All Articles Tagged "Samsung"
Some news stories actually make you want to start believing in conspiracy theories. Here’s one that might. It seems that wireless carriers may be blocking a relatively simple solution to phone thefts in order to make a profit. About 1.6 million Americans had their phones stolen last year, with nearly 40 percent of all robberies in major U.S. cities involving mobile devices.
Not only do people buy more phones is they need to replace stolen ones, but also customers are more apt to opt for insurance offered by phone companies.
This is actually a lucrative side hustle for carriers — the top four wireless carriers will earn more than $7.8 billion this year in insurance premiums from their customers, according to an estimate by industry trade publication Warranty Week (via Huffington Post). According to Businessweek, Asurion, a phone insurance company that pays the wireless carriers for each policy they sell, made an estimated $98 million in profit in 2010. Typically, phone insurance plans range between $7 and $11 monthly, and they require consumers to pay deductibles as high as $200 for a replacement phone. And most often, these are nor new phones but refurbished used phones ones. Asurion’s insurance plan doesn’t guarantee customers will receive the same model as the one they lost.
“If you do the math, the phone companies are making out like bandits,” Richard Doherty, a director for Envisioneering Group, a market research firm, told HuffPo.
But here’s the kicker. A top prosecutor is accusing phone companies of standing in the way of a solution that could protect consumers from violent robberies just so that they can make more money.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón claims he has obtained emails showing how phone companies are blocking the introduction of a so-called kill switch that would render phones inoperable if stolen. If installed on phones, it would undercut the value of phones being sold on a global black market, which would lead to a sharp reduction in thefts.
“These emails suggest that the carriers are rejecting a technological solution so they can continue to shake down their customers for billions of dollars in insurance premiums,” Gascón said in a statement. “I’m incensed. … This is a solution that has the potential to end the victimization of their customers.”
Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have now demanded that phone manufacturers create new smartphone technology to make the devices less attractive to thieves. Apple and Samsung have already introduced new features this summer that they said would render stolen devices useless.
Phone companies have “worked hard over the last year to help law enforcement with its stolen phone problem,” the CTIA said in a statement, pointing out that a new database of phone serial numbers is being shared among carriers. Last year, wireless companies agreed to share serial numbers after being pressured by the Federal Communications Commission and police chiefs nationwide to reduce cell phone thefts.
If you’re scratching your head over what to get your teenager this season, a new Ebates survey shows that you just can’t go wrong with an Apple device. Nearly 70 percent of kids between 12 and 17 want you to get ‘em an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. So the holidays are going to cost you this year!
A whopping 88 percent of teens want an electronic gift this year. The number one item on their wish list is an iPhone with 32 percent of teens yearning for the Apple smartphone. Taking second place for most-wanted gift is the iPad — 24 percent of teens would love to find the tablet underneath their Christmas tree.
Sony Playstation 4, the XBox One, and Apple iPod take third, fourth, and fifth places respectively. Teen girls seem to prefer the iPhone while teen boys want to snag the PS4.
Despite the competitive smartphone and tablet market, Apple refuses to budge on their premium prices. The multi-billion dollar corporation is releasing the iPad Air at $499 — the same exact price as its predecessors. And the iPad Mini will sell for $399, which is 21 percent higher than the first Mini.
“Apple has steadfastly refused to cut prices on its top-of-the-line products. Instead, it has sold older versions of its Phones and iPads at slight discounts to consumers who are willing to settle for something less than state-of-the-art technology,” Boston.com says.
Facing a vicious rivalry with Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., and Samsung Electronics, Apple is opting to win over customers by offering free software. Apple is offering the Maverick, the device maker’s latest operating system, for free. iLife and iWorks, the equivalent of Microsoft Office, will also be free.
These software giveaways are conditioning customers to expect these systems to “come with the package” for free. “While this won’t disrupt Microsoft’s business overnight, it will create further pressure on Microsoft to bring down prices,’’ Boston.com adds, quoting Ovum analyst Jan Dawson.
