After the ancient rulers of Nokia, the twin kingdoms of Apple and Samsung conquered the land with an iron fist. Under their rule, the land grew and prospered with iPhones and Galaxies.
We all know the story by now. Samsung and Apple have stood atop the smartphone industry for more than a decade. With how technology is developing, it seems likely that both brands will remain as two of the top phone manufacturers.
However, Samsung’s sales reports hint that it’s losing its grip on the industry’s peak.
According to the company’s earning guidance for the second quarter, Samsung lost 0.7 percent in sales. Last semester, Samsung posted consolidated sales of 60.56 trillion in Korean won. This semester, the company posted only approximately KWR 58 trillion. However, according to The Verge, the company still saw an 11 percent increase in overall profit.
While 0.7 percent doesn’t seem like much, the loss is the first time in a while that Samsung’s sales have not grown. For the past quarters, Samsung has enjoyed record-breaking numbers on its sales column. The positive trend has finally buckled this year.
Meanwhile, according to Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the loss came from the Galaxy S9’s less-than-spectacular sales. With current sales, the Galaxy S9 is the company’s least popular phone since the Galaxy S3 in 2012.
As of late, Samsung has suffered mounting pressure from other brands outing their own competitive flagships (see: Huawei P20 Pro). Coupled with its lack of redeemable features, the Galaxy S9 is a tough phone to sell.
Moreover, with Apple taking its screen business elsewhere, Samsung might see a drop in component sales as well.
Regardless, the company will surely still enjoy massive sales numbers. At the same time, the drop should inspire the company to take measures with next year’s Galaxy S10 to get back to their winning ways.
Lee Kun-hee, the titan behind Samsung’s rise, dies at 78
South Korea’s richest person
Lee Kun-hee, the tech titan who transformed Samsung into a technology powerhouse, died at the age of 78. Samsung said Mr Lee died on Sunday with family by his side, but did not state the exact cause of death.
“All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him,” the company’s said in a statement. His family will hold a private funeral.
He was South Korea’s richest person with Bloomberg Billionaire Index estimating his net worth to be US$ 20.7 billion. When Lee took over the company, it was already a massive conglomerate. But its stake in the electronics sector wasn’t dominant. Lee made the electronics division a priority, changing the face of the brand forever.
Today, the company has an interest in every possible segment of technology. Samsung is one of the world’s top smartphone makers, has a state-of-the-art fabrication production lineup, and quite literally sells everything. From refrigerators to insurance, Samsung does everything.
His son Jay Y. Lee has been the conglomerate’s de facto leader since his father’s hospitalization due to a heart attack in 2014. Lee stepped down as Samsung chairman in 2008 after he was charged with tax evasion and embezzlement. But suspended sentences meant he never served time in jail and he received two presidential pardons.
Furthermore, Lee is also credited for successful efforts to secure the 2018 Winter Olympics, which were held in South Korea. The cause of his death is unknown and the company did not confirm whether he’s left a will.
Samsung is officially developing a 10000ppi display
Currently in research phase
How many pixels can you see on your screen right now? With screen technology today, you probably can’t see where one pixel ends and another starts. Of course, some devices today still have easily discernable pixels even on a large screen. That said, screen technology is about to get a massive boost. Samsung is officially developing a 10000ppi display.
Partnering with Stanford University, the South Korean tech company is packing in the titanic amount in a single screen, a mouth-watering improvement on today’s standards. Currently, a smartphone can only pack in 400 to 500 pixels per inch. A larger TV screen only goes for 100 to 200 pixels per inch.
Usually, different pixels emit red, green, and blue light, mixing all three to create vibrant colors. In Samsung’s new screen, OLED films can emit white light through reflections. As you might expect, the pixels are much smaller than normal, allowing Samsung to pack in as much as it can into the screen.
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about grabbing the new feature on your phone or TV set just yet. The screen’s developers predict the technology’s earliest application in the virtual reality industry.
Currently, VR headsets are still woefully inadequate in pixels. Using a VR screen is still too much like staring at a screen up close. With 10,000 pixels per inch, a VR headset in the future might looks as good as the real thing. Moreover, it can even go beyond VR headsets. The study itself names “glasses or contact lenses” as potential applications.
Regardless of when it comes, the future is looking good, real or virtual.
PayPal and Venmo will now accept cryptocurrencies
Good news for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum
PayPal has announced it’ll let users transact via cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and more. Now users can buy, hold, and pay using cryptocurrencies on the online wallet and payments platform.
Using its leverage across tens of millions of merchants, PayPal can help bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies gain wider adoption as a viable payment method. PayPal has almost 350 million users worldwide along with 26 million merchants.
PayPal owned Venmo will also let users make peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions and a general rollout is scheduled for the first half of 2021. Following the announcement, the value of Bitcoin surged by 5 percent on the same day.
The company says it’ll initially support Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Behind the scenes, Paxos will handle the trading as well as custody. For users, the biggest benefit will be they can store their cryptocurrency with PayPal and won’t have to go through real time exchange before each payment.
All cryptocurrencies will be first converted to fiat currency (like US$) at the time of settlement. Access to the service will be available in the coming weeks. However, users won’t be able to pay until early 2021.
PayPal isn’t the first major company to adopt crypto payments. Mobile payments provider Square as well as trading service Robinhood Markets already support cryptocurrencies. But PayPal’s reach is considered to be massive, having a ripple effect on the whole industry.
In the second quarter, PayPal processed payments worth a whopping US$ 222 billion. Hence it’s adoption of cryptocurrency goes a long way in supporting the niche industry.
Bitcoin and many other virtual currencies have been around for a long time, but exposure to retail customers for general payments has been close to zero. These currencies are extremely volatile, making them perfect for traders and short-term investors. Although their inherent benefits are yet to reach the average Joe.
With one of the world’s largest fintech institution opening doors for virtual coins, the future looks optimistic for increased adoption.
Read Also: Basics of cryptocurrency: Risks and benefits
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