Samsung reveals prices for its 2018 QLED TVs

Earlier this month, Samsung officially launched its 2018 QLED TVs at a special event in New York. Samsung used the launch event to showcase all the new features and improvements coming to its 2018 QLED TV lineup. The company, however, didn’t reveal any pricing information at the time of the launch.

Samsung has now updated its US website with pricing information for most of its 2018 QLED TVs. As to be expected, these TVs are expensive starting at $1500 and going all the way up to $6000. Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup includes Q9F, Q8F, Q7F, Q7C, and Q6F models. All these models are available in different screen size options ranging from 49 inches to 82 inches. The Q7C models are the curved TV variants, and the rest are flat-screen panels.

Of the listed prices, the 75-inch Q9F model is the most expensive at $6,000, while the 55-inch Q6F model is the cheapest at $1,500. The Q6F model also has a 49-inch option, but Samsung hasn’t revealed the pricing for it yet. When available for purchase, it should be the lowest priced option among all the 2018 QLED TVs. The 82-inch Q6F model which is the largest of the bunch retails for $4,500.

The pricing for the entire range is as follows:

Samsung’s new QLED TVs will be available for purchase in the United States later this month with other markets to follow suit down the line.

Galaxy Note 9 firmware development has now begun

We can now reveal that the Galaxy Note 9 firmware development has begun. Samsung has started testing two firmware builds for its next flagship smartphone which is due for release later this year. It’s not surprising to hear that the Galaxy Note 9 firmware development has begun considering the fact that this crucial step normally begins several months before the device is actually due for release.

Take the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ for example. Samsung launched its new flagship on February 25, 2018 but we reported almost five months prior to that on September 29, 2017 that work on the firmware for both models had begun.

The Galaxy Note 9 is going to be Samsung’s second flagship handset for 2018 and if recent reports are any indication, it might very well be the company’s first device to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The first two Galaxy Note 9 firmware builds being tested carry version numbers N960FXXE0ARB7 and N960FXXU0ARC5. Samsung is testing the firmware globally. It’s interesting to note that while firmware development for the Galaxy Note 8 started on April 6, 2017, Samsung is doing the same for the Galaxy Note 9 over two weeks earlier than last year. Samsung started firmware development for the Galaxy S9 two weeks earlier than it did for the Galaxy S8 as well.

Does the early Galaxy Note 9 firmware development suggest that the new phablet will be launched earlier than its predecessor was? The question is justified seeing as how the Galaxy S8 was launched on March 29, 2017 but the Galaxy S9 was launched a month before on February 25, 2018.

For those who don’t remember, the Galaxy Note 8 was launched on August 23, 2017. We’ll likely hear rumors about an early Galaxy Note 9 launch in the months to come like we do every year for every new Samsung flagship but it remains to be seen whether or not Samsung will really do it or not.

In any case, early Galaxy Note 9 firmware development or not, the upcoming flagship phablet from Samsung isn’t going to be out before the second half of this year anyway.

Samsung bolsters foundry business by adding IoT and fingerprint sensors

Samsung decided to spin its foundry business into a separate division in May last year as it seeks to further increase revenues from this crucial business that has already proven to be a veritable cash cow for the company. The division is solely responsible for manufacturing mobile processors and other non-memory chips for Samsung’s clients which include the likes of NVIDIA and Qualcomm.

The company has decided to bolster its foundry division by adding new RF/IoT and fingerprint technology solutions to its 8-inch or 200-millimeter wafer foundry service. Many of Samsung’s customers are already closely working with the company to utilize its 8-inch technology offerings in various applications.

Samsung’s foundry business has grown considerably over the past few years. An estimate by market research firm IHS last year suggested that the company’s revenue from this part of the business surged a whopping 86 percent to $4.7 billion when compared to 2016.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Samsung is expanding the technology solutions that are now available to customers through its 8-inch foundry services. It will enable the company to leverage this technology to sell more chips to customers.

Samsung will now offer RF/IoT and fingerprint sensor technology solutions on the 8-inch service over and above the exiting eFlash, Power, display driver IC and CMOS image sensor solutions. All 8-inch offers that range from 180nm to 65nm are produced at Samsung’s highly automated Line 6 facility in Giheung, South Korea.

“Customers’ interests are very high given the industry’s needs for alternative 8-inch solutions,” said Samsung’s VP of Foundry Marketing Ryan Lee, adding that by expanding its technology offerings the company will enable its customers to take full advantage of Samsung’s 8-inch solutions in a broader range of applications.

AT&T Galaxy S8 Oreo update finally released

The AT&T Galaxy S8 Oreo update is finally rolling out today which means that all four major carriers in the United States have now released Oreo for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. We have seen Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint release said update on their networks quite recently so it was only a matter of time before AT&T followed suit and that’s precisely what it has done today.

Samsung actually started rolling out the Android 8.0 Oreo update for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ about a month ago but as many of you already know there’s always a delay for carrier-branded devices. That’s because carriers tend to make their own tweaks to the software before it’s rolled out.

The wait is finally over for customers of the second largest mobile network in the United States as the AT&T Galaxy S8 Oreo release has now taken place. AT&T is rolling out firmware version G950USQU2CRB9 and G955USQU2CRB9 for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ respectively. The update comes in at just over 1.5GB and comes with the February 2018 security patch.

It’s unclear if and when the March 2018 security patch will be rolled out for these devices in the United States. AT&T customers can head over to the Software update menu in the Settings app right now to download the update if they have yet to receive the over-the-air update notification on their handsets.

The AT&T Galaxy S8 Oreo update brings several new features such as multitasking support for apps, picture-in-picture mode, Autofill, notification dots, and more. There are some Samsung-specific new features as well such as the Dual Messenger and additional Edge lighting effects.

If you’re curious about all of the new features that are part and parcel of Android 8.0 Oreo then do check out our extensive What’s New With Android 8.0 Oreo series. The series will give you great insight on all of the new features included in this update.

The Roku Channel will be coming to Samsung Smart TVs this summer

In the past year, Samsung has been doing quite a bit to improve their Smart TV experience. We’ve seen various apps being added such as ESPN and Freeform, Amazon Prime Music, YouTube TV, and Starz to name a few. We’ve also seen the addition of Bixby into select 2018 Smart TV models. The buck does not stop here as Samsung is continuing to enhance the overall experience one receives when purchasing a smart television from them. We are now receiving word that the Roku Channel will join the growing list of apps making their way to Samsung Smart TVs.

The Roku Channel will be added to Samsung Smart TVs at some point this summer. If you aren’t familiar, the Roku Channel features numerous films and TV shows from its content partners. It is supported by ads, but it will feature half the ads per programming hour as seen on traditional television. This should be a great addition to the increasing number of apps being added to Samsung’s Smart Hub.

2018 has already seen some hefty improvements from Samsung’s TV business as we saw the announcement of their 2018 TV lineup. The lineup includes new QLED TVs, UHD TVs, Premium UHD TVs and TVs with extra-large screen sizes of 75-inches and up. In addition, there are a few technological advancements to improve your experience.

Roku will confirm in the coming weeks which Samsung Smart TVs will receive its ad-supported Roku Channel.

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