A teardown by ABI Research of the latest cutting-edge smartphone, the Galaxy S II, has revealed that Samsung has opted for a new design approach along with cutting-edge technology.
That combination could make it a viable competitor to the highest-end smartphones currently on the market.
“Samsung started from scratch with this phone: almost every component is new,” James Mielke, ABI Research’s vice president of engineering, wrote in a 7 July statement. “It is the first to use the Samsung Exynos 4210 dual-core application processor (a competitor to Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2).”
Other changes include a new CMOS-based antenna switch, a lower-power XMM6260 cellular chipset built by Infineon, and a single-packaged multi-band, multi-mode PA from RFMD.
Samsung first unveiled its Galaxy S II prototypes at the Mobile World Congress in February. The smartphone runs Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” on a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus (super active-matrix organic LED plus) screen, powered by that 1.2GHz processor.
It first hit store shelves 29 April in South Korea, eventually racking up worldwide sales of 3 million units in its first 55 days of release. Exact US release dates, however, remain unknown.
With that success, though, comes inevitable conflict. Microsoft is reportedly demanding $15 (£9.38) from Samsung for each Android-based smartphone the latter produces, arguing that Google’s operating system violates a number of its patents. Microsoft has already managed to extract patent-licensing agreements from Android device manufacturers such as HTC and Wistron Corp., although it faces potentially lengthy court battles with Barnes & Noble and Motorola.
Meanwhile, Apple has fired off a wide-ranging lawsuit against Samsung, accusing the company of violating its intellectual property rights. A newly expanded complaint targets a multitude of Samsung devices including the Galaxy S II and Tab 10.1.
“The original complaint already accused Samsung of ‘slavishly copying’ Apple’s designs,” Florian Mueller, a self-described intellectual property activist, wrote in a 17 June breakdown on his Foss Patents blog. “The amended one stresses that Samsung ‘has been even bolder’ than other competitors emulating Apple’s products.”
But the Apple-Samsung battle is an atypical one in the intellectual-property arena. Even as Apple’s iPhone and iPad compete fiercely with the devices in Samsung’s portfolio, Apple remains a major purchaser of components from Samsung, which seems only too happy to cash the checks. Of course, that didn’t stop Samsung from filing its own intellectual-property lawsuits against Apple.
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