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Samsung Says Over 60% Of Defective Samsung Note 7 Phones Have Been Recovered

September 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

galaxy-note-7-recall-150x150Samsung Electronics Co announced it has received back more than 60 percent of recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold in South Korea and the United States, suggesting it is making progress in its attempts to recover from the crisis.

In a statement, Samsung said it was focused on replacing all affected devices “as quickly and efficiently” as possible and reiterated its request that customers affected by the current recall should power off their device and turn them in.

The world’s top smartphone maker announced on Sept. 2 a global recall of at least 2.5 million Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire. The company says replacement devices it began issuing in mid-September use safe batteries.

Samsung hopes to take the faulty products off the market as soon as possible in order to limit further damage to its reputation and resume sales of the flagship device ahead of the key holiday shopping season in major markets such as the United States.

But the nearly month-long recall process has provided additional stumbles and embarrassment for the firm. Reports of Note 7 fires and damages have continued after the recall announcement, while aviation authorities around the world issued warnings or outright bans on the use or charging of the Note 7 on aircraft.

Samsung was also forced to push back the start of Note 7 sales in South Korea by three days to Oct. 1 due to relatively slow progress in the recall in its home market.

Some analysts say the cost of the recall and lost sales could wipe off nearly $5 billion in revenues for Samsung this year. Samsung said around 90 percent of customers who turned in their device through the exchange program have opted for a replacement Note 7, but it remains unclear how strong demand from new customers would be when sales resume.

Samsung Delays Re-start Of Galaxy Note 7 Sales

September 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

galaxy-note-7-recall-150x150Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has announced that it will be delaying the start of new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone sales in South Korea by three days to Oct. 1, a move it says is needed for speedy completion of the ongoing recall in the country.

Samsung announced on Sept. 2 a recall of at least 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets, including South Korea, due to a faulty battery causing the phones to catch fire, offering refunds or replacement devices using safe batteries.

The firm hopes to complete the recall quickly and restart sales in the fourth quarter to salvage earnings, but the latest hitch in South Korea underscore continuing challenges in those efforts.

Though product exchanges in South Korea began on Monday, only about 200,000 affected customers have turned in their devices – which Samsung says represents half of affected customers and a recall pace that is much slower than other markets such as Singapore and the United States.

“The recall rate will likely fall sharply should new sales have resumed on Sept. 28,” the company said. Affected customers would no longer be able to exchange their devices through domestic carriers starting on Oct. 1, making the process more difficult.

Samsung hopes to restart new sales in affected markets once it makes enough progress with the recalls, having announced plans to restart sales in Australia and Singapore in October, but the nearly month-long recall process has provided additional stumbles and embarrassment for the firm.

Continued reports of Note 7 fires and damages after the recall announcement, along with warnings or outright bans from aviation authorities on the use or charging of the Note 7 on aircraft, forced Samsung to ask affected customers to immediately turn off their phones to prevent further damage.

Samsung issued an apology for the confusion caused by the delay and said it would do its best to resolve the current Note 7 situation quickly.

New Orders For Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Resume In U.S.

September 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

galaxy-note-7-150x150U.S. mobile carrier Verizon Communications Inc has resumed taking orders for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, after having stopped sales of the device earlier due to fire-prone batteries.

Samsung has recalled about 1 million Note 7 smartphones in the United States, offering to replace or refund the flagship phones. Their susceptibility to catching fire – with more than 100 cases reported across the globe – has damaged the image of the South Korean company.

Globally, the world’s top smartphone maker has recalled at least 2.5 million handsets, in a major setback for the company that is looking to claw back market share from rivals, including Apple Inc  that recently released its latest iPhones.

Samsung halted new sales ahead of the recall as it prepared replacement Note 7 devices with safe batteries.

The new Note 7 phones have been approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for all purchases and exchanges, Verizon said on its website, adding it has the Samsung device available for sale starting Wednesday.

The largest U.S. wireless carrier warned that initial quantities could be limited.

Samsung said in a statement on Tuesday that it had shipped more than 500,000 new Note 7s to U.S. carriers and retailers and that affected users will be able to exchange their recalled phones starting by Wednesday at the latest. The statement did not specify when new sales would start.

Rival carrier Sprint Corp’s website also showed the Note 7 available for order, providing a list of stores where customers can pick up a new handset by appointment.

Samsung did not immediately comment on the U.S. sales plans.

The firm previously said it will resume new sales in South Korea starting Sept. 28 and that sales in Australia and Singapore would resume sometime in October.

 

Samsung To Restrict Battery Charging In Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone

September 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

galaxy-note-7-150x150Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , which has urged owners of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to return them due to fire-prone batteries, said it will push out a software update in South Korea that limits the devices’ charge to 60 percent.

The move comes as Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, also ran local advertisements apologizing for a recall that is unprecedented for a company that prides itself on its manufacturing prowess.

It has not decided whether to implement similar software upgrades limiting battery charging in markets other than South Korea, a company spokeswoman said.

The software update, which will be automatic, will begin at 2 a.m. local time on Sept. 20, Samsung said in a statement.

The firm has sold 2.5 million Note 7 phones in 10 markets including South Korea and the United States that are subject to the recall.

Samsung plans to begin offering replacement phones with safe batteries on Sept. 19 in South Korea.

A series of warnings from regulators and airlines around the world has raised fears for the future of the flagship device, pushing Samsung shares lower.

Samsung Urges Consumers To Turn In Their Galaxy Note 7 Phones

September 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

galaxy-note-7-150x150Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is urging owners of its Galaxy Note 7 phones to turn in their handsets as soon as possible as part of a recall aimed at limiting the damage caused by the fire-prone devices.

The world’s top smartphone maker said last week it would exchange all Note 7 phones in 10 markets including South Korea and the United States, a costly setback for a company that was counting on the model to bolster sales momentum as rivals such as Apple Inc  launch new devices.

Reports that the phones’ batteries have combusted while charging or in normal use prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to stop using the Note 7 device.

Aviation authorities and airlines across the world have also issued bans or guidelines prohibiting passengers from turning on or charging the phone inside airplanes in response.

“We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note 7s and exchange them as soon as possible,” Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung’s smartphone business, said in a statement.

“We are expediting replacement devices so that they can be provided through the exchange program as conveniently as possible and in compliance with related regulations,” the statement added.

For Samsung, which prides itself on manufacturing prowess, the scale of the recall is unprecedented and deals a huge blow to its reputation.

Some 2.5 million of the premium devices have been sold worldwide that need to be recalled, the firm has said, and some analysts say the recall could cost Samsung nearly $5 billion in lost revenue this year.

The Korean company is offering to exchange all affected Galaxy Note 7 phones with a replacement device using a safe battery. Samsung has said replacement Note 7s will be available in some markets including South Korea and the United States from Sept. 19.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Banned By Australian Airlines

September 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

galaxy-note-7-150x150Three Australian airlines have banned passengers from using or charging Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during flights over concerns associated with the batteries catching fire.

Qantas, its budget unit Jetstar and Virgin Australia said they had not been directed to ban the use of the phone by aviation authorities, but did so as a precaution following Samsung’s recall of the phones in 10 markets.

Although customers will still be able to bring the phones on flights, the ban extends to the phones being plugged in to flight entertainment systems where USB ports are available.

The recall follows reports of the 988,900 won ($885) phone igniting while charging – an embarrassing blow to Samsung, which prides itself on its manufacturing prowess and had been banking on the devices to add momentum to a recovery in its mobile business.

Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, has sold 2.5 million of the premium devices so far.

“Following Samsung Australia’s recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 personal electronic device we are requesting that passengers who own them do not switch on or charge them in flight,” a Qantas spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Samsung Australia said in a statement that it had liaised with Qantas and Virgin Australia following the recall.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering its response to the Samsung recall and “working on guidance related to this issue,” according to a FAA statement quoted by technology website Gizmodo.

Airlines have previously banned hoverboards from planes due to battery-fire risks.

In February the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations’ agency, banned lithium-ion batteries from checked luggage following concerns from pilots and plane makers that they are a fire risk.

 

Samsung Goes Bigger With New Gear S3 Smartwatch

September 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Samsung-Gear-3-150x150Samsung Electronics introduced two new smartwatches which boast a range of digital features while also promising up to four days of battery life, seeking to outshine the Apple Watch.

