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'Samsung' Articles

Fitbit Continues to Outpace Apple Watch in Broader Wearables Market

The latest data from market research firm IDC reveals that the Apple Watch remained the most popular smartwatch in the first quarter, with an estimated 1.5 million sales and 46 percent market share through the first three months of 2016. Meanwhile, basic wearables unsurprisingly continue to outpace smartwatches. Samsung was the closest threat to Apple Watch among smartwatches in the quarter, with an estimated 700,000 sales and 20.9 percent market share, followed by Motorola, Huawei, and Garmin with estimated 400,000, 200,000, and 100,000 shipments respectively for a combined 18.6 percent market share. Apple finished third in the overall wearables market with 7.5 percent market share, behind lower-price fitness tracker vendors Fitbit and Xiaomi. Fitbit commanded a leading 24.5 percent market share off an estimated 4.8 million shipments, while Xiaomi had 3.7 million shipments for 19 percent market share. Apple does not disclose Watch sales in its quarterly earning results, instead grouping the device under its Other Products category alongside iPods, Apple TVs, Beats Electronics, and accessories. IDC and Strategy Analytics estimates place total Apple Watch sales at nearly 16 million from April 2015 through March 2016.Fitbit began 2016 the same way it finished 2015: as the undisputed leader in the wearables market. The launch of its new Alta and Blaze devices resulted in million unit shipment volumes for each, pointing to a new chapter of fashion-oriented fitness trackers. It also points to significant declines for its previously successful Surge, Charge, Charge

iPad Declines Yet Again Amid Worst Tablet Quarter Since 2012

The latest data from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics reveals that iPad market share declined for the ninth consecutive quarter as the worldwide tablet market continues to slow. Apple now has between 22.1 and 25.9-percent market share among tablet vendors, down from between 24.3 and 27.2-percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple reported iPad sales of 10.3 million during the March quarter earlier this week, compared to 12.62 million in the year-ago quarter. IDC and Strategy Analytics data shows Samsung trailing in second with 6 to 6.5 million tablets shipped, amounting to 14.0 to 15.2-percent market share during the first three months of 2016. IDC data shows that Amazon experienced explosive 5421.7-percent year-over-year growth, with its market share rising from just 0.1-percent to 5.7-percent on the strength of new low-cost Fire tablets. The research firm noted that it did not count the Fire HD 6 in its Q1 2015 numbers. Strategy Analytics did not share Amazon data. Lenovo and Huawei rounded out the top five in both datasets, with both vendors having shipped between 2.1 and 2.2 million tablets during the quarter. Their respective market shares ranged between 4.5-percent and 5.5-percent, amounting to only a slight variation between the IDC and Strategy Analytics data. Global tablet shipments reached between 39.6 and 46.5 million during the quarter, the latter of which is the lowest total since the third quarter of 2012, according to Strategy Analytics. Nevertheless, IDC noted that convertible 2-in-1 tablets continue to experience growth, with quarterly

Apple Watch Loses Market Share as Android Wear Grows in Popularity

The latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics reveals that Apple Watch sales totaled an estimated 2.2 million in the first quarter. Apple Watch remains the most popular smartwatch, but its market share declined to 52.4-percent compared to 63-percent in the previous quarter. Strategy Analytics cites increasing competition from Android Wear rivals such as LG and Motorola as one reason for the Apple Watch ceding market share:"We estimate Apple Watch shipped 2.2 million units and captured 52 percent smartwatch marketshare worldwide in Q1 2016, dipping from 63 percent share in Q4 2015," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. "Samsung shipped 0.6 million smartwatches, capturing 14 percent marketshare worldwide for second position. Apple Watch and Samsung Gear models are expanding fast across dozens of countries, but competition from LG, Motorola and others is ramping up fast."Nevertheless, Apple still maintains a comfortable lead in the smartwatch market, with its wrist-worn sales outpacing all other competitors combined. Samsung trailed in second place with only 600,000 shipments, for instance, while all other vendors shipped a combined 1.4 million units in the quarter. Global smartwatch shipments grew 223-percent annually to reach 4.2 million units in the first quarter of 2016, up from 1.3 million in the year-ago quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Growth was driven by demand for Apple, Android Wear, and Tizen models across North America, Western Europe, and Asia. Apple does not disclose Watch sales in its quarterly earning

