
post #2 of 47
I have an idea for Apple. Want to efficiently manage skus? Add phone capabilities to the LTE iPad mini. BUT!!!

Don't worry about having 2 skus. Just use a lenticular package.

Customer: "I want an iPad mini with Cellular"

Apple Store: "Here you go. Just make sure the top of the box is always closer to your eyes than the bottom"

Next customer: "I want an iPhone max"

Apple Store: "Here you go. Just make sure the bottom of the box is always closer to your eyes than the top"

Next customer: "I can't decide if I want an iPhone max or an iPad mini"

Apple Store: "No worries! You can have both! Just move the box back and forth"

Plus, think of all the "you're holding it wrong" jokes!
post #3 of 47

Personally, I have yet to see someone holding one of these behemoths to their ear and talking on it. I don't get it I guess.

post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Personally, I have yet to see someone holding one of these behemoths to their ear and talking on it. I don't get it I guess.

I think most people use the really big ones as a mini tablet with a data connection with the phone part more there as an emergency than anything else.

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #5 of 47
The only 'crisis' they should be having is a crisis of conscience.

All else is bogus. Like the 'sabbatical' in Hawaii.
post #6 of 47
I don't know what's worse, posting crap about Google, Samsung etc and justifying it belongs here and on the front page cause they are Apple competition (I say out it backpage or even just in forum for those that really care). Or lumping two to three things in one article.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #7 of 47

Apple could drive Samesung's innovation more smoothly and reduce the Korean's tensions if it leaked a little more...

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #8 of 47
The crisis is coming from their north, not their east....
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I think most people use the really big ones as a mini tablet with a data connection with the phone part more there as an emergency than anything else.

Gotta admit though that Hawaii is a neat destination for a sabbatical. Been there, done that. :)

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #10 of 47
Looks like Samsung is reading US history books from the 80's when the huge boom boxes were in vogue. Now those behemoths are seen more as a joke in movies and advertisements. After manufacturers tried making things bigger, they discovered these didn't work so they started making things smaller. Everything is cyclical but some things should never come back....
post #11 of 47
Most phones are used for data consumption & texting & when used for phones used while driving connected to cars blue tooth. Main reason Apple has been fighting big phones IMO cannibalization of tablets & possibly APPs working seamlessly on different size screens.
post #12 of 47

Crisis must be in the air. Samsung commercials saturated my TV last night. One was a carrier commercial implying unlimited data plans require a Samsung device. The only break I saw was an Amazon Fire HD commercial that I originally thought was an Apple commercial because most of it was spent showing off an iPad.

post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Personally, I have yet to see someone holding one of these behemoths to their ear and talking on it. I don't get it I guess.

 

Most people spend more time using their smatphone in their hands (texting, emailing, using apps, browsing the web, etc) than speaking on them, so I think it makes sense to have a bigger screen even if it makes you look like a doofus when you do take a call.

post #14 of 47

Maybe "sense of urgency" is more what he meant (mistranslation)?

post #15 of 47

This could be mostly BS -- just management propaganda designed to motivate employees. 

 

But it would be more interesting to consider the possibility that he's serious, and to guess at what he sees as Samsung's primary problem. 

 

I'll guess that he's worried that Samsung's current boom in mobile profits is about as sustainable as Motorola's or Nokia's in years past. And the reason for that worry is that Samsung does not control a platform -- there is no reason for consumers to consistently prefer a Samsung phone to any other Android phone. If Samsung loses a product cycle to another Android manufacturer (Motorola, backed by Google $$, could be a contender, as could any given Chinese firm backed by the Chinese government, could be another), then Samsung could be in trouble. And of course Samsung is in the process of losing its largest customer for semiconductors -- a business that could have been much more reliable over time than mobile. 

 

But if this is right, what should Samsung do about it? 

 

I see two options:

 

(1) fork Android and become a platform company, not just an OEM

 

(2) take the profits they've made in mobile, reinvest in the rest of the business, and return to being a reliable supplier to companies like Apple instead of competing with companies like Apple. With such a reinvestment, Samsung could displace Intel and TSMC as the premier semiconductor firm in the world. 