The iPad Air is Apple’s latest baby — it’s sleeker, faster, and lighter weighing in at only one pound. “The iPad Air’s main appeal is a more svelte design and a faster microprocessor, the same kind of chip in the iPhone 5S that Apple released a month ago,” Boston.com says. The iPad Air has been available for purchase since November 1. And if you have a teenage boy, the PS4 will set you back $399, $100 cheaper than the Air, and will be on sale by November 15.
If your teen is one of the few that’s not into electronics, the Ebates.com survey notes that a gift card to your teen’s favorite store would suffice.
Will you be buying Apple this season?
The mobile wars are fierce and Samsung is doing surprisingly well in sales due to cheap smartphones and high-demand memory chips. But Samsung isn’t stopping there. In attempt to slay their competition, Samsung is teaming up with the NBA to bring their technology to their forefront, The Wall Street Journal reports.
You know those monitors NBA referees use to review close calls in games? Those screens, along with other courtside tablets and TVs, will all be provided by Samsung as a result of a three-year $100 million deal. “The three-year deal will instantly make Samsung one of the most visible companies during NBA games, while bringing the basketball league into closer partnership with the electronics giant, which is the world’s largest seller of smartphones and flat-panel televisions,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
This is not the first time that Samsung has eyed the NBA to generate greater appeal for their products. Lebron James, a Miami Heat player, was handpicked for an endorsement deal to present the Samsung’s Galaxy Note II. Validating his clout as a marketable basketball figure, his commercial on YouTube pulled in more than 40 millions views. “The advertisement shows the league’s top player and two-time defending NBA champion playing with the Samsung device as he gets his hair cut and heads to a basketball game,” The Wall Street Journal says.
Samsung also snatched the second wealthiest rapper in America, Jay-Z, for a three-minute commercial during an NBA Final game four months ago. As part of the deal, Samsung also purchased one million copies of his album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” and made it available to its users for free. In turn, Jay Z was able to label his latest project as “platinum.”
This is a much-needed approach for Samsung to combat its bloodthirsty rivals in a heavily competitive technology market. Samsung is gearing up to release the Galaxy S5 as early as February of next year.
Image via YouTube
As we speak, 12 contestants are on the island of Puerto Rico trying to win the “SOS Island: Survival of the Smartest” challenge, hosted by Samsung. The company is promoting two of its products, the Galaxy S4 zoom and the Galaxy NX camera, which will figure prominently in the tasks the contestants will have to complete in order to win the grand prize: $100,000 that can be used to either purchase an island (!) or pay for a dream island experience for the winner and invited guests. The contest got 11,500 submission videos from 132 countries, according to a press release.
Samsung chose 16 finalists, who arrived on Puerto Rico last Saturday for training with Les Stroud, a filmmaker and the producer and star of the show Survivorman. Ultimately, eight contestants will make it to an uninhabited island where the winner will be chosen by a popular vote. You can watch the training and competition on a special “SOS Island” website.
Rather than relying on brute force, this is a contest that depends heavily on the contestants’ ability to be likeable and their social media savvy. For Karen Constant, a 26-year-old teacher from Boston who is also the host of her own YouTube channel, GlamFun focused on hair and makeup, that’s a good thing because she has “no training in survival tactics.
“I’m going to try to promote myself heavily on Instagram and YouTube,” she told MadameNoire Business on a phone call prior to her departure. “I’m going to show tutorials like how to keep your legs smooth on a remote island.” Constant was one of the few contestants who was spotted by a talent scout and invited to compete. However, a spokesperson for the campaign told us via email that her submission (which you can watch below) was judged on the same criteria as all other submissions.
Already, Constant says she’s braiding her hair for the trip and has a tip for viewers — use castor oil to keep your ‘do looking good, even in tough, tropical conditions.
The goal for Samsung is to reach millennials with this challenge, which has a presence on Instagram and Twitter in addition to its own site. For Karen, this is also an opportunity to promote herself and her GlamFun brand to a wider audience.
” It’s a new platform to show people what I do,” Constant told us. “Samsung is a credible company. You never know what kinds of opportunities will come of this.” With that in mind, she’s going to try and come up with as many creative ways of getting attention and, ultimately, votes. The winner will be chosen at the end of October.
Would you go to such great lengths to win a prize?
