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Samsung 4Q13 profits to fall: Samsung Electronics has estimated its operating profits for the fourth quarter of 2013 at about KRW8.3 trillion(US$7.8 billion), down 18% from the prior quarter. Consolidated sales for the 4Q are set to stay flat on quarterat KRW59 trillion, Samsung disclosed. The forecast operating profits represent a 6.1% decrease compared tothe KRW8.84 trillion reported for the 4Q12, while sales are expected to register on-year growth of 5.2% duringthe same period. Samsung reported a record KRW10.16 trillion in operating profits for the third quarter of 2013,buoyed by rising prices for memory chips as well as sales of mass-market smartphones in emerging markets.
Samsung to flood market with tablets in 2014; to offer new 7-inch tablet at US$129: Samsung Electronics is reportedly planning to flood the tablet market with several different sized modelsincluding 7-, 8-, 10- and 12-inch in 2014 and will price its new 7-inch model, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite at US$129to attract consumers, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Korea TV vendors focus on Ultra HD TV production amid low production yields for OLED: Korea TV vendors plan to continue developing Ultra HD TVs in 2014 while development of OLED TVs isexpected to remain slow due to low production yields for OLED TV panels. Samsung and LG continue to investin OLED TV production but are still having trouble improving yields for OLED panel technology. This has led tohigh pricing for OLED TVs, which is expected to continue throughout 2014 and limit sales of the TVs.
Kakao prepared to become a listed company next year: Kakao will become a listed company in May of 2015. The company has finished overall preparation to be listedin Korea, and is planning to start a ‘real’ business with the fund they would receive after being listed. Kakaorecorded revenue of US$ 216 million in 2013.
Galaxy S5 out by April: Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will be released by April and may include innovative eye-scanning technology. A newversion of the company’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be released at the same time as the new phone.
Korea’s largest Bitcoin exchange nabs seed funding from Silicon Valley bigwigs: Several prominent Silicon Valley investors have provided seed funding to Korbit, a Korean bitcoin startup.Korbit is reportedly South Korea’s largest Bitcoin exchange and was founded in July 2013. It lets users depositfunds from their bank accounts and buy, sell, and withdraw bitcoins. The company claims to have 20,000registered users to date. The company will receive $400,000 from bigwigs including Tim Draper (formerly ofDFJ and founder of startup school Draper University), Naval Ravikant (founder of AngelList), David Lee(founder of SV Angel), and Barry Silbert (founder of SecondMarket and Bitcoin advocate).
South Korea raises regulatory penalties following massive data leaks: South Korea has unveiled a new set of supervisory measures and tighter penalties, following a massive databreach earlier this week involving over 20 million bank customers. Under the proposed changes, topexecutives could face the sack while firms could be fined heavily and be suspended, said the FinancialServices Commission (FSC). News broke on Sunday that at least 20 million customers under three credit cardfirms had their data stolen, reportedly by a temporary employee who later sold the data for 17 million won(US$16,000) to phone marketing companies. FSC plans to suspend the businesses of the three credit cardfirms for three months, and take punitive action against their top executives.
South Korea to invest $1.5B to build 5G network by 2020: South Korea will pump 1.6 trillion won (US$1.49bn) through 2020 with local firms to build the fifth-generationnetwork (5G) in the country. Under the plan dubbed "Creative 5G Mobile Strategy", South Korea will developnew features, which include Ultra-HD, hologram transmission and "cutting-edge" social networking services.The country also aims to work with global telecom authorities especially from the United States, China andEurope to establish standards for 5G, and to avoid excessive patent battles. The first test run for the 5Gnetwork will be on SNS sites by 2015, and gradually expand to cover mobile 3D images and cloud services in2017 at the speed of 1 Gbps. This is compared with 75 Mbps on the current LTE network.