Samsung Mobiles most trusted brand in India

Samsung recently unveiled its flagship smartphone Galaxy S7.South Korean smartphone maker Samsung Mobiles has emerged as the most trusted brand in the country followed by Sony and LG, while Tata Group is the only Indian corporate to figure in the top five, a survey said.

The survey was conducted among 2,500 respondents, aged 21-50, across 16 cities and its findings have been compiled in ‘The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2016’. The report is issued annually by TRA (formerly Trust Research Advisory).

As per the study, the top five most trusted brands are Samsung Mobiles, Sony, LG, Nokia and Tata.

Samsung Mobiles was ranked second in last year’s report which was topped by LG. Sony moved up a position from third last year.

Trust ranking of Tata brand slipped from fourth last year to fifth this year, while Reliance dropped to 22nd position from 14th last year.

India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki came in at the 11th position, up from 16th last year, while two-wheeler giant Hero MotoCorp climbed up a place to 14.

The top 20 most trusted brands which have improved their ranking over last year include Samsung Mobiles, Sony, Nokia, Honda, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, HDFC Bank, Airtel, Hero MotoCorp, Dove, Lux, Samsung, Pepsi and Puma.

Top 20 most trusted brands which slipped in rankings are LG, Tata, Bajaj and Apple.

“Samsung Mobiles is India’s most trusted brand of 2016 as a result of its constant efforts in bringing consumer value through conscious pricing, great quality and exquisite designs.

“Samsung’s strategy of focusing on the core intangibles of its brand is evident from its climb to the leadership,” TRA Chief Executive Officer N Chandramouli told reporters here today.
Brands which have gone out of the top 20 are Hewlett Packard, Bata, Amul, Reliance, Philips, Dabur and LIC.
Chandramouli said in the diversified FMCG space, Cavinkare has emerged as the most trusted brand, followed by Nirma, while Patanjali claimed the fourth position.
Interestingly, Maggi leads the FMCG food category, gaining 42 ranks from 2015 to occupy the 65th position in the overall trust rank list.

Samsung Raises Curtain on Galaxy S7 Models

Samsung on Sunday introduced two new models of its flagship Galaxy smartphone line at the annual gala for the mobile world, the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Both phones have similar features, but one, the Galaxy S7 Edge, has a 5.5-inch display, the same size as the iPhone 6s Plus.

The units have curved screens that support quad HD resolution, as well as a slight curve on the back, making them easier to hold.

To soothe complaints about the battery life of the previous Galaxy generation, the units have received power boosts. The S7 Edge has a 3,600-mAh battery, a jump from the S6 Edge’s 2,600, and the S7 has a 3,000-mAh power supply, while the S6’s battery was only 2,550.

In addition, the units are water and dust resistant, support microSD storage, and run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Fewer Megapixels

Samsung also has made some changes in the Galaxy’s camera. It has reduced the number of megapixels on the shooter’s sensor to 12 from 16, but increased the size of the pixels, which should improve the camera’s performance in low light conditions.

The pixels in the new Galaxy models are 30 percent larger than those in the iPhone 6s Plus, 1.4 micron compared to 1.22 micron for Apple.

Both Apple and Google have gone the fewer-but-bigger-pixel route with some success, so Samsung’s rivals already have done some of the consumer education about the move.

“It will work as long as they frame it in terms of bigger pixels get more light,” said Daniel Matte, an analyst with Canalys.

Larger pixels also make it easier to incorporate into each pixel autofocusing technology, which allows the camera to take sharper pictures faster.

“Autofocus is really fast now — nearly instantaneous anywhere across the image,” Matte told TechNewsWorld.

“That’s been in DSLRs and quality cameras for a while, and now it’s migrated to the smartphone market,” he added. “That’s a big improvement.”

Mixed Reviews

“They’re a nice improvement over previous versions, but they’re not groundbreaking,” said Bob O’Donnell, founder and chief analyst at Technalysis Research.

“There isn’t any one feature that’s a killer and will massively move the needle in the market,” Matte said.

“The best addition they made was adding Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820, which in certain use cases doubles the performance,” Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told TechNewsWorld.

Virtual Reality

For consumers who preorder either of the new phone models up to March 18, Samsung is offering a sweet deal: a free Gear VR headset.

Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus

In addition, Oculus is offering those who preorder the phones six Gear VR games for free.

Will the lure of a free VR headset help boost initial sales?

“There’s not that much content out there for VR, so it’s more of a gimmick at this point,” Technalysis’ O’Donnell told TechNewsWorld.

“They’re going to incent people to try VR,” said Gartner Research Director Brian Blau.

“It’s a nice incentive if you’re interested in doing VR with a Samsung phone,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Beyond that, it’s not going to change the picture for overall smartphone sales.”

Cooling Market

Samsung, as well other smartphone makers, would very much like to change the current picture for smartphone sales.

“We’re seeing a lengthening of upgrade cycles for smartphones and growth is slowing. It’s going to be hard for anyone to do well in the smartphone market in the next few years in terms of growth,” Canalys’ Matte said.

“As phones mature,” he continued, “they become good enough for most people, so it’s more difficult to sell them.”

In the United States, another factor contributing to longer upgrade cycles is the phasing out of phone subsidies.

“Now that people are paying full price for their phones, they want them to last longer,” O’Donnell said.

“Lifetimes are extending beyond two years, so just as we saw lifetimes extend for PCs, we’re going to see them extended for phones,” he added.

Nevertheless, Canalys is predicting another double-digit growth year for smartphones this year. Globally, it predicts smartphone shipments will crack 1.5 billion in 2016.

“Despite turbulence for certain vendors and countries,” it noted in a report released Monday, “the industry will still grow by over 10 percent this year thanks to new opportunities.”

Samsung Releases February Android Security Update for High-End Galaxy Devices

Samsung Releases February Android Security Update for High-End Galaxy Devices

Ever since Google promised monthly security updates for its Nexus devices, it has been keeping its promise of releasing Android security update every month. In February, Google rolled out the monthly security update on the first day of the month. BlackBerry followed Google to release the security update for its Priv smartphone at around the same time.

Samsung has also joined the club, however slightly late. The South Korean company has started seeding the February Android security update for its high-end Galaxy devices.

It says that the “maintenance release for major flagship models” as part of monthly Security Maintenance Release (SMR) process includes patches from Google’s February Android security update. It also includes patches from Samsung.

Apart from Google patches, the company provides seven Samsung Vulnerabilities and Exposures (SVE) items. Some of the vulnerability listed by Samsung include buffer overflow vulnerability in Qualcomm WLAN Driver, which has been rated as critical severity and affects Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and above devices with Qualcomm Wi-Fi chipset, and is a vulnerability that doesn’t confirm boundary condition before memory copy can make buffer overflow by an unexpected data size. Samsung says supplied patch prevents buffer overflow by confirming the sizes of source and destination.

The second patch was rolled out as SecNetfilter security patch which was rated as medium and affected all devices using SecNetfilter driver on Android 4.4 KitKat or Android Lollipop 5.0 (5.1). The vulnerability dereferences null-pointer during parsing the URL that can make a memory corruption and be abused by attackers. The company says that the supplied patch removes the ‘SecNetfilter’ driver.