San Francisco, Nov 8 (AP/UNB) — For the past few years, the smartphone industry has been searching for a breakthrough to revive a market mired in an innovation lull and a sales slump. A potential catalyst is on the horizon in the form of flexible screens that can be folded in half without breaking.
Samsung and several rivals are preparing to roll out such screens to make devices more versatile for work and pleasure. The foldable screens could increase display space to the size of a mini-tablet, but fold like a wallet so they revert to the size of regular phones. But there are questions about price and durability.
If the new phones fulfill their makers' ambitions, they will become a leap ahead for an industry whose origins can be traced to the old flip phones that consumers once embraced as cool and convenient. Foldable-screen phones, though, won't need hinges because they have continuous displays that can bend.
In an indication of how difficult it is to make a flexible screen that's also durable, Samsung first announced plans to build a folding-screen phone five years ago. It wasn't until Wednesday, though, that Samsung finally provided a glimpse at what it's been working on.
"We have been living in a world where the size of a screen could only be as large as the device itself," said Justin Denison, Samsung's senior vice president of mobile product marketing. "We have just entered a new dimension."
Except for a fleeting look at a device he held in a hand, Denison provided scant information about the phone. Samsung says it will be ready to hit the market at some point next year.
Smartphone makers are looking for something to excite consumers as they replace phones less often because new models are pricey and aren't that much different from their predecessors beyond slightly better cameras and batteries.
That's the main reason worldwide smartphone sales have fallen from the previous year for four consecutive quarters, according to IDC. Add it all up, and smartphone sales declined by 4 percent during 12 months ending in September. Samsung, the world's leading seller of smartphones, suffered a 7 percent decline in shipments during that period, based on IDC's calculations.
But it's not clear whether flexible-screen phones will have mass appeal, especially when the bendy devices are expected to cost more than $1,000. Royole Corp., a small Silicon Valley company, is hoping to sell early versions of its FlexPai foldable-screen phone for $1,300 to $1,500 once it comes to the U.S. — something that won't happen until next year, at the earliest. For now, it will be available in China starting next month, at a price equivalent to about $1,300.
While the idea of a device being able to bend into different shapes may sound good, IDC analyst Ramon Llamas is skeptical about how practical and durable they will be. One of the biggest questions is whether the quality of the screens will degrade as they get repeatedly folded. "Are people really going to want to watch a Netflix show on these devices if there is a crease down the middle of it?" Llamas said.
Royole said its FlexPai can be bent more than 200,000 times without deteriorating.
Other foldable-screen phones running Google's Android software are expected to be available, too. Huawei confirmed last month that it is working on a phone with a flexible screen. LG Electronics is widely expected to unveil one at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas in January. LG didn't respond to a request for comment.
"Everyone has been thinking about the same question: 'What's next? Is there nothing more from a smartphone?'" Royole CEO Bill Liu said.
Dhaka, Nov 1 (UNB) – Grameenphone handed over the first ‘iPhone Xs’ and ‘iPhone Xs Max’ on Thursday to the customers who had pre-ordered their handsets.
Micheal Foley, CEO, Grameenphone and brand ambassador of the company Tahsan Rahman Khan handed over the handsets at the Grameenphone Lounge in Gulshan, said a press release.
Sardar Showkat Ali, Head of Device, of Grameenphone along with other officials were present on the occasion.
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are the newest additions to Apple phone series and are powered with the smartest and the most powerful chips available on a smartphone.
Both models are available in Grameenphone Centers, GP Online shops and enterprise channels from today onwards across the country.
Seoul, Oct 31 (AP/UNB) — Samsung Electronics Co. has posted a record operating profit for the last quarter with robust demand for its mainstay memory chips compensating for a slowdown in its smartphone business.
The South Korean technology giant on Wednesday said its operating profit during the July-September quarter grew at nearly a 21 percent annual pace to 17.6 trillion won ($15.4 billion). Samsung's previous high in quarterly profit was the 15.6 trillion won it posted during the first quarter.
Third-quarter sales grew 5.5 percent year-on-year to reach 65.4 trillion won ($57 billion) while net income rose 17.5 percent to reach 13.1 trillion won ($11.5 billion), the company said.
The operating profit of Samsung's chips division rose 37 percent year-on-year to 13.65 trillion won ($11.9 billion) thanks to strong demand generated by mobile devices and servers. The operating profit for Samsung's display panel business also saw a slight increase at 1.1 trillion won ($966 million).
However, operating profit for Samsung's IT and mobile communications division, which covers smartphones, fell 32 percent on year-on-year to 2.22 trillion won ($1.9 billion) while sales declined 10 percent. Samsung said smartphone shipments stagnated during the period despite strong sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 9 devices because it was restructuring the lineup of its lower-cost handsets.
Samsung is the world's largest maker of memory chips, smartphones and display panels.
Milwaukee, Oct 24 (AP/UNB) — Police dogs have always helped their human counterparts through their eyes and nose, and now some of the dogs are getting their own backup — cameras that transmit live video.
The devices generally attach to dogs' backs on a vest and transmit video to a handler watching from a screen, possibly on their wrist or around their necks. It's so the officers can better assess what they are up against before they go into a situation.
"If we have a really close encounter with armed people it doesn't work out well for anyone," said Shawn Gore, Portland, Oregon, police K-9 officer. "If we can gain distance it gives us lots of options to negotiate and de-escalate."
David Ferland, executive director for the United States Police Canine Association, a training program for police dogs, said departments generally use the cameras when dogs go out to look for suspects, missing people or explosives — for the dog's safety and for intelligence gathering.
Ferland doesn't have statistics but he suspects fewer than 5 percent of agencies have the cameras because they are so expensive. Most cost between $6,000 and $20,000, he said.
But some K-9 academies are already training dogs with vests and cameras so they get used to them, Ferland said.
K-9 cameras started gaining traction about a decade ago after departments saw their success in helping dogs in the military, he said.
Law enforcement agencies generally pay for the cameras through donations or use forfeiture or drug seizure money, which is how Portland is paying for its cameras. That police agency has used 10 cameras on its 10 K-9s since about 2012 and is in the process of getting newer cameras, costing about $20,000 each.
Tactical Electronics started making K-9 cameras in 2006 and has sold 5,000 to 6,000 to law enforcement and military around the world, said Addie Ventris, the company's marketing director.
In Wisconsin, the Muskego Police Department recently bought its first camera for its dog, Sirius, said K-9 Officer Shawn Diedrich.
"Being able to get a layout of an area — whether it's out in the woods or in a house or it's in a business, the camera will start to give us that layout so when officers have to go into that environment they can do it more safely," Diedrich said.
Dhaka, Oct 13 (UNB) – Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Friday said ‘Made in Bangladesh’ mobile phones are our national pride.
The minister came up with the remarks after inaugurating a newly setup mobile phone factory of ‘Five Star’ brand owned by Al Amin Brothers in Chhoydana area of Gazipur on Friday.
The minister said, “At present local mobile manufacturers are penetrating in our market with over 70 percent stake and these phone sets are being produced here.”
This is the fruits of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Digital Bangladesh initiative, he claimed.
“Unemployment is a big challenge in our country, but the local manufacturers are utilizing their skills,” he added.
Among others, Gazipur City Corporation Mayor Md Jahangir Alam, BTRC Chairman Md Jahirul Haque and BTRC Commissioner Aminul Hasan were present at the innagural ceremony.