Samsung will take the stage in its home country later this week to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 foldables. This marks the first time the summer Unpacked event is being held at home rather than in an international market. It’s also the first time the mid-summer Unpacked press conference will take place in July rather than August or September.
I thought the arrival of Google’s Pixel Fold might have scared Samsung into moving up the launch event. But what if Samsung is really looking to deal with the iPhone ticking time bomb at home by looking to launch the new foldables as soon as possible?
Until this year, Samsung has had virtually no competition in the foldables space since the first Galaxy Fold. Samsung could take its time to upgrade the Fold and Flip each year without delivering massive redesigns. But Chinese vendors started putting pressure on Samsung in previous years. And some of those devices launched in Europe and other international markets in early 2023.
The Google Pixel Fold is perhaps the biggest threat to Samsung’s dominant position in the industry despite some of its obvious faults.
Samsung is responding to these threats with the kind of big Fold and Flip design updates we’ve been waiting for. The Fold 5 will be slimmer than before, thanks to a no-gap hinge. The Flip 5 will feature a large external display occupying almost the entire surface of one of the phone’s halves.
Google Pixel Fold smartphone unfolded. Image source: Jonathan S. Geller, BGR On top of that, Samsung set its Unpacked press event for July 26th, the earliest date ever. As a reminder, this Unpacked event used to be the home of the Galaxy Note series. And it used to happen in early September before Samsung detached it from the German IFA tradeshow. The reason Samsung went to early August was the iPhone’s early September launch which would routinely obliterate Note sales.
All that is to say that Samsung might be worried about increased competition in the foldables space. But the iPhone might be the real reason it’s focusing on the Korean market.
The big iPhone problem
Samsung might want to make an impression on a specific category of smartphone buyers in its home market. Per The Korea Herald, a new Gallup survey shows that young adults in the country prefer the iPhone overwhelmingly to a Samsung phone.
The study indicates that Samsung is the main smartphone vendor in Korea, with 69% of adults owning a Galaxy phone. Only 23% of respondents have an iPhone.
But younger millennials and Gen Z like the iPhone increasingly more than Samsung phones. In the 30-39 age group, 41% of respondents have an iPhone. The percentage goes to 60% in the 18-29 group.
Samsung vs. iPhone market share in Korea for different age groups. Image source: Gallup Korea via The Korea Herald This is a major problem for Samsung. These young adults are growing with the iPhone and the entire ecosystem of apps and hardware. Switching from iPhone to Android becomes increasingly difficult the more you use the products.
As a longtime iPhone user, I can attest to that. I’ve been on iPhone and Mac for over a decade, and there’s nothing to make me switch to a different combo. And I was in the 18-29 group when I started using Apple for my main computing needs.
The young adults who bought iPhone over Samsung cited Apple’s premium branding as one of the reasons. They’d buy the iPhone even if the same storage device is more expensive than the Galaxy S equivalent. For example, the 128GB iPhone 14 costs 1,250,000 won in the country, or $980. The Galaxy S23 is 100,000 won ($78) cheaper.
Various Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4 foldable phones. Image source: Samsung Apple Pay, which arrived in Korea earlier this year, is another factor that convinces young adults to buy iPhones.
The study also says that 85% of respondents say they are likely to stick with their current brand. That’s great for Samsung in the older groups. But if young adults stay with iPhone, we might be looking at decades of problems for Samsung. Especially if the teenage generation in Korea positions itself in favor of the iPhone. That wouldn’t be a surprise if their parents also use iPhones.
The unsung heroes in this survey are the older smartphone users who still have LG phones. LG is no longer making Android handsets, of course.
Samsung is apparently aware of the iPhone problem. The Herald says the Korean giant opened a flagship retail store in Gangnam last month, branding it a “playground for millennials and Gen Z.” The store is less than a kilometer away from Apple Gangnam store.
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How can I set screen time limit for my kids on Samsung tv.I know there are parental controls to block apps etc but no way to set screen time limit.
I couldn't find any parental control apps either that control TV devices, are there any?
Smartthings app didn't work either to block TV. I can set scenes etc. but kids can just turn the TV back on.
By Samsung Newsroom
Samsung Art Store is the epitome of the digital-physical blend taking over today’s art experiences. It allows widely acclaimed galleries, museums and artists to showcase their masterpieces to users around the world by using The Frame’s immaculate digital display. Since its launch in 2017, Samsung Art Store allows for extraordinary, one-of-a-kind art selections to be accessible to consumers from the comfort of their own homes.
Stuart Franklin is an award-winning photographer who has traveled all over the world in pursuit of his work. The titles Franklin has held over the years vary from photographer to documentarian and art curator, with his work landing on the pages of newspapers, books, magazines and other media in between.
Over the years, Franklin’s work has gained considerable momentum and visibility — his work has earned a place in renowned publications around the world. Now, his work is featured on Samsung Art Store, introducing even more variety to the ever-growing art collection that is accessible through The Frame.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Franklin to talk about his work and how he sees digital transformation taking the art world into new, unimaginable spaces.
▲ Stuart Franklin
Q: Briefly tell us about yourself, your work and the inspiration behind your photography.
I am a Magnum photographer, and I have been working in the industry for over 40 years. I am inspired by many things: light, form, the subject itself, often the overall idea behind a larger project. But these days I also enjoy drawing and painting as well.
I am currently working on a book about trees. 25 years ago, I published a book called The Time of Trees (1999), and I am now revisiting the subject in preparation for a new book in 2023.
Q: You began studying photography in 1976 and have made quite an impact since then. How has your photography evolved over time?
After studying drawing and painting, then photography, I began a career working for newspapers and news magazines. My stories were always people stories: in the news, street photography and portraits. This began to change during the 1990s when I began to focus more on landscape work — I worked on magazines, books or exhibition commissions and an exhibition for the National Galleries of Scotland.
Q: You are known for your wide array of photography styles. Could you elaborate more on your creative process?
My work has evolved over time. In the past, I worked mostly in news features or breaking news. I haven’t given that up: I recently did work on the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.K. But more and more I am focusing on landscape photography. Currently, I am interested in the relationship between nature and memory, so the conversation surrounds the relationship between elements in the landscape that spark a memory and something objectively interesting in the landscape itself.
Q: What is your favorite setting or location to take pictures?
Right now, forests. I have recently been working in the largest walnut forest in the world in Kyrgyzstan.
Q: Can you tell us specifically how advancements in technology and the emergence of digital art and platforms have changed or shaped your career?
Unusually, my work has moved full circle from working on color transparency film and black and white negative to digital color in about 2004 and now back to 80% film. I use my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for about 90% of my digital color photography these days. Digital has many advantages, especially working in low light. But currently, I am working with film in black and white and digitally with the Galaxy S21 for color.
Backlighting and increased dynamic range are always an advantage with digital displays, but the disadvantage is often reduced image size. It is difficult to mix the two. Anything backlit in an exhibition will always stand out more than a silver gelatin print.
▲ “Caroline Islands (2000)”, Stuart Franklin
Q: Caroline Islands (2000) is one of your most popular photographs displayed on The Frame. Tell us briefly about this piece. Why do you think people are attracted to this image?
This landscape and these colors speak of somewhere remote, a get-away, an escape, somewhere quiet and undisturbed. In bustling urban life, all these qualities become desirable.
Q: A lot of your photography within the Art Store that gained popularity over the years involve nature. Can you tell us more about what your artistic intentions were for these photos?
I have always found solace in nature and in celebrating its beauty. The challenge is making inspiring places be as inspiring in a photograph. That usually involves choosing the right light and the best time of day to be out photographing so that the highlights are not too bright or the shadows too dark. Light — the quality of light — plays a huge role in how I think about photography.
▲ “Falls, Brazil (2000)”, Stuart Franklin
Q: Can you give us some background on this photo?
This photograph was taken in late 1999 on commission for the article titled Celebrations of Earth — published in January 2000 as the opening story of the new millennium. Due to the mist formed by the water thundering down the waterfall, the morning light stayed soft for quite a long time, which gave me enough chances to make several exposures from different vantage points. Also, Polaroid films that fit my camera were easy to buy back then to help me out in trials before making the actual exposures.
Q: Where do you see the future of photography art exhibitions heading? What are your thoughts about what’s to come?
I think there will always be an attraction in seeing the print as a three-dimensional object, as one sees a painting. However, I suspect in the future that the three dimensionality that we are used to experiencing in a gallery will be deliverable digitally and become widespread in time. The digital experience will expand in ways that we can barely imagine. There will be more virtual galleries and exhibitions. I feel sure of that, and that will make art more accessible to a wider range of people.
Q: Aside from the two photographs listed above, do you have any other recommended pieces for The Frame users?
I will always be one to flag my most recent work, so perhaps the work this year from Spain, Italy or Kyrgyzstan or the work I am about to do in November in Cambodia and Bali. But then I recommend the images from Bali that I took in 1999 for the Celebrations of Earth project — I still love those beautiful green rice fields. Then there is the work from Korea. Too much to choose from.
▲ “Rice Fields, Indonesia (2000)”, Stuart Franklin
To see more of Franklin’s photographs, head to the Samsung Art Store.
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Apple sold more phones than Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2020, says market research firm Gartner. This is the first time that Apple has sold more phones than Samsung in a single quarter since 2016, which is when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus came out. Apple and Xiaomi were the only two of the top five smartphone vendors that saw growth in 2020, while Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo all saw their sales decline. The overwhelming popularity of the iPhone has never been in question, especially in the United States, but that hasn’t been enough for Apple to overcome Samsung’s international dominance in recent years. In fact, Apple has not topped Samsung in sales since 2016, but that streak finally came to an end last quarter.
According to market intelligence firm Gartner (via 9to5Mac), the launch of the iPhone 12 last fall was the driving force behind Apple’s fourth quarter, during which iPhone sales saw year-over-year growth of 14.9%. Meanwhile, Samsung’s phone sales suffered an 11.8% drop over the same period, giving Apple the edge.
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“The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020,” wrote Gartner. “Apple surpassed Samsung to retake the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot. The last time Apple was the top smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter for 2016.” This was not enough for Apple to win 2020, as Samsung was still the top smartphone seller in the world, despite sales dropping 14.6% year-over-year.
“The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020,” wrote Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Even as consumers remained cautious in their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encouraged some end users to purchase new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones in the quarter.”
Unsurprisingly, smartphone sales were down for the year, with the novel coronavirus pandemic and supply issues to blame. Gartner also notes that Apple and Xiaomi were the only two smartphone vendors in the top five to see growth in 2020, showing just how popular the iPhone 12 series has been since last fall.
With the latest Galaxy line having launched in January and the Galaxy S21 starting at a more reasonable $800, it’s possible that Samsung will reclaim the throne this quarter, but the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro didn’t start shipping until October 23rd, so it should be a tight contest over the next several weeks. There’s also a chance Apple releases an iPhone SE Plus next month, which would keep the sales train rolling into the spring. Either way, beating Samsung for even a single quarter, given the sheer amount of smartphone models that Samsung rolls out every year and the difference in popularity across several major international markets, is impressive.
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By Samsung Newsroom
Design inspiration is all around us; however, tapping into it is another story. Fortunately, there are members of the Samsung Developers community who’ve cracked the code and defeated designer’s block. We connected with several watch faces/themes designers and over the last few weeks we have been sharing their advice, creative processes, and sources of design inspiration.
We conclude our ‘Prime Time Design’ series with Ramon Campos from Friss in Motion. Based in the United States, Ramon’s watch faces are inspired by technology, science fiction and nature. Read on to learn about his design process and how he’s incorporating animation into his watch faces to stand out from the competition.
When and why did you start designing watch faces?
I started designing watch faces about six years ago as a hobby, creating designs for my own watch. I developed the habit of sharing my designs with other users and noticed they were popular. I soon realized it could be an opportunity to make money for my design work. As for themes, I started last year in January 2020. It has been an arduous experience, but also exciting and rewarding.
What does your design process look like? Do you have a strict protocol or is it more free flowing?
For me, the design process varies every time. There is no specific protocol; some designs have taken a very short time to complete, others have taken months. However, one thing on my mind during the design process is how to stand out from the competition. So, I think about how to design watch faces that show different characteristics. That’s why most of my designs are animated, although I also have experience in digital and analog design.
How has your design approach evolved over time?
My design process has evolved a lot. My first watch faces took a lot of time to finish, but now if I have a defined idea, it is easy to work on the project. The same can be said of my animated designs. I had to study hard to learn the computer programs, but over time it has made my work easier.
What was the inspiration for your most successful watch face and how did you make it a reality?
I really like technology, science fiction, nature and watches, so those four things are my source of design inspiration.
How do you strike a balance between the vision you have for a watch face and its functionality? Is this the most challenging part of the design process?
In my case, I have not had any complications with balancing my vision and functionality. Most of my designs are focused on health features and I have always had the confidence to ask the Samsung Developers team for their recommendations to help make my process easier.
How do you navigate guidelines without compromising the integrity of your design?
I think we all like flashy designs, but at the same time the information on the screen needs to be easy to read and locate. Due to my design style, this is probably one of my biggest challenges.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a designer who is stuck in a creative rut?
Express all your talent without fear and do not give up; there is a long way to go and your goals are not impossible to achieve.
Thanks to Ramon for sharing helpful advice on the design process, staying creative and finding inspiration for Galaxy Watch Face designs. You can connect with Ramon and Friss in Motion on Instagram and Facebook.
We hope you found our ‘Prime Time Design’ series inspiring and informative to help you on your journey to designing for Samsung devices. Don’t forget, there’s still time to submit your Galaxy Watch Faces or Themes portfolio before the submission window closes on February 23rd.
Follow us on Twitter at @samsung_dev for more developer interviews and tips for building games, apps, and more for the Galaxy Store.
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