If you think album sales, tours and promotional deals are the only ways celebrities make their millions, then you are still living in the 20th century. In today’s bustling market, there are various products, companies and start ups itching for investors. And that’s where celebrities come in, investing, in some cases, big money in order to get a big return on growing businesses they believe in.
Or you have celebs like Drew Barrymore who launch their own companies. Barrymore might not be making movies at the same pace she was before, but she’s got Flower Films (with Jimmy Fallon’s wife Nancy Juvonen) and Flower makeup brand, sold at Walmart.
Here are a few leading celebrity investors and their multi-million dollar investment deals.
Rules were made to be broken. At least that’s Jay Z’s logic. Under the prophetic hashtag #newrules, the rapper and businessman announced that his latest album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” would be given away 72 hours before its officially release date via a free app for Samsung Galaxy customers. Rather than continuing the fight the music industry has waged against free music since the days of Napster, Jay Z embraced technology, to the tune of $5 million.
Everything didn’t go according to plan. But anyone gleefully pointing to the app crashing the night of “Magna Carta”’s early release as a sign of failure misses the point entirely. Samsung spent a few million dollars – a small amount for the telecommunications juggernaut – to bill themselves as the official leakers of Jay-Z’s album. The buzz generated by the deal coupled with Jay Z’s payout makes both parties winners.
The RIAA quickly jumped on the #newrules bandwagon, tweaking its gold and platinum awards program to cover any digital album sales that previously had to wait a month to be qualified in order to allow for “returns” (unsold, but shipped, stock); making Jay Z’s latest album an instant platinum success.
But everyone isn’t excited about the new world order Jay is ushering in. LL Cool J tells Revolt TV:
“Numbers are Numbers. In the numbers is truth, but in terms of touching the people it’s a little different…For me as an artist I still want to be able to touch the people individually…It still matters to me that people individually went out and bought my record. Although I still think a million sold is a million sold, but for me I like to know that a million PEOPLE bought my record, not a company bought a million copies of my record.”
Billboard took a similar old-school stance when they declined Jay-Z’s team request for the million albums sold to be counted on the charts saying, “ever-visionary Jay-Z pulled the nifty coup of getting paid as if he had a platinum album before one fan bought a single copy…But in the context of this promotion, nothing is actually for sale.”
If 1 million copies of an album are paid for, but no one is there to buy them, is the album really platinum? …Does it really matter? Outside of being a handy statistic for stans to bring up during “who’s the best artist” debates, have fans ever really cared about platinum plaques?
The RIAA had a point when it announced the rewriting of its rules: “The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services.”
Individual album sales are a remnant of music industry past. Magna Carta gives us a peek at the future of music where the industry dances to the tech industry’s tune.
Jay isn’t the first to hand out albums for free (Prince slid his “Planet Earth” album into copies of the Mail, and Radiohead lets fans pay what they wanted for “In Rainbows”), or sell an album as an app (Björk’s released “Biophilia” for the iPad in 2011).
If the fervor generated by Magna Carta’s early release is any indication, the album would have been a success without it. When the app crashed, the leaked album quickly took over radio airwaves and was gobbled up by non-Samsung users. We all may have trouble swallowing the fact that a company paid for Jay to go platinum but at the end of the day, this whole ordeal was nothing more than a well-executed promotional campaign.
Rather than squabble over Jay Z’s well-coordinated success, energy would be better spent figuring out how to leverage these type of business deals to benefit smaller acts rather than the artists who need the money the least.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveOutLoud) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Remember when Jay Z gave away 1 million copies of his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail to Samsung Galaxy smartphone users through a special app? While it may have been a smart business move, it caused lots of controversy. First there was a debate about if those copies should be considered as sales. Billboard decided not to count them.
Now the app has caused outrage as users are worried about the data it collects, reports the Los Angeles Times. So the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an advocacy group, is requesting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate.
“Samsung failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the Magna Carta App, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimization procedures,” the group stated in its complaint.
Samsung, however, says the complaint with the FTC is baseless and that the Magna Carta app’s permissions are in line with those on other apps.
“Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications,” Samsung said in a statement. “Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process.”
