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Nokia-Samsung patent verdict expected within days

Nokia-Samsung Patent Verdict Expected Within DaysHELSINKI: Nokia and Samsung are expected to settle their two-year patent dispute within days, with analysts forecasting a one-time payment of hundreds of millions of euros for the Finnish company.

Nokia entered into a binding arbitration with South Korea’s Samsung in 2013 to settle additional compensations for a five-year period starting from early 2014. The International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court is due to make its ruling on the issue imminently. Nordea analyst Sami Sarkamies, one of few analysts to give a precise estimate, said the verdict could boost Nokia’s operating profit by about 700 million euros ($758 mln) this year, forecasting the court will stipulate an annual patent fee of 300 million euros.

“Samsung has been paying Nokia probably 100 million per year, and the rate could now come up to around 300 million euros (per year). The settled rate will also be paid retrospectively for the last two years,” Sarkamies said. “But they have already booked perhaps 100 million a year from Samsung to their income statement, so the EBIT impact for this year could be around 700 million euros.”

Sarkamies has a “hold” rating on Nokia shares, which have fallen 9 percent since last April when it announced a 15.6 billion euro takeover of French network gear rival Alcatel-Lucent, due to be completed this quarter. Investors have worried about the integration process and special terms negotiated by the French government, but the share price could get a boost if the settlement with Samsung is much bigger than analysts’ forecasts. Last month, Sweden’s Ericsson said that a patent licence deal with Apple Inc would help lift its intellectual property rights revenue by up to 40 percent in 2015, sending its shares up sharply. Nokia, which once dominated the global mobile phones market, is now focused on telecom network equipment but still holds on to a portfolio of phone patents. It said last month that the International Chamber of Commerce had advised that the settlement with Samsung is expected by the end of January.

A Nokia spokesman declined to comment on Saturday, saying the company had nothing to add beyond the previous statement.

Phone companies like Sony, Samsung lay off 300 employees as sales of smarphones slow on Chinese competition

Phone Companies Like Sony, Samsung Lay Off 300 Employees As Sales Of Smarphones Slow On Chinese CompetitionKOLKATA: Sony Corporation and Samsung Electronics have each laid off about 150 executives in India in the wake of slowing sales in the country in the past two months and increased competition from Chinese companies that’s eating away at their smartphone market shares.

Sony India has offered voluntary retirement to its entire smartphone team as the Japanese company scales down its mobile handset business, while Samsung India, the largest seller of mobile phones in the country, has asked mid-level executives across marketing support and after-sales at its regional offices to leave in a bid to cut costs, said four senior industry executives, requesting anonymity. Sony India failed to grow the way it had anticipated in the smartphone business after the parent company’s exit from entry-level models, stiff competition in the mid-to-premium segment from Apple, Samsung and Chinese brands and overall slowdown in sales. Sony India’s share in the smartphone market declined to 1% from 6-7% two years ago, according to independent reports. Sony India is now scaling back the mobile business infrastructure it had created across channels and regions, which has led to the job cuts. The maker of Xperia smartphones will now focus on the upper mid-segment to premium-end market and plans to sell online through its exclusive stores and selected large retailers. “The mobile business will be asset-light in Sony India and the television team will handle the business. The company is pulling back stocks from multibrand stores and compensating dealers,” an executive said. A Sony India spokesperson confirmed the company has offered VRS to an unspecified number of permanent employees in the mobile division in order to optimise resources following a shift in strategy to focus on the premium segment rather than chase sales volumes at the low-end. Sony will “focus on building a stable business foundation in this region going forward by streamlining our operations and seeking increased efficiencies,” the spokesperson said, adding that consumers will continue to have good and easy access to its products.

Samsung, which sells the Galaxy S6 edge+ smartphone and the Galaxy Note 5 device, had sacked some 250 employees before Diwali and has now cut down the multiple layers it had created in marketing and sales support, which were specific to each channel. “Some employees have been offered a golden handshake package in compensation, while several have been just asked to go, citing audit reasons like minor inflation in travel bills,” one of the executives said. A senior trade partner said Samsung India president HC Hong had informed dealers at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas about the company’s lower-than-expected growth in 2015 and cost-cutting measures, including reducing employee count. A Samsung Southwest Asia spokesperson said the information on the layoffs is incorrect. “We have made no such organisational changes in December or January,” the spokesperson said. A senior industry executive said some of the recent exits are part of the process that Samsung had started in October.

We want to be no.

1 in next fiscal: HC Hong, CEO, Samsung India

Samsung becomes biggest 4G smartphone vendor in India: IDC

Samsung Becomes Biggest 4G Smartphone Vendor In India: IDCNEW DELHI: Korean handset major Samsung has emerged as the biggest 4G player in India with its popular sub $150 LTE models, piping Chinese vendor Lenovo, even as 4G-enabled devices witnessed almost a three-fold sequential increase in unit shipments in the third quarter of 2015, according to market research firm IDC.

