Samsung set to launch new flagship smartphones

Visitors try out Samsung Electronics’ VR at its booth near the Medal Plaza in Pyeongchang. (Reuters)
Updated 21 February 2018
0

Samsung set to launch new flagship smartphones

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics will unveil its next flagship smartphones — the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ — on Sunday, after it reported record profits in recent weeks and its vice chairman was released from prison.
Samsung, the flagship subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest business group, suffered a humiliating recall of its Galaxy Note 7 device in 2016, and was then embroiled in the sprawling corruption scandal that brought down ousted president Park Guen-hye.
But its Galaxy S8 smartphone was a consumer and critical success and financially it has gone from strength to strength.
It enjoyed net profit of more than 42 trillion won ($39 billion) last year, and this month Lee Jae-yong, heir to the founding family, was released from prison after most of his bribery convictions were quashed on appeal.
Its latest phones will be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with teasers suggesting the major changes will be to the camera.
Visually they will resemble their predecessors but with a slightly smaller bottom bezel, a spate of leaks suggest.
Both Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have upgraded cameras with variable apertures capable of shooting up to 960 frames per second for “super slow-motion” videos, according to tech website WinFuture, and stereo speakers.
Samsung has also revamped the series’ internals with faster processors, it added, and their batteries — the issue at the heart of the Galaxy Note 7 debacle — can last a full working day.

- AFP


Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

Updated 5 min 15 sec ago
0

Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

  • Saudi Arabia and UAE initiatives ‘driving forward industrial defense capabilities’
  • Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities

LONDON: Defense spending by Gulf Arab states is expected to rise to more than $110 billion by 2023, driven partly by localized military initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a report has found.

Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities, according to a report by analytics firm Jane’s by IHS Markit.

Military expenditure in the Gulf will increase from $82.33 billion in 2013 to an estimated $103.01 billion in 2019, and is forecast to continue trending upward to $110.86 billion in 2023.

“Falling energy revenues between 2014 and 2016 led to some major procurement projects being delayed as governments reigned in budget deficits,” said Charles Forrester, senior defense industry analyst at Jane’s.

“However, defense was generally protected from the worst of the spending cuts due to regional security concerns and budgets are now growing again.”

Major deals in the region have included Eurofighter Typhoon purchases by countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to “localize” 50 percent of total government military spending in the Kingdom by 2030, and in 2017 announced the launch of the state-owned military industrial company Saudi Arabia Military Industries.

Forrester said such moves will boost the ability for Gulf countries to start exporting, rather than purely importing defense equipment.

“Within the defense sector, the establishment of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) in 2017 and consolidation of the UAE’s defense industrial base through the creation of Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC) in 2014 have helped consolidate and drive forward industrial defense capabilities,” he said.

“This has happened as the countries focus on improving the quality of the defense technological work packages they undertake through offset, as well as increasing their ability to begin exporting defense equipment.”

Regional countries are also considering the use of “disruptive technologies” such as artificial intelligence in defense, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018.

The US was responsible for almost half that increase, according to “The Military Balance” report released at the Munich Security Conference and quoted by Reuters.

Western powers were concerned about Russia’s upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea, the report said, but added that “China perhaps represents even more of a challenge, as it introduces yet more advanced military systems and is engaged in a strategy to improve its forces’ ability to operate at distance from the homeland.”