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Samsung Electronics shareholders question Exynos chipset performance Some shareholders link throttling controversy with tech giant’s new chipset performance

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2022-03-18 08:14:57

이 기사는 2022년 03월 18일 08:14 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

As expected by many, the controversy over performance throttling in gaming apps on Galaxy S22 smartphones was at the center of Samsung Electronics’ annual general meeting on Wednesday, leading to an official apology by its top executive at the meeting.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Han Jong-hee bowed to shareholders at the general meeting held in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, in his apology for the performance throttling scandal, saying, “We apologize for worrying shareholders and customers”.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Han Jong-hee in front of the podium at the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday.

The main culprit was the so-called Game Optimizing Service (GOS), which is pre-installed on the tech giant’s latest mobile devices. GOS was originally designed to fine-tune system performance during gaming for longer battery life and thermal management. But it drew strong complaints from mobile gaming users as an option to disable the function was not provided.

The GOS controversy, combined with other headwinds such as the Ukraine crisis and the US Federal Reserve's anticipated tightening, put downward pressure on Samsung Electronics shares, with the stock price falling to below 70,000 won ($57.30) per share on Tuesday.

In response to the criticism that consumer trust in Samsung’s smartphones has declined following the performance throttling scandal, Han said the company would ensure to prevent such an issue from recurring and put customer experience as its top priority.

Samsung later rolled out a software update to allow users to control the performance while running gaming apps. When asked by a shareholder if that could raise overheating concerns again, Han answered that the company’s thermal control algorithm would help optimize the device condition to secure safety.

Some shareholders linked the GOS scandal with Samsung’s latest Exynos 2200 mobile chip, pointing out that the new chipset’s weak performance could be the root cause of the throttling issue.

“Exynos showed better performance than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon when Galaxy S2 and S3 series were rolled out in the past, but now there are even rumors that the Galaxy series were equipped with Mediatek’s