The electronics and entertainment retailer’s investors seem to like the new plan to create Samsung Experience Shops at 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores beginning this month. Best Buy shares are up about 8.7% in early trading, flirting with their 52-week high. The companies say that about 900 of the Samsung shops will be open by early May with the rest to be up by early summer. They’ll feature smartphones, tablets, laptops, connected cameras and accessories. Taking a page from Apple’s retail playbook, Samsung says it will have dedicated salespeople who will help with demonstrations and support customers “throughout the lifecycle of their product.” The collaboration will also exist online later this quarter with a destination on the Best Buy site for sales and service of Samsung products and accessories.
David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline.
Samsung Mobile just unpacked its next flagship smartphone, christening it the Galaxy S4 and loading it with improved technical specs and nifty functions the company hopes might entice high-end users away from Apple’s iPhone and other competitors. Streamed lived to some 400,000 people over YouTube from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, the Galaxy S4 announcement increases pressure on Apple and others to improve their own flagship smartphones, particularly to meet stiff competition in faster-growing overseas markets.
The judge in last year’s landmark Apple-Samsung patent case today slashed damages awarded to Apple last august from $1.05 billion to $598.9 million and ordered a new trial to recalculate the damages, CNET reported. Apple had actually gone back …
This surprised me. Samsung said at the International CES confab today that its new OLED TV sets make it possible for two people to watch different shows on the same screen at the same time. The company pulls off that trick when viewers wear special glasses, with earbuds, that isolate the program that the viewer wants. It seems the OLED models can handle all of those moving images because the screens refresh 1,000 times faster than conventional HDTV screens. The company says it will show that off in addition to a voice command feature it calls S-Recommendation: Users can use natural language to ask for different programming characteristics, for example an actor they like, and the TV set will offer suggestions based on what’s available on conventional TV, online, and on the DVR. Recommendations will adapt to a user’s tastes over time.
Apple has asked a judge for an additional $535 million in its U.S. patent fight with Samsung Electronics Co. A jury last month awarded Apple $1.05 billion in ruling that Samsung had willfully violated 5 of 7 …
Today’s press day at the 2012 International CES, when many manufacturers unveil the products they’ll show off beginning tomorrow when the show floor opens. And based early announcements, it appears that TV set manufacturers believe they can revive their stagnating sales by packing lots of existing features — including Web connections, 3D, and voice commands — into devices with humongous screens. LG led the way this morning by announcing plans to sell an 84-inch LCD TV, the largest available in the U.S. It’ll be 3D compatible, include Wi-Fi, and respond to voice commands. LG, Samsung, and Sony will also be talking up sets that include Google TV; LG said that it will develop its own chip sets for the product that integrates Web videos with conventional TV. Sharp also now says it will add 3D compatibility to a feature-packed 80-inch TV it announced late last year. Separately, Nuance — known for its Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition program — announced plans to sell voice recognition software to TV and box makers. The company says that Dragon TV will enable viewers to find what they want by speaking commands such as “Go to PBS”, “What’s on Bravo at 9 PM tonight?”, ”When is Ellen on?”, and ”Watch Dexter on DVR”.
Cable operators serving 85% of all subscribers say today that by the end of 2013 at least 90% of the new set-top boxes they buy and deploy will meet Energy Star 3.0 standards. For example, many will be able to sleep when they aren’t being used — most now don’t, which earned them the nickname “energy vampires” after the National Resources Defense Council released an eye-opening report in June that said the nation’s 160M set top boxes consumed about 27B kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2010. That cost consumers $3B annually, using enough power to serve all of the homes in Maryland for a year, the activist group said.
While it’s nice to see the cable industry do something about the problem, the new initiative is no hardship. Most major operators are reluctantly begining to acknowledge that they can’t keep their grip on
I’m told that Sony is indeed sounding out cable programmers including Discovery, NBCUniversal, and News Corp to see whether they’re willing to cut deals to have their shows streamed to Sony devices such as PlayStations and Blu-ray players. The Japanese tech and entertainment giant is thinking about a model that would resemble Amazon’s with its new Kindle Fire tablet: It might cut the price of the devices, and count on subscription payments to make up the lost revenues. But nothing is imminent. And the feeling is that The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news about Sony’s plans this morning, pushed too hard on the possibility that the tech and entertainment giant might end up with a full-fledged rival to cable TV. Sony has raised the idea with programmers of offering channels live, just as they’d appear on cable. Insiders tell me, though, that there’s only a remote possibility that Sony will make much headway with that idea — except perhaps with minor networks that have few carriage deals. They consider it significant that Sony is telling programmers that it is open to creating a more conventional subscription VOD service like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu Plus. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have also been sniffing around to see what programming they can offer via the Internet, and on what terms. Meanwhile, pay TV companies are working on TV Everywhere deals so they can stream shows to subscribers’ digital devices.