 

Option 1 is probably the riskiest -- the highest upside and downside potentials. 

 

Option 2 is safer yet still very rewarding. 

 

So, put another way, Samsung's choice is to either become the next Apple or the next Intel.I have no idea what they'll pick, but I think attempting to displace Intel is the smarter choice.

post #16 of 47

So it says the chairman has a 3-month hawaii vacation every year (for the last 20 years). Sure one can come up with excuses like "need to make structural changes" to justify the trip. Nothing newsworthy.

post #17 of 47
The only 'sense of crisis' Samsung should be concerned about is the one dealing with that little pip-squeak from North Korea who could turn up the temperature at Samsung headquarters a few thousand degrees! Now THAT'S Global Warming!
/
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #18 of 47
RE: A sense of panic: It's a great thing, especially after good financial news. Keep the level of urgency up. Squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of your organization, scrutinize your investments, question you plan. Kudos.

RE: Posting "news" about Samsung and Google: What Apple news is there to share on this Apple news site? Rumors? Short of that, news about their competitors will do, no? Or would you have this site go dark between product launches?
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I think most people use the really big ones as a mini tablet with a data connection with the phone part more there as an emergency than anything else.

 

Good observation; with all a phone can do these days, the device is rarely used for its primary purpose.

post #20 of 47

I hate to say this, but the Asian as bigger sheep than most of the consumers in the US. This smart phone is a whole Asia thing.

 

Over 10 yrs ago there was the movement in Asia to make things as small as possible, the cellphone were so small they were barely usable. Then Apple came out with a phone which was about the perfect size, it fit well into your hand and did what you wanted. The same is true about the tablet market. Now you have this trend of phones getting bigger since bigger display are obviously better. Just like the tiny phones of 10 yrs ago, which were barely usable as phone, so are these big smart phones. I have seen these phablets in use and they silly watching people hold them up to their head.

 

Again, if you want to know what matters in technology, watch the kids, most everyone one of them stick their phone in their back pocket and fitting a phone much larger than a iphone does not work.

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Personally, I have yet to see someone holding one of these behemoths to their ear and talking on it. I don't get it I guess.

The 6.3" phone mentioned in the article or the 7" iPad Mini LTE mentioned in a comment are more likely to be used with a Bluetooth headset than being held up to the ear.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #22 of 47
I hope Samsung have a 'sense of crisis' over some of the excellent Chinese Android clones of Samsung S4 and Galaxy Note II that have began to appear on the market for two thirds the price of the Samsung models.
post #23 of 47
This is a classic example of bad translation creating a mountain out of a molehill. The guy actually meant: "We should have a sense of urgency." This is normal corporate talk.
post #24 of 47
Is 'lengthy overseas trips' a euphuism for 'jail time'?
post #25 of 47
Sense of crisis


Imminent shelling from the North would do that.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

The problem with Option 2 is that the margins suck. Apple, for example, makes much more off their devices than their entire supply chain (probably by a factor of five or so, though I don't know the exact numbers). Samsung IS their own supply chain, so they are doing quite well off the smartphone market too.

Intel has margins of 60% -- much better than Apple's overall margins. 

 

Even if Samsung only gets margins of 40% on SOCs, that still compared very favorably to Apple's margins on everything except the iPhone. 

post #27 of 47
everett, the weed has got to you, Apple has never ever been concerned with cannibalization, the different screen sizes is a non issue.

Saying that "Most phones are used for data consumption & texting & when used for phones used while driving connected to cars blue tooth." well OMG that just about covers the whole gamut, tell us some new please
post #28 of 47

I feel for you, man.  Watching commercials, that is. (Our TV consumption is almost exclusively provided by streaming Netflix and iTunes store rentals, with the occasional over-the-air local broadcast for sports games.  We would NEVER go back to cable or satellite.)

post #29 of 47
Perhaps they're realizing how many billions they're going to lose as a direct result Apple eliminating their massive orders of chips and other hardware from them due to their theft of Apple's work and designs?

