Archive for July 4th, 2012

Smartphones expected to boost Samsung Electronics 2Q result

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s top maker of mobile phones, memory chips, flat-screen panels and televisions, will release guidance for its second-quarter results Friday, giving insight into its performance before the disclosure of full results at the end of this month.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Even though Samsung is expected to report a record-high operating profit for another quarter on the back of strong demand for Galaxy smartphones, its share price has lost steam since closing at a record high on May 2.

Investors have reined in their optimism after the Galaxy S III smartphone experienced a delay in shipments due to component shortages since its May 29 launch. More than 60 per cent of Samsung’s second-quarter operating profit, which may be nearly 7 trillion won ($6.15 billion), is expected to come from its mobile communications division.

Analysts, including Lee Sun-tae at NH Investment & Securities, lowered estimates of Samsung’s flagship smartphone sales in the second quarter from 7 million to 6 million phones, after some mobile carriers delayed offering it. Analysts’ estimates of Samsung’s total smartphone sales in the period range between 48 million and 52 million phones.

On Friday, Samsung will give an estimate of consolidated revenue and operating profit without giving net profit or a breakdown for each business division. For the second quarter, investors are expecting to get updates on S III phone sales. They will be also looking for clues about Samsung’s smartphone strategies for the rest of the year as Apple Inc. will probably unveil a new iPhone in the third quarter, heating up competition with the Android-based Galaxy devices.

WHY IT MATTERS: With annual revenue of 165 trillion won ($145 billion) in 2011, Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest technology company by revenue. Its results will be an indicator of demand for consumer electronics from personal computers to televisions in China, Europe and North America and other key markets at a time when the global economy feels the heat of Europe’s debt crisis.

Samsung is one of the few handset makers that has expanded its market share and has seen a big jump in mobile profit in the last two years as the South Korean firm lures customers from Research In Motion and Nokia Corp. The company ended Nokia’s decade-long dominance in the mobile phone market in 2011. Samsung is forecast to sell 220 million smartphones this year, more than double the amount it shipped in 2011, according to Song Jong-ho, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.

WHAT’S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by Yonhap Infomax, a financial information unit of Yonhap News Agency, expect an operating profit of 6.72 trillion won ($5.91 billion) and revenue of 50.13 trillion won ($44.06 billion) for the April-June period.

LAST YEAR’S QUARTER: Samsung Electronics reported 3.75 trillion won in operating profit on revenue of 39.44 trillion won. Its net profit was 3.51 trillion won.

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Apple says disagrees with Italy antitrust complaint

MILAN: US tech giant Apple disputed on Tuesday a request by the Italian competition authority that it must offer a free two-year warranty on its goods or face fines of 300,000 euros ($378,200) and even temporary closure of its Italian operations.

Italy’s antitrust watchdog, AGCM, has already fined divisions of Apple 900,000 euros for failing to offer the free guarantee, which is obligatory under Italian law.

The regulator said on Monday Apple had not fully complied with the initial request and was threatening the U.S. giant with new fines.

“We have introduced a number of measures to address the Italian competition authority concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint,” Apple said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

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Twitter says government requests rising in 2012

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter, in its first “transparency report” that the number of government requests for user information or to block content is rising in 2012.

“We’ve received more government requests in the first half of 2012, as outlined in this initial dataset, than in the entirety of 2011,” Twitter’s legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel said in a blog post.

The overwhelming number of requests came from the United States, accounting for 679 of the 849 requests for user information. In 75 percent of the US cases, Twitter gave some or all information.

The largest number of Twitter users are located in the United States.

After the US was Japan with 98 cases and Britain and Canada with 11 each.

“One of our goals is to grow Twitter in a way that makes us proud,” Kessel said.

“This ideal informs many of our policies and guides us in making difficult decisions. One example is our longstanding policy to proactively notify users of requests for their account information unless we’re prohibited by law.”

Twitter said it received 3,378 “takedown” notices so far this year for copyright violations and removed 38 percent of the requested tweets.

There were also six cases in which courts or governments requested removal of tweets. None were in the United States, and none was removed, Twitter said.

The transparency report is modeled after a similar effort from Google.

In addition to the transparency report, Twitter said it was partnering with a company called Herdict, which “collects and disseminates real-time, crowdsourced information about Internet filtering, denial of service attacks, and other blockages.”

“This new partnership aims to drive more traffic and exposure to Herdict, while also empowering the Web community at large to help keep an eye on whether users can access Twitter around the world,” Kessel said.

The two initiatives, he said “are an important part of keeping the Tweets flowing.”

The news came the same day a New York judge ordered Twitter to turn over data on one of its users involved in the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, in a case watched closely as a test of online freedom of speech.

The judge said that the tweets are not private information and thus not subject to the constitutional guarantee of privacy.

Twitter said it was studying its next move.

“We are disappointed in the judge’s decision and are considering our options,” a statement from the San Francisco firm said.

“Twitter’s terms of service have long made it absolutely clear that its users ‘own’ their content. We continue to have a steadfast commitment to our users and their rights.”

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