Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic (pictures)

1 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Business Highlights.

IN a surprise move, Samsung this morning revealed details of its first round smartwatches, days before their official launch at one of the world’s biggest technology trade shows. NEW YORK (AP) — If you think investors in U.S. stocks have had it rough, consider the hapless folks who followed Wall Street’s advice to buy emerging-market stocks.

Samsung Electronics Co. released its new Gear S2 smartwatch Tuesday, looking to regain traction in the wearable technology market quickly being dominated by the Apple Watch. The South Korean technology giant not only showed off new photos of its Gear 2 watches — its first smartwatch in a full year — but revealed the two models would offer features that would top its rival and new smartwatch leader Apple on several fronts.

The MSCI Emerging Markets index has lost 25 per cent over the past year, while the most widely held U.S. fund, the Vanguard Total Stock Market index, is down less than 1 per cent. The watch is unique in that it has a round rotating bezel – the thing on the edge of the crystal – in addition to two buttons on the side for home and back. Details were scant, but the elegant aesthetics looked promising: a circular face, a rotating bezel for controlling it, and—given the 3G connectivity in last year’s Gear S—possibly the ability to use it for voice calls and texts without being tethered to a phone.

New features in the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic will include a round 1.2-inch (3cm) screen, a battery life of up to three days, NFC technology for use as a mobile payment system, and around-the-clock fitness tracking. The more advanced smartwatch of the pair, the Gear S2, will even be able to use its own SIM card and operate independently of a smartphone to make calls and send text messages from the wearer’s wrist.

Apple Inc. sold 3.6 million watches in the second quarter, making it the top provider of smart wearable devices after just one quarter of sales, market research firm IDC said in a report last week. According to IDC, Apple was the No. 2 maker of wearable devices in the April-June quarter, with a 20 percent worldwide market share, behind the Fitbit and its fitness trackers at 24 percent. Speeds and feeds are fairly standard – 360 x 360 resolution, a nice dual core 1.0 GHz processor, 4GB internal memory – but the styling is nice and at 11.4mm thin it’s quite svelte.

But Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said Apple had stolen all the attention with its Apple Watch in the first half of this year, paving the way for a comeback for those with Google Android phones. With a 1.2-inch-diameter AMOLED display—one with a befitting resolution of 360×360 pixels—the screen is significantly smaller than that of the Moto 360.

A National Labor Relations Board ruling that modified the definition of an employer could hurt small businesses including franchises and subcontractors, according to industry groups that advocate for those companies. IDC estimates that the smart-devices sector will grow to 89 million units in 2019 from 33 million this year, surpassing sales of basic wearables, which are forecast to increase to 66 million units in 2019 from 39 million this year. The NLRB decision Thursday came in a case involving waste management company Browning-Ferris Industries and a staffing company, Leadpoint Business Services, which supplied workers to Browning-Ferris.

— CIRCULAR FACE: The S2 is the first Samsung smartwatch with a circular design, and the company says the watch’s frame will rotate to help users access apps and notifications. Samsung has yet to release pricing and availability information, but T-Mobile for one has said that it will sell the watch — and the 3G service to go with it — this fall. The board said it will consider factors such as whether a company exercised control over employees “indirectly through an intermediary, or whether it has reserved the authority to do so” in determining whether companies are joint employers. Users can stay connected with at-a-glance notifications to check calendars, e-mails, news and can even send important texts directly from their wrist. Blue Bell Creameries resumed selling its products at some locations Monday, four months after the Texas-based retailer halted sales due to listeria contamination at some plants prompted health concerns that drew the regulatory scrutiny of federal and state officials.

Blue Bell ice cream is available again at stores in the Houston and Austin areas, including in the company’s hometown of Brenham, plus in parts of Alabama. The 3G version of the watch, which has a 300mAh battery instead of the 250mAh unit in the non-3G watch, purportedly gets up to two days from all that extra tower-pinging.

Samsung is working with a wide selection of partners across different industries to expand the usability of wearables and streamline consumers’ mobile lives in a variety of ways, including smart car keys, residential room keys, and remote controls to manage a connected home. /* */ (function(window){ window.TechCrunch.loader.on(‘tc_ads_wrapper_omniture’, function() { if ( { window.adSetInView(‘1’); window.htmlAdWH(‘93457287’, ‘320’, ‘115’, ‘text’, ‘adsDivf13ed64c84’); window.adSetInView(‘0’); } }); }(this)); /* */ All of these connected features will be supported by a battery that can last up to 2-3 days, allowing consumers to stay connected without the hassle of constantly having to recharge. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is leaning on Cisco Systems’ Internet networking expertise in its latest attempt to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers. Under the hood of each watch, there’s a dual-core 1GHz processor with 512MB RAM, a paltry 4GB of storage, an accelerometer, a heart-rate monitor, a gyroscope, and a barometer. These watches also aren’t part of the Android Wear family: They both run Tizen, which means they’ll likely only play nice with newer Samsung Galaxy phones.

The inquiry revolved around complaints filed by several websites contending that Google has been unfairly highlighting its own services in its influential search results at the expense of its rivals. But social media campaigns, a petition and other efforts to “Save the Okura” just underscored the futility of resisting Tokyo’s floodtide of pre-Olympics urban renewal. Other major landmarks, such as the decades-old fish market in Tsukiji and the National Stadium also are being replaced over the protests of many who are sad to see them go. BRUSSELS (AP) — Inflation in the 19-nation eurozone was stable in August at an annual rate of 0.2 per cent, an official report shows — another weak figure that may help push the European Central Bank toward doing more economic stimulus.

The European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, said Monday that a large drop in energy prices made up for increases in the costs of food, alcohol and tobacco, services and industrial goods. CAIRO (AP) — The discovery of a huge gas field off Egypt’s coast promises to ease a long-running fuel crisis and boost the economy after years of unrest, but it will take years to develop and won’t bring Gulf-style riches to the Arab world’s most populous country, experts said Monday. The new “supergiant” offshore Zohr field, revealed a day earlier by Italy’s Eni SpA and billed as the “largest-ever” found in the Mediterranean Sea, could alleviate Egypt’s need for gas imports in the coming years, when a booming population will lead to a spike in domestic demand.

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