The world’s biggest maker of consumer electronic products introduced its new line of Gear S3 watches ahead of this week’s opening in Berlin of the IFA, Europe’s biggest annual trade fair for consumer electronics and domestic appliances.

The new Gear S3 Frontier model has a rugged outdoor look, while the Gear S3 Classic has a more refined appearance, but both watches feature large faces that are likely to appeal mainly to male consumers.

The Frontier model has its own cellular radio chip to connect to high speed 4G mobile networks so it does not need to be “tethered” to the wearer’s smartphone in order to make calls or send and receive data, unlike Apple watches, which require an iPhone to remain nearby for their connections.

Apple, the current market leader in smartwatches, is expected to introduce its new Apple Watch 2 line-up a week from now, on September 7, along with new phones and computers.

Gadget news sites have reported that Apple is considering introducing smartwatches with their own cellular radio in 2017, but won’t offer such a feature in its upcoming models fearing it would further drain their batteries, which typically last around 24 hours in current models before needing to be recharged.

The latest Samsung smartwatches offer always-on color displays, dust and water resistance features, a built-in speaker and GPS location-finding technology. They also enable users to make mobile payments in countries where Samsung Pay is available.

Pricing was not disclosed for the new Gear S3 watches, which are due to go on sale before the end of the year.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Reported To Catch Fire

September 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

Galaxy-Note-7-150x150The recovery in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s mobile business took a hit as reports of exploding batteries forced the firm to delay shipments of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and knocked $7 billion off its market value.

Investors drove the stock to two-week lows after the global smartphone leader told Reuters late on Wednesday the shipments had been delayed for quality control testing, and that shipments to South Korea’s top three mobile carriers had been halted.

Faults with the new premium flagship device could deal a major blow to the South Korean giant, which was counting on the Galaxy Note 7 to maintain its strong mobile earnings momentum against Apple Inc’s new iPhones expected to be unveiled next week.

“This is some major buzz-kill for Samsung, especially given all of the hard-earned excitement that products like the Note 7 have been garnering lately,” IDC analyst Bryan Ma said.

“The pending Apple launch puts all the more pressure for them to contain this quickly. The timing of this couldn’t have been worse.”

Samsung did not comment on what problem it was trying to address or whether other markets were affected besides South Korea.

Sister company Samsung SDI Co Ltd  said that while it was a supplier of Galaxy Note 7 batteries, it had received no information to suggest the batteries were faulty.

Several people posted images and videos of charred Galaxy Note 7s online and said their phones had caught on fire.

“Be careful out there, everyone rocking the new Note 7, might catch fire y’all,” one user said in a YouTube clip showing a burnt Note phone. It was not immediately possible to confirm the veracity of the clip.

Several South Korean media reports, without citing direct sources, said Samsung will soon announce a plan to recall affected Note 7 phones and replace their batteries as opposed to giving the users a new device. A Samsung spokesman declined to comment on the reports.

Nissan Looking To Unload Its Electric Car Battery Operations

August 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Nissan Motor Co is holding discussions with Panasonic Corp and overseas companies including Chinese firms over the possible sale of its controlling stake in a car battery manufacturing venture, sources said.

Two people with knowledge of the matter said that the Japanese automaker wants to sell its 51 percent stake in Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, which makes lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The company is jointly owned by NEC Corp.

The Nikkei daily  reported that Nissan was looking to sell the company because it would be cheaper to buy batteries for its electric vehicles including its Leaf model from other makers. The newspaper did not say where it obtained the information.

Talk of the sale “is speculation, and is not based on any announcement by us”, Nissan said in an email. Spokesmen for Panasonic and NEC declined to comment.

Competition to supply batteries for electric vehicles is heating up due to expectations that a growing number of lower emission cars will be produced in the coming years.

Tesla Motors, which currently procures batteries for its electric vehicles from Panasonic, is planning to boost its total vehicle production to 500,000 in 2018 – two years earlier than its original target.

Nissan and Renault SA, under Carlos Ghosn, who heads both companies, have bet more heavily on electric cars than mainstream competitors. In 2009 the two companies pledged to invest 4 billion euros ($4.43 billion) to build models including the Nissan Leaf compact and as many as 500,000 batteries per year to power them.

Sales of the Leaf and those of other electrical vehicles, however, have been disappointing, meaning Nissan and NEC have been unable to lower battery costs through mass production.

Reuters reported in 2014 that Ghosn was preparing to cut battery production by AESC and instead use packs made by LG Chem.

Nissan is also in the process of selling its 41 percent stake in auto parts supplier Calsonic Kansei Corp, sources have told Reuters.

In May, the automaker agreed to buy a 34-percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp for about $2.2 billion as it seeks to better compete with bigger rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen.

 

The Global Energy Storage Market Is Expected To Double This Year

August 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The global energy storage market is on track to double as homes and businesses adopt battery energy storage to supplement rooftop solar and other renewable energy systems, according to a new report by IHS.

According to IHS, over the next decade, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries will become the mainstream energy-storage technology, with more than 80% of global energy storage installations including it by 2025.

This year alone, the global energy storage market is expected to double, from 1.4 gigawatt hours (GWh or billion watt hours) added in 2015 to 2.9GWh.

Global grid-connected energy storage capacity will surge to 21GWh by 2025, according IHS Technologies’ Grid-Connected Energy Storage Market Tracker.

Half of all energy storage installations will occur behind the meter, meaning in homes and businesses, driven by self-consumption and back-up needs.

“Energy storage is set to grow as fast as solar photovoltaic energy has in recent years, sparking strong interest from a wide range of players and underscored by recent mergers and acquisitions among car manufacturers, major oil and gas companies, and conventional power suppliers,” Marianne Boust, an IHS principal analyst, said in a statement.

Japan and the United States will be the largest energy storage markets, generating a third of market revenues (totaling $50 billion) over the next decade, IHS said. In Australia and Japan, energy storage penetration is expected to exceed 5% of installed power capacity in 2025, underscoring the growing role that storage will play in grid stability, renewable integration and energy management.

“The United States and Japan are leading the way, but we’re also seeing activity in South Africa, Kenya, the Phillippines and other countries, as the cost of batteries continues to decline,” Boust added.

Companies such as Tesla are betting heavily on Li-ion batteries, both for all-electric vehicles and behind-the-meter energy storage systems.

As the number of solar panels on business and home rooftops multiply, America’s power grid is bearing an electrical load that it was never designed to handle: bidirectional power transfer.

 

 

 

 

Elon Musk Unveils ‘Master Plan’ For Future Tesla Motors Projects

July 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Tesla Motors Inc  Chief Executive Elon Musk has shared his ambitious plans to expand the company into electric trucks and buses, car sharing and solar energy systems.

In a blog post titled “Master Plan, Part Deux,” Musk sketched a vision of an integrated carbon-free energy enterprise offering a wider range of vehicles, and products and services beyond electric cars and batteries.

The newest elements of the strategy included plans to develop car and ride sharing programs as well as commercial vehicles – businesses where other companies already compete, and in some cases have ample head starts on Tesla.

The new vehicles range from a commercial truck called the Tesla Semi to a public transport bus, a “new kind of pickup truck” and a compact SUV. The vehicles will be unveiled next year alongside Tesla’s existing fleet of electric cars.

Musk restated his argument that Tesla should acquire solar panel installer SolarCity Corp, where he is a major shareholder, and said he aims to make Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving system 10 times safer than cars that humans drive manually.

The plan did not detail how the new projects would be financed at a time when Both Tesla and SolarCity are burning through cash.

Musk summarized the plan saying Tesla aimed to “create stunning solar roofs (for homes) with seamlessly integrated battery storage. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments. Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning. Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it.”

Musk said he envisions Tesla owners allowing others to use their vehicles through a smartphone application. He indicated there will be a “Tesla shared fleet,” but did not offer details of how that fleet would be managed.

 

 

BMW’s i3 Electric Car Enjoys Sales Boost Thanks Subsidy

July 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

BMW is experiencing rising sales of the latest version of its electric car, the i3, following the Berlin government’s push to subsidize electric cars, weekly German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) said.

Citing company sources, FAS said that orders for the new i3 with a longer range battery, for deliveries from mid-July onwards, had risen “many times over” levels following the introduction of the car’s initial version in 2013.