Question: if they don't copy Apple when it comes to phones, who will they copy?
post #30 of 47
Originally Posted by Don108 View Post
Question: if they don't copy Apple when it comes to phones, who will they copy?

 

They'll copy Apple after the part orders stop.

They'll copy Apple after the lawsuit forces them to pay 1.5 billion.

They'll copy Apple after the second lawsuit for copying Apple.

 

They will never stop.

 

North Korea might be able to persuade them, though.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 4/8/13 at 9:39am

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The only 'crisis' they should be having is a crisis of conscience.

All else is bogus. Like the 'sabbatical' in Hawaii.


Anyone who shakes up a company after a 3-month long vacation in Hawaii should have a crisis of conscience.

post #32 of 47
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As part of its anticipated changes, Samsung may also reportedly seek a way to "cut reliance on its mobile business."

 

Easy.  Sell your mobile business to someone who would appreciate it.

I hear HTC is barely breaking even in mobile.  And LG is losing money in mobile.

Either one of them would love to have instant market share and profitability.

And they'd be smart enough not to blatantly, slavishly, relentlessly copy Apple.

 

 

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Lee met with reporters at Gimpo International Airport upon returning from his three-month sabbatical ...

 

 

Must be nice.  The 3 month sabbatical, that is.  But maybe he picked the wrong 3 months.  

Maybe it's better to get out of Seoul and move south until China can facilitate US - North Korean negotiations, no?

Kim Jong-Un is apparently continuing his family's extortion business, and the US is apparently willing to pay up.

 

But you never know, do you?  North Korea would never start a full-scale war, because they'd lose and be annexed

by capitalist South Korea.  China would hate having Gangnam Style South Koreans (and American troops) right on its

border, not to mention the flood of sick, starving, non-Chinese-speaking refugees limping into their country.

China can and will actively work to prevent full-scale war.  They're probably hosting secret US - North Korean talks right now.

 

On the other hand, the north has recently killed dozens of South Korean military personnel and civilians as part of

its extortion tactics.  They might lob a few artillery shells into the suburbs of Seoul if they think it will juice the US and the

south for more money.

 

 

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... he said he believes Samsung should "always have a sense of crisis," and strive to "run faster and always study to have insights."
 

 

 

Apple has had a sense of crisis since the mid-1990s.

Theyr'e always trying to stay just ahead of the consumer, but not too far ahead.

They know that every consumer-facing tech company will copy their hardware designs.

Fear of disruption is built into Apple's corporate DNA.

 

Good luck changing Samsung's corporate culture, Mr. Lee.

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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I don't know what's worse, posting crap about Google, Samsung etc and justifying it belongs here and on the front page cause they are Apple competition (I say out it backpage or even just in forum for those that really care). Or lumping two to three things in one article.

AppleInsider to you: "Haha! Made you click. And now, more ads from our sponsors! We are a quality web site lol"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

North Korea might be able to persuade them, though.

That dog has bark, not teeth.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #35 of 47

Here's my translation, "Apple is making it harder for us to copy them and we are in trouble because we can't think of anything on our own."

post #36 of 47
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
That dog has bark, not teeth.

 

You just watch.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You just watch.

I am. So far, they're still north of the 38th parallel, making noise.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Personally, I have yet to see someone holding one of these behemoths to their ear and talking on it. I don't get it I guess.

You likely don't hang around groups of kids wearing their hats on backwards and their pants around their knees.

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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I think most people use the really big ones as a mini tablet with a data connection with the phone part more there as an emergency than anything else.

 

texting...

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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #40 of 47

Get a tablet.  The size of these phones is getting so big that it is a waste of time toting them around as a phone so just get a table and be done with it.  Any mini tablet would be just as good anyway.  And if you use bluetooth for the phone part, so be it.

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