Google reorganizes, Samsung phones, drone sightings - The Wrap

IDG News Service | Aug 13, 2015

On The Wrap this week Google reoganizes under parent company Alphabet, Samsung hopes its Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ will reenergize the company and drones don't mix with airplanes. Follow host Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

Google announces a major restructuring and Samsung brings back the smartphone keyboard.

We'll start with your tech top 3 and what you need to know this week. Google announced a massive restructuring where the company will become a subsidiary of its parent company Alphabet. Sundar Pichai will head Google which will include Android, Maps, search, ads and YouTube while other businesses like Nest, Fiber and ventures will be managed separately. Google co-founders Brin and Page will run Alphabet along with executive chairman Eric Schmidt. It's new website: abc dot xyz

Samsung hopes its classy looks and high performance will entice you to buy its new flagships the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge plus. Both phones have 5.7 inch screens, a Samsung-designed octa-core processor and 4 gigs of ram. The Note will let you write notes when the screen is off and without launching a special app. Both phones will be available in stores in the US and Canada on August 21 and globally later this month. Pricing wasn't announced.

Drones sightings by pilots are up big-time and that could be a recipe for a fatal disaster. Last year there were about 240 sightings the entire year, this year more than 650 to date. More than 20 percent of those sightings were above 10,000 feet, when commercial airliners are traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. The rules for drone flights haven't changed, there are just more, sometimes careless, pilots.

In focus this week we take a closer look at Samsung's announcement. It comes at a time when the South Korean electronics maker is in precarious position in the global smartphone market. While the company remains the leader in global volume, it's the only major smartphone manufacturer that has seen negative year on year growth according to IDC. Its shipment volume is down 2 percent from last year while Apple's is up 35 percent. But Samsung isn't just having problems in the high end market, but the low end as well. Huawei and Xiamoi are two relatively new Chinese companies and they've both seen double digit growth year on year, Huawei at nearly 50 percent as it breaks into markets outside of Asia. Samsung's previous models the S6 and S6 edge had mixed reviews and supply of the Edge couldn't keep up with demand. Highlighting Samsung's urgency is the fact that the new Note was--for the first time--announced ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin where it's normally unveiled in September. What we've seen from Samsung this year is a company desperately looking for a home run product. While the specs are impressive on these new phones there's one thing we don't know, price. Samsung has missed the mark in the past and we'll have to wait until the phones go on sale next week to see if they can reenergize the company's mobile business. I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap.