Korean police raid Samsung offices in OLED leak probe

LG-55-inch-OLED-TVHow’s this for corporate espionage? Police in South Korea paid a visit to Samsung’s headquarters south of Seoul yesterday and searched the offices of the company’s display-making unit as part of an investigation into an alleged leak revolving around OLED technology.

Samsung has a considerable stake in the market for OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) panels and technology. The investigation is trying to determine if employees or partners at the company’s main rival in South Korea, LG Electronics, leaked secrets about the technology to Samsung.

Probes like this have become a little more common between these two companies as of late. Just last summer, six employees at LG’s display unit were charged with stealing OLED technology from Samsung. At the time, LG asserted that the information its employees were charged with leaking was already known in the industry, and thus, didn’t constitute actual “trade secrets”.

Not surprisingly, Samsung says it did nothing wrong, and that it has no need or desire to attain other companies’ technology in any illicit or illegal way. In turn, LG also publicly rebuked any notion that they reported anythingSamsung tower about their rival to police to initiate the raid. An LG spokesman noted that the investigation is specific to large OLED TV panel technology, but suggested that the allegation of theft comes directly from police.

Regardless of what the actual facts are, the timing for this is interesting, given that LG has delayed the release of its 55-inch 55EM9700 OLED TV to the second half of the year. The company initially showcased the TV at CES in Las Vegas in January and announced a U.S. launch in March for $12,000. Shipments are set to hit retail in the U.K. in July, but nothing has been confirmed for the U.S. market. It’s already been released in South Korea.

Meanwhile, Samsung announced on February 19 that it plans to release its own OLED TV within the first half of 2013, but hasn’t provided a lot of detail on what a rollout would look like.

Asian companies tend to share technology in some cases, where rivals license out components to each other, but this case has been described as flat out theft of secrets that are allegedly proprietary. We’ll see if this one unfolds in any dramatic way, and if it ultimately affects OLED TVs from both companies coming stateside.

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Love music? For audiophiles, the LG G8 ThinQ may be the best phone ever made

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Galaxy S10? Foldable phone? What to expect from Samsung’s Unpacked on Feb. 20

Samsung's skipping Mobile World Congress 2019 to launch its next big smartphone a week earlier in San Francisco. We're fully expecting the Galaxy S10 to show up, but what else will be there? Here's what to expect.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Apple will reportedly launch its new video-streaming service at March 25 event

The rumors about what Apple will announce at a March 25 event continue to swirl. A new report suggests that it will debut its much-anticipated video-streaming service, which will compete with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Samsung will stop releasing new Blu-ray players in the U.S.

Samsung, the first company to produce a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, is now exiting the Blu-ray market entirely in the U.S. The move comes after Oppo Digital also dropped out of the market last year.
Movies & TV

The Breaking Bad sequel might air on Netflix before it arrives on AMC

A Breaking Bad sequel starring Jesse Pinkman (and, possibly, Walter White) is on the way from series creator Vince Gilligan, and you might get your first look at it on Netflix, not traditional cable.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…