iPhone Drops to 15% Market Share as Smartphone Market Goes Flat

The latest data from research firm IDC reveals that Apple's smartphone market share dropped to 15.3 percent in the March quarter as the worldwide smartphone market fell nearly flat during the first three months of 2016. Apple yesterday reported iPhone sales of 51.2 million during the three-month period ending March 26, compared to 61.2 million units and 18.3 percent market share in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, overall smartphone shipments totaled 334.9 million during the quarter, a year-over-year increase of only 500,000 units.Despite the plethora of new features found on the newer "S" models, current iPhone 6/6 Plus owners may feel that a 6S upgrade may not be warranted at the moment. Apple also announced the new iPhone SE, which looks to challenge similarly priced Android options in numerous emerging markets where Apple has traditionally been seen as too expensive.Samsung continued to lead the market with 81.9 million smartphones shipped for 24.5 percent market share, down only slightly from 24.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo rounded off the top five smartphone makers in the quarter as Chinese vendors continue to churn the top of the charts. Huawei, which manufactures Google's popular Android-based Nexus 6P smartphone, shipped 27.5 million handsets during the quarter for 8.2 percent market share as it attempts to compete with Apple and Samsung in the U.S. market and other regions beyond China. Its market share was 5.2 percent one year ago. OPPO and Vivo, meanwhile, pushed out Lenovo and Xiaomi respectively for the fourth and fifth

Samsung Said to Supply Apple with NAND Flash Memory in 2017 After Five-Year Hiatus

Samsung is once again set to begin supplying Apple with NAND flash memory chips in 2017, ending a five-year hiatus dating back to the debut of the iPhone 5 in 2012, according to ETNews. The reason for the dissolution of the original supplier relationship is given as Samsung's unwillingness to comply with Apple's electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements via packaging changes or special coatings on the memory packages themselves. This new claim comes on the heels of an report earlier report, also by ETNews, suggesting Apple was looking to individually shield more parts inside its devices for performance and EMI compliance reasons. The earlier article claimed the impetus for this change was the use of multiple diverse systems such as 3D Touch along with the presence of various high-speed interfaces, all of which can contribute to and be affected by EMI. Individual shielding would also allow Apple to dispense with discrete metal shielding components, which could ultimately save on logic board space and allow more room for other components inside the devices. The new report notes that Samsung's use of ball grid array (BGA) packaging places it at a disadvantage to competing products that use land grid array (LGA) package contacts, which allow the package to sit flush with the printed circuit board. LGA type lead (left) compared to BGA type lead (right) It appears Samsung's existing sputter coat EMI shielding technologies were insufficient for Apple's performance requirements, given the shielding gaps created by the raised BGA contacts. The

Samsung to Supply Apple With OLED Display Panels Starting in 2017

Samsung Display Co. will begin supplying Apple with OLED display panels starting in 2017, reports The Korea Herald. According to the terms of the deal, which is worth $2.59 billion, Samsung will provide Apple with 100 million units of 5.5-inch OLED panels on an annual basis. OLED panels eliminate the need for the backlighting used in traditional LCDs, potentially allowing Apple to cut down on the thickness and bezels of its iOS devices. OLED displays can also provide sharper images and brighter colors than LCD displays, but higher manufacturing costs and shorter lifespans are obstacles that Apple will need to overcome. Rumors suggesting Apple and Samsung were close to establishing a partnership for OLED panels first surfaced in January, when Reuters reported Apple was seeking deals with both Samsung and LG Display. Later rumors indicated Samsung plans to invest up to $7.47 billion in OLED manufacturing equipment to fulfill orders for Apple. Apple may also plan to source additional panels from LG Display, AU Optronics, or Japan Display, three other display companies it has pursued deals with. Early rumors said Apple would adopt OLED displays in 2018, but more recent information suggests that timeline has been pushed up. Apple is now rumored to be aiming to introduce the first iPhones with OLED displays in 2017. A rumor from reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and information from DigiTimes have suggested Apple plans to use 5.8-inch OLED displays for the larger-screened iPhone in 2017, perhaps for a wraparound display paired with a curved glass casing,

Leaked iOS App Hints at Upcoming iPhone Support for Samsung's Gear S2 Smart Watch

In January, Samsung announced plans to add iOS support to its Gear S2 Smart Watch, and it appears work on an iOS app is well underway. Screenshots of a beta Gear S2 app designed for iOS devices have been shared on the XDA forums, giving us a first look at the design of the app and the features that will be available. XDA forum members have also been able to download the test app and have provided details on its functionality. The Gear S2 iOS app will be able to deliver notifications to the smart watch, and it will be able to install and manage apps from the Gear store on the device. According to testers, while the Gear S2 can receive notifications from the iPhone, replies are not currently possible, and the Samsung Gear S2 Lite app has to be running in the background for the connection between the watch and the app to be maintained. The app appears to be in the developmental stages and Samsung has given no hints on when it plans to introduce a finished iOS app for the Gear S2. When the news was first announced, Samsung's only timeline was "later in the year." Currently, the Gear S2, which runs the Samsung Tizen operating system, is only compatible with Samsung smartphones, but when the iOS app is released, the Gear S2 will be able to compete with the Apple Watch on Apple's own platform. Introduced in August of 2015, the Gear S2 is Samsung's latest smart watch and the first to ship with a round display. While the first versions of the Gear S2 were originally only available in black or silver with matching rubber bands, Samsung introduced higher-end

More Suppliers Secure Apple Watch 2 Orders as Launch Inches Closer

With the Apple Watch 2 expected to launch in the second half of 2016, supply chain informant DigiTimes reports that Samsung and other overseas manufacturers have secured component orders for the next-generation device. Taiwan-based Advanced Semiconductor Engineering will fulfill the majority of system-on-a-chip production, while Amkor Technology and STATS ChipPAC will share a portion of remaining orders, according to the report. Meanwhile, additional Taiwanese supplier Kinsus Interconnect Technology is said to have secured Apple Watch 2 substrate orders, and Samsung Electronics will reportedly fabricate the Apple Watch 2's processor, consisting of mobile DRAM, NAND flash, and other chips. Both Kinsus and Samsung provide components for the original Apple Watch, which is powered by Apple's custom-designed S1 chip. Previous reports indicated that Quanta Computer will likely remain the key Apple Watch 2 manufacturer. The supplier reportedly began trial production of the second-generation watch in January, in time for a purported late-second-quarter launch around June. Volume shipments were said to begin in the third quarter, which could be any point between early July and late September. Opportunities for Apple to introduce a second-generation Apple Watch include its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, or its annual iPhone introduction event in September. The original Apple Watch was announced in early September 2014 and released in late April 2015, suggesting an elongated 14 to 19 month release cycle between models that may help avoid consumer

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Samsung's Appeal of $548 Million Settlement Paid to Apple

A nearly five-year-old design patent trial between Apple and Samsung has reached a new level, as the U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear Samsung's appeal of a lower court decision that ordered the South Korean electronics maker to pay a $548 million settlement to its Cupertino-based rival in December. According to Reuters, Samsung plans to appeal what it believes are "excessive penalties" for allegedly "copying the patented designs of the iPhone," including the smartphone's rounded rectangular bezel and colorful grid of icons. The 2011 lawsuit targeted select Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets. Samsung has already paid the $548 million settlement to Apple, but it can obtain reimbursement if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses or modifies the original judgment. Apple had urged the high court to deny the appeal, accusing Samsung of raising issues that do not "deserve review" in an effort to prolong court proceedings. The appeal will likely delay a damages retrial that was scheduled to begin later this month in the Northern District of California, according to FOSS Patents.

Apple Loses Appeal in Samsung Case: Two Patents Ruled Invalid, $120 Million Verdict Overturned

The long-running dispute between Apple and Samsung continues, with an appeals court today handing the Cupertino-based company a defeat by invalidating two Apple patents and ruling a third had not been infringed by Samsung (via Bloomberg). The ruling, which covers Apple patents related to slide-to-unlock, autocorrect, and interactive phone number features, also threw out the original $119.6 million in damages Apple had been awarded in the case. In addition, Apple's guilty verdict from nearly two years ago has been upheld: the company still has to pay $158,400 for violating Samsung's patent describing an "apparatus for recording and reproducing digital image and speech." Regarding the three operating system features Apple attempted to validate, the court ruled that Apple's claim for Samsung's patent infringement was "invalid."In this case, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed patents for the slide-to-unlock feature, autocorrect and a way to detect phone numbers that can then be touched to make phone calls. The autocorrect patent is invalid and the detection patent wasn’t infringed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an opinion posted on its electronic docket. The court upheld the jury’s verdict that two other Apple patents, for universal search and background syncing, weren’t infringed. In a separate court battle over patent infringements, last December Samsung decided to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court in one final effort to avoid paying $548 million to Apple. Just this month, Apple attempted to convince the Supreme Court to deny Samsung's

Galaxy S7's 'Best Smartphone Display' Makes Strong Case for Apple to Shift to OLED iPhones

DisplayMate Technologies has declared that Samsung's new Galaxy S7 has the "best smartphone display" it has ever tested, making a strong case for Apple's rumored shift to OLED displays within the next two to three years. The in-depth display shoot-out found the Galaxy S7 display to be significantly better than the Galaxy S6, including increased brightness by up to 29 percent, improved screen visibility in bright environments, and more efficient power consumption. The Galaxy S7's display now matches or exceeds the larger Galaxy Note 5's display in terms of brightness, color accuracy, and contrast rating in high ambient light. The results are impressive given the Galaxy S7's display area is scaled down by 20 percent. The Galaxy S7 also uses sub-pixel rendering, which improves image sharpness by treating red, green, and blue sub-pixels as individual image elements. DisplayMate says the technology can make the screen appear to have up to 3 times the resolution of traditional pixel rendering. The improvements are directly tied to Samsung's advancements in OLED display technologies, which have a number of significant advantages over LCD panels, including being thinner and lighter with thinner bezels, faster response times, better viewing angles, and always-on mode.Many of the OLED performance advantages result from the fact that every single sub-pixel in an OLED display is individually directly powered, which results in better color accuracy, image contrast accuracy, and screen uniformity. Because of their very flexible power management capabilities, OLEDs are

Samsung Opens Flagship NYC Store, Calls it 'Immersive Cultural Center'

Samsung yesterday announced the opening of its new flagship store in New York City, describing it as "the flagship of the future", but in a curious twist, one which does not actively sell Samsung products. Named simply "837" after its address in the popular Meatpacking district, the "living lab and digital playground" is a 55,000 square-foot space that includes a three-story digital screen (made up of 96 Samsung 55-inch TV sets stitched together), a 90-seat theater, a portable demo kitchen, an art gallery, a multimedia studio, and a café. Product shelves however are nowhere to be seen. Samsung 837 in New York's Meatpacking district (Image: Mashable) According to a Samsung press release, the store sets out to "reimagine the traditional store experience" and provide an opportunity for people to "experience Samsung technology and signature services in an environment that blurs the lines between live and static experiences." The Screen and mainstage (Image: Business Wire) "It's not about pushing products in people's faces," explained Zach Overton, General Manager of Samsung 837, speaking to Fast Company. Rather, Overton calls it "a fully immersive cultural center, featuring programming which will tap into people's passions such as art, music, entertainment, sports, wellness, culinary, technology and fashion, all powered and enriched by technology." Visitors wear Samsung's Gear VR in a dedicated VR environment (Image: Business Wire) Mashable got a sneak preview of the store and describes an area called the Selfie Station, where users are invited to take a photo

Samsung Announces Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge With Expandable Storage, Larger Battery

Today at Mobile World Congress, Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the latest devices in its flagship line of smartphones. While the two new devices are nearly identical to last year's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, they add a trio of features that were left out of those models: expandable storage, water resistance and more battery life. However, while previously rumored, the device does not come with a pressure-sensitive 3D Touch-like display. Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge (via The Verge) The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge now include support for microSD cards with up to 200 GB of storage to complement the 32 GB of onboard storage. The U.S. will only receive 32 GB variants of the devices while some regions will receive a 64 GB version alongside the 32 GB version. The devices also support IP68 water and dust resistance, which means that the phones can be submersed in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. The S7 comes with a 3,000 mAh battery, up from last year's 2,550 mAh, while the S7 Edge comes with a 3,600 mAh battery, up from last year's 2,600 mAh. Both devices have received minor design improvements intended to make the devices easier to hold. The S7 now has a flatter home button and a less pronounced camera bump among other small refinements. The S7 Edge has received a larger 5.5-inch display (both devices sport the quad HD Super AMOLED display in the Galaxy S6). However, the S7 Edge has also received a sleeker, more curved back that, according to The Verge, results in a 5.5-inch device that is easily workable with one hand. The rear camera in the new S7 and S7

Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 5.1 Million in Holiday Quarter, Swiss Watch Sales in Trouble