Before people could download the music and other features (such as lyric sheets), the app required a number of permissions users had to approve first. “The app accessed substantial information, including data about users’ location, telephone numbers dialed, networks and other applications on the phone, according to the EPIC filing,” reports the Times.
Users had to first sign in through Facebook or Twitter then enter their age before they could access the app’s features. Additionally, the app required permission to post to social media sites on users’ behalf and required status updates to access lyrics.
Herein lies the problem. According to the EPIC, these requirements were unnecessary for the app’s purpose and the app collected an overly broad set of data. Thus, EPIC wants the commission investigate the company and prevent it from causing similar privacy issues with future apps. They have also asked that the commission restrict Samsung’s “data collection to the user data necessary to run the app” and “delete the user data that was improperly obtained” from users.
During Jay-Z’s recent day-long Twitter chat, Politico media reporter Dylan Beyers asked for the rap mogul’s response to the privacy issues. According to the Times, Jay-Z’s response: “sux must do better.”
You know, that Jay-Z always gives us those moments where you’re like, “I really like that guy.”
As you know, Samsung has been releasing new commercials left and right in support of Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which is supposed to be released on July 4th. Well, a new commercial has surfaced and this time, it focuses on one of his main girls:
Blue Ivy Carter.
In the spot, Jay is talking to hip-hop legend Rick Rubin about what his thought process has been since becoming a father. Although the commercial is less than a minute long, Jay is able to clearly communicate how scared he was to become a father because his own dad left him at a very young age and he didn’t learn how to be a man. Further, he said he didn’t really get a sense of how he should treat a woman.
It’s pretty easy to hear the emotion in his voice when he opens up to Rubin about his thoughts.
Something tells me that at the very least, he is trying to become a superdad.
Check out the commercial for “JAY Z BLUE” below.
Maybe Bill. That’s who I could see out of the Clinton family getting chummy with a rapper like Rick Ross. And maybe even Hillary after I saw that video of her breaking it down like a crippled clown in South Africa last year. But Chelsea? There has to be a bigger story to this.
No worries, there is. The former first daughter and Rozay were able to take this picture together because they both attended Samsung’s Hope For Children Gala in New York. The Hope For Children effort works to provide kids with the resources needed so that they can make a big change in the world. They do this by partnering with “organizations that focus on education, health and environmental issues that affect children.”
So yes, in the midst of making their presence known at the charitable event, Ross Ran into Clinton and they snapped this pretty epic photograph. And do we see a smile from the “Bawse”? Meh, I guess you could call it that. And kudos to his eyes, which we rarely see thanks to his penchant for shades even at night.
Ross himself captioned the photo, “Boss and Chelsey Clinton… Politics as Usual!!!”
But how would you caption this image?
It’s no secret that Jay-Z is filthy rich. In addition to his successful rap career, he has his hands in several aspects of the industry. Earlier this year he was named by Forbes as the world’s second richest rapper, only missing out on the number one spot by $105 million. And now, according to Page Six, he’s about to get a whole lot richer because he’s preparing to ink a pretty huge deal with Samsung.
We hear that the deal is worth $20 million and will involve some sort of music streaming app that allows the hip-hop mogul to promote and distribute the music of his artists.
“The eight-figure deal will be inked in the next few weeks, and is the biggest of its kind. You can speculate that he’ll want to develop some kind of new music-streaming service to promote his acts and music on mobile devices,” a source revealed.
So far, the partnership had yet to be confirmed by Samsung or Jay’s camp, but there’s a very good chance that the rumors are true. It would certainly only add to his arsenal of lucrative businesses, which include a popular nightclub, a newly introduced sports management agency and an artist management agency, among a slew of his other entrepreneurial ventures.
In a 2009 interview with Men’s Health, the “Open Letter” rapper expressed that each of his business ventures have sentimental value.
“My brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM [General Motors], where there’s no emotional attachment. My thing is related to who I am as a person. The clothes are an extension of me. The music is an extension of me. All my businesses are part of the culture, so I have to stay true to whatever I’m feeling at the time, whatever direction I’m heading in. And hopefully, everyone follows.”
Must be nice!