Total orders for the new version had risen to 5,000 worldwide of which around 1,000 were placed in Germany, ahead of delivery.

BMW said last month it was overhauling its research and development to focus on self-driving cars for the future.

It also plans a sportier version of the i3 by 2018 and aims to launch the next new electric car in 2021.

The German government decided in the spring to subsidize new electric car purchases by giving a 4,000-euro ($4,400) discount to the buyer in a scheme that also pays 3,000 euros towards each purchase of a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

“The (buyers’) incentive bonus plays a positive part,” the paper quoted a BMW manager as saying.

BMW was not immediately available to comment.

 

LG Electronics, VW To Develop Connected Car Platform

July 7, 2016 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc made the announcement that it will join forces with German carmaker Volkswagen AG to develop a connected car platform to enable vehicles to communicate with external devices.

LG, in a statement, said it and Volkswagen will work to jointly develop over “the next few years” technologies allowing drivers to control and monitor devices in their homes such as lights and security systems, as well as in-vehicle entertainment technologies and an alerting system for drivers providing “recommendations” based on real-time situations.

Automakers and technology companies have been forming partnerships in recent years, as the race to develop self-driving cars has created need for more sophisticated components and software that will allow vehicles to seamlessly communicate with various external devices and servers via the internet.

LG Electronics, along with affiliates LG Display Co Ltd and LG Innotek Co Ltd, has identified the auto industry as a new growth driver and has been pushing to grow new businesses amid continued struggles for its mobile phones division.

LG and its sister companies last year clinched a deal to supply key components ranging from the battery cells and the electric motor for General Motors Co’s 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric car, burnishing their credentials. LG companies also supply products such as car audio systems and batteries to Volkswagen.

In the statement on Wednesday, Thomas Form, Volkswagen’s head of electronics and vehicle research, called LG a strong partner and said the pair will work to integrate smart home solutions into Volkswagen vehicles.

 

Samsung SDI Still Pursuing Tesla To Provide Electric Car Batteries

June 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Samsung SDI is making progress in its discussions with Tesla Motors to provide batteries for the U.S. automaker’s Model 3 electric car as well as its energy storage products, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Shares in the Samsung SDI surged to trade 6 percent higher in early afternoon trade, beating the wider market’s 1.1 percent gain.

Tesla, which currently procures its batteries from Japan’s Panasonic Corp, is likely to add Samsung SDI as a supplier should sales exceed expectations, the source said, although he declined to specify what level of sales would clinch a deal for the South Korean company.

Citing “tremendous demand,” Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said in April that the automaker planned to boost total vehicle production to 500,000 in 2018 – two years earlier than its original target. Suppliers have said the goal will be difficult to achieve.

Tesla has taken 373,000 orders for its Model 3 – which has a starting price of $35,000, about half its Model S – and has said it would begin customer deliveries in late 2017.

“It remains to be seen whether the orders will translate into actual sales,” the source said. The source declined to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

A Samsung SDI spokesman declined to comment.

 

Hyundai Motor’s Next-Gen Fuel-Cell Electric Car Launching In 2018

May 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Hyundai Motor Co aims to launch its next-generation fuel-cell electric vehicle in early 2018, Vice Chairman Yang Woong-chul said, to better compete with Japanese rivals and meet tougher emissions rules.

Hyundai rolled out the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle in 2013, dubbed the Tucson Fuel Cell, but sales have trailed expectations due in part to a lack of refueling stations and a high price tag.

For its new fuel cell vehicle, the automaker is set to double the driving range to about 800 kilometers (497 miles), the Electronic Times reported in January.

The new model will be a sport utility vehicle (SUV), in contrast to the fuel cell sedans of Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd, the South Korean newspaper reported citing a high-ranking Hyundai official.

The automaker declined to comment on details of the new fuel cell vehicle when contacted by Reuters. Vice Chairman Yang was speaking on Wednesday during a ministerial tour of a Hyundai research and development center.

Hyundai, which has long trumpeted fuel-cell vehicles – those powered by electricity generated using hydrogen and oxygen – also plans to launch its first battery-powered car later this year.

 

 

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