The latest data from Strategy Analytics reveals that the Apple Watch remained the most popular smartwatch through the fourth quarter of 2015, capturing 63 percent global market share based on an estimated 5.1 million sales in the three-month period. Samsung trailed in second place with 16 percent market share and an estimated 1.3 million sales. Apple and Samsung together accounted for 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide during last year's holiday shopping season, based on the data. Global smartwatch sales rose to an estimated 8.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 316 percent from 1.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The growth was led by North America, Western Europe, and Asia. The record-breaking smartwatch growth contrasted the troubled Swiss watch market, which declined 4.8 percent in Q4 2015 over the year-ago quarter. Swiss watch sales totaled 7.9 million units in Q4 2015, down from 8.3 million in Q4 2014.“The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. "The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away. Swiss brands, like Tag Heuer, accounted for a tiny 1 percent of all smartwatches shipped globally during Q4 2015, and they are long way behind Apple, Samsung and other leaders in the high-growth smartwatch category.”Apple does not break out Apple Watch sales in its financial earnings results, but rather groups the wrist-worn device under its "Other Products" category with

Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy S7 Rumored to Feature Water Resistant Design, Pressure-Sensitive Screen

Samsung is expected to unveil its newest smartphones at Mobile World Congress on February 21, and ahead of their debut date, several leaks have hinted at the specs we can expect to see in the flagship devices of Apple's main competitor. Like Apple, and continuing with its own trend of dual releases, Samsung will unveil two new smartphones: the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge with a curved display. Both devices look similar to the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, as seen in a render created by noted leaker @evleaks. The Galaxy S7 Edge will be larger, measuring in at 5.5 inches, the same size as the iPhone 6s Plus. Samsung is expected to be adding a pressure-sensitive display, which would perhaps mimic some of the 3D Touch features available in the iPhone 6s, allowing it to respond to a new range of pressure-based gestures. A microsite and video for the Galaxy S7 published this afternoon points towards improved water resistance and wireless charging, two features that are also rumored for Apple's iPhone 7. Samsung has long offered wireless charging through the Qi system, which uses a charging pad. Apple is rumored to be considering wireless charging in the iPhone 7, but it may not be ready until 2017 because Apple wants to use long-range charging that eschews a mat. Samsung's Galaxy S5 was IP67 water resistant, a feature that didn't make it into the flagship Galaxy S6 but is expected to be included in the Galaxy S7. Rumors have also suggested the iPhone 7 will include improved water resistance. While not expected to gain dual cameras like the iPhone 7

Apple Says U.S. Supreme Court Should Reject Samsung's Appeal Request

In December, Samsung asked the United States Supreme Court to hear a final appeal in its ongoing patent battle with Apple, which would potentially nullify a $548 million settlement awarded to Apple. In a lengthy document filed with the court this afternoon (via Foss Patents), Apple urges the Supreme Court to deny Samsung's request, accusing the company of raising issues that do not "deserve review" in an effort to prolong court proceedings. Samsung has claimed that the jury did not adequately understand the patents in question because members weren't provided with enough explanation by the court. The South Korean company has also suggested the case has wider implications that could encourage design patent trolls, an assertion Apple refers to as a "doomsday warning" based on "extreme hypotheticals."Samsung's effort to make this case seem certworthy depends on a made-up narrative in which Samsung, not Apple, is the innovator, despite the overwhelming evidence that Samsung copied the iPhone's innovative design. [...] Once Samsung's diversions are swept aside as they should be, the actual issues it presents do not deserve review. The decisions below broke no new legal ground; they simply applied the statute and well-settled law to the extraordinary record of infringement and copying in this case.Apple goes on to say that Samsung has had its day in court and while the litigation is "high-profile," it is "legally unexceptional" and Samsung has not presented a legitimate reason as to why the court should prolong it. While Apple doesn't feel Samsung's case is worth the

Samsung Widens Gap Over Apple in Worldwide Smartphone Market

The latest numbers from market research firm Strategy Analytics reveal that Samsung increased its lead over Apple as the world's largest smartphone maker, after shipping 81.3 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of the 2015 calendar year. Apple announced earlier this week that it sold a record 74.8 million iPhones during the same three-month period encompassing the busy holiday shopping season. Global smartphone shipments grew 12 percent annually from 1.28 billion in 2014 to a record 1.44 billion in 2015, according to the data. Samsung and Apple contributed 319.7 million and 231.5 million smartphone sales respectively to that worldwide total, while Huawei, Lenovo-Motorola, and Xiaomi rounded off the top five smartphone makers. All other vendors collectively shipped 637.5 million smartphones in 2015. Samsung led the fourth quarter with 20.1 percent market share, a slight increase over its 19.6 percent market share in the year-ago quarter. Conversely, Apple's fourth quarter market share was 18.5 percent, a slight decline from its 19.6 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2014. Huawei, Lenovo-Motorola and Xiaomi had market shares of 8.1 percent, 5 percent and 4.8 percent respectively. In the year-ago quarter, Apple matched Samsung's 74.5 million smartphones shipped on the strength of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but its South Korean rival has since pulled ahead again. The comparison is largely unbalanced, however, as Samsung sells dozens of different smartphone models worldwide, while Apple currently only sells the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone

Samsung May Invest Over $7 Billion to Supply OLED Displays for Future iPhones

Samsung Display is close to reaching an agreement with Apple to supply flexible OLED displays for future iPhones, and will invest up to $7.47 billion in OLED manufacturing equipment to fulfill orders, according to Korea-based ET News. Samsung's display-making division will reportedly increase OLED display production by 30,000 to 45,000 panels per month this year, followed by an additional 45,000 substrates each month in 2017, per the terms of its nearly finalized contract. OLED manufacturing and inspection equipment will primarily come from South Korean display businesses AP Systems and HB Technology, the report claims. Multiple reports claim Apple will launch iPhones with OLED displays in 2018. In addition to Samsung Display, the OLED panel orders may be spread out over a number of suppliers, possibly including AU Optronics, LG and Japan Display. All three display makers have supplied Apple with LCD panels for existing iPhones. Apple is reportedly operating a Taiwanese factory where a team of engineers are developing thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices. The secretive lab may be specifically focused on flexible OLED and Micro-LED display technologies for use in future-generation

Samsung to Add iOS Support to Gear S2 Smart Watch Later This Year

Samsung today held a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the company announced new rose gold and platinum variants of its Samsung Gear S2 smart watch and pledged future iOS support for the device. First introduced in August, the Gear S2 is Samsung's newest smart watch and its first with a round display. The Gear S2 was originally available in black or silver with matching leather or rubber bands, but later this year, Samsung will also introduce high-end 18-karat rose gold and platinum plated versions, made from real precious metals much like the Apple Watch Edition. At the current time, the Gear S2, which runs Samsung's Tizen operating system, is compatible only with Samsung smartphones, but that's set to change. Samsung says that later in the year, it will "bring the Gear S2 to iOS," allowing it to compete with the Apple Watch on Apple's own platform. Samsung didn't share additional details on when iOS compatibility might be implemented. Samsung announced several other products at CES, including a Surface Pro-style 12-inch Galaxy Tab Pro S tablet that runs Windows 10 and two very thin Notebook 9 ultrabooks. The Tab Pro S, which weighs 1.5 pounds, features a 2160 x 1440 Super AMOLED display, an Intel Core M processor, 4GB RAM, and up to 256GB storage. Samsung's Notebook 9 laptops are available in 13.3 and 15-inch sizes, with the smaller of the two weighing in at 1.85 pounds, which is lighter than the Retina MacBook. The larger version weighs 2.84 pounds, and both feature a 1080p display. Max specs for the Notebook 9 laptop

Samsung Announces Next-Generation 'Portable SSD T3' With USB-C Port

Ahead of this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung has announced its latest external solid state drive, the SSD T3. An evolution of the SSD T1, the Portable SSD T3 is Samsung's first SSD to include a USB 3.1 Type-C port instead of a standard USB B port. Devices that use USB Type-C are proving popular at this year's CES, with multiple companies introducing new USB-C docks, connectors, and more. All of these products, including Samsung's SSD, are compatible with the 12-inch Retina MacBook, Apple's first computer to take advantage of USB-Type C. Samsung's Portable SSD T3 features a body that's encased in silver and gray aluminum, an upgrade from the plastic body of the SSD T1. Internally, the SSD T3 features the same controllers with SSD TurboWrite technology and Vertical NAND flash used in each of Samsung's 2.5-inch SATA solid state drives. The SSD T3 offers sequential read and write speeds of up to 450MB/s, and it's also lighter and more durable than most standard hard drives on the market. According to Samsung, it's smaller than an average business card. It can survive up to 1500G of force and will remain functional even after a drop of up to two meters. Available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities with AES 256-bit hardware encryption, the SSD T3 ships with a USB Type-C to Type-A cable in the box, so it's able to be used with Macs that don't have a USB-C port. With its aluminum case, the SSD T3 is slightly heavier than the original T1, weighing in at 51 grams, and it measures in at 74mm x 58mm x 10.5mm. Samsung has not unveiled