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Google gets 207B won punishment from South Korea’s KFTC for preventing Android forking

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The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has issued a $207 billion won ($176.64 million) fine imposed on Google for protecting OEMs from Android. The anti-trust regulator said Google’s contractual terms with OEMs lead to abuse of its top position, which has prevented competition from the mobile OS market.

According to Reuters, Google intends to appeal the decision, claiming that it “disregards the benefits offered by Android compatibility with other apps and undermines the benefits enjoyed by consumers.” KFTC’s Chairperson Joh Sung-wook maintains that the ruling is “meaningful in a way that it provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the mobile OS and app market markets.”

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Talking about the decision, the KFTC said Google had disrupted competition by pressuring OEMs to comply with the “anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA).” As part of AFA, Google requires manufacturers not to offer Android Forks to their devices, which has helped to strengthen its market dominance in the mobile OS market.

The report indicates the example of Google forcing Samsung to switch to a different OS to its smartwatch back in 2013 after Google realized that the original OS was a violation of AFA. Interestingly, Samsung has recently moved from Tizen to Wear OS on its smartwatches.

In line with the fine, the decision prevents Google from forcing OEMs to sign AFA contracts, thus allowing them to offer modified Android versions on their devices. The KFTC decision came on the same day as the latest amendment to South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act came into effect.

The amendment, forcing Google and Apple to adopt alternative payment methods, was passed late last month. It also prevents companies from delaying the adoption of applications or improperly blocking them from their market. If Google and Apple fail to comply with the new law, they could be fined up to 3% of their total South Korean currency.

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Samsung and Arm partner on parallel processing for 6G

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Samsung R&D wing partners with Arm on the research of parallel processing for 6G. Samsung’s leading research and development organization collaborating with semiconductor and software design company Arm to research parallel packet processing.

SIMD, known as Single Instruction Multiple Data, is one of the key software technologies in next-gen communications. Samsung Research and Arm plans to introduce an open-source project to develop and refine parallel processing for 6G.

“This technical partnership with Arm is a significant step towards revolutionizing parallel technology,” said Jinguk Jeong, Executive Vice President at Samsung Research’s Advanced Communications Research Center.

Arm also announced leveraging its expertise in high-performance, low-power and flexible computing by collaborating with Samsung Research to accelerate the 6G software development and enable the AI infrastructure to run as efficiently as possible.

Since SIMD processes vast quantities of communication data, Samsung Research’s work with Arm seeks to significantly accelerate the research and development timeline ahead of the surge of data driven by 6G environments.

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Young Hyun Jun will lead Samsung’s semiconductor business

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Young Hyun Jun will now lead Samsung’s semiconductor business. The company today revealed that it named Young Hyun Jun as the new Head of Device Solutions (DS) Division.

President Kyehyun Kyung, who has been leading the DS Division, will become the Head of the Future Business Division as well as the Head of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT).

Young Hyun Jun will focus on the DS Division and strengthen Samsung’s position amid an uncertain global business environment. Notably, Jun has extensive experience in the semiconductor and battery businesses.

Samsung hired Jun in 2000 for DRAM and Flash memory development. Later, he became Head of the Memory Business in 2014 and CEO of Samsung SDI in 2017, before leading the Future Business Division in 2024.

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Android’s hot Circle to Search arriving on iOS

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Circle to Search in-line translation support

Circle to Search feature may be available on the iOS platform this year. In an exciting development, folks over at the Mac Observer discovered that Google is preparing to upgrade Chrome for iOS with Android’s awesome Circle to Search feature.

Chrome for iOS silently added a new “Lens Circle to Search” flag. When enabled, it will likely bring the feature to Apple’s iOS devices. Well, it is expected to be a Lens-powered feature available within the application itself, rather than system-wide integration.

Circle to Search debuted earlier this year with the Galaxy S24 series. It’s developed by Google for Galaxy and Pixel devices. As of now, a number of Samsung and Google devices have access to it. Meanwhile, the expansion may take place to more Android vendors and iOS too.

This feature is literally powered by Google Lens. Thanks to system-wide integration, it feels like a core feature of the Android operating system. Through an app update, Google seems to be planning Circle to Search beyond Android devices.

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