During the quarter, Samsung consolidated its lead in the smartphone segment, clocking a 13.1% sequential growth, taking its smartphone share to 24%, IDC said. The volume growth for Smasung was primarily contributed by the LTE based smartphones such as Galaxy Grand Prime 4G, Galaxy J and Galaxy A series which mostly moved through the retail channels, although Samsung also had some e-tailer focused phones such as Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7. Home-bred vendor Micromax retained the second position in the quarter with a 6.4% sequential growth, taking its share to 16.7%. IDC said that Micromax’s YU Phones have been performing well and are leading contributors to Micromax’s 4G portfolio. However, YU faces strong competition from Chinese players in the online segment. Intex has secured the third position with 9.4% growth, taking the share to 10.8% in the quarter. The vendor has witnessed sharp rise in shipments in sub $50 segment and also entry level 3G enabled devices. Lenovo, as a group (Lenovo & Motorola), moved up to fourth place in the quarter owing to a strong 58.6% sequential growth. Lenovo group captured 9.5% of the smartphone market driven mainly by Lenovo’s K3 note, A6000 plus and Moto G 3rd Gen.

Lava slipped to fifth place with a sequential drop of 2% in their vendor share over Q2 2015. Lava shipments dropped 24.9% sequentially, coming off from a healthy second quarter. While its Xolo series continues to slide down, Lava has also not moved fast enough to capitalize on the fast growing 4G market or diversified their channel strategy in favor of online channels, IDC said. During the quarter, 28.3 million smartphones were shipped to India in the third quarter of 2015 – up 21.4% from 23.3 million units for the same period last year. “The growth in the smartphone market was helped by rising demand for affordable 4G smartphones. e-tailers continue to drive shipments of the Chinese vendors, who have been aggressively trying to capture the 4G smartphone market in India,” Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client devices at IDC said.

“The closing weeks of the quarter witnessed incremental supplies as many vendors were preparing their channels in lieu of the festive season and online mega sale programs,” he added. According to him, 4G-enabled devices are expected to be at the forefront, with the entire ecosystem preparing for this shift in the near future. Jaipal Singh, Market Analyst, Client Devices said that most of the popular models in the market today support 4G and have a large screen, and attractively priced at less than $200. “Almost one out of every two smartphones sold, had 5″ plus displays,” Singh added. IDC expects the share of smartphone to outstrip the share of feature phone market in CY 2016 for India.

It also expects smartphones to maintain a healthy double-digit growth over the next few years.

Care funding postcode lottery revealed

16 October 2015

Care Funding Postcode Lottery Revealed

Which? research has revealed huge variations in the standard weekly fee that local authorities will pay for residential care.

We submitted freedom of information (FOI) requests to 180 local authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and found that the amount you get could be halved, depending on where you live. Generally, authorities in London and the south of England gave the highest rates, while the lowest were in the north of England. However, areas that are close to each other can vary widely in care funding, too. In Greater London, we found a difference of 138 for the standard weekly rate for residential care between neighbouring boroughs Bromley ( 555) and Croydon ( 417).

Local authority care funding

Our research shows around a third (36%) of councils have a maximum standard rate of 434 for personal care, with more than half (53%) giving a maximum of 435 to 539. One in 10 (11%) councils gave a maximum of more than 540. The highest rate we found was Lewisham s maximum of 768, while Blackburn and Darwen gave us a maximum rate of 357.

Local authority maximum standard weekly rates for residential care Local authority Maximum Weekly rate ( ) Top 51 Lewisham London Borough Council 768 Wiltshire County Council 709 Wandsworth London Borough Council 590 Caerphilly County Borough Council 573 Hackney London Borough Council 566 Bottom 5 Cheshire West & Chester Council 373 Coventry City Council 371 Southampton City Council 369 Sheffield City Council 363 Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 357

Table notes
1 Some authorities gave us a higher average weekly rate where no standard weekly figure applies. Reading Borough Council (700), Camden London Borough Council (649), Sutton London Borough Council (639), Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council (629), Buckinghamshire County Council (624).

Self-funding costs more

Living in a care home can cost up to 1,000 per week and half of residents have part or all of their fees paid by the local authority. Many people top up this contribution themselves, and could face potentially high bills in areas where the local authority pays a lower proportion of the full costs. We found big differences between the standard rate some councils pay and what the cost would be if you were paying for care yourself, also known as self-funding. In Exeter, for example, the council pays 442 to 471 a week, while the fees we found for self-funders (based on a range of typical self-funder rates taken from those given in the online directory carehome.co.uk) were 300 to 1,200. The variation in costs is partly down to local costs such as wages and property, and partly about individual councils negotiating costs with care homes when they bulk-purchase.

Elderly care help from Which?

Which? Elderly Care1 is a free website offering practical information and advice about arranging care in the UK, and includes financing options. The site allows you to filter information and care services so you see only what’s relevant to your situation and your postcode.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘Understanding the options available for long-term care can be a minefield, particularly with such huge variations in the funding available. People looking to make difficult decisions about care should use free, independent sources of advice, like Which?, to help them find the information that s relevant to their situation.’

More on this…

References

  1. ^ Which? Elderly Care (www.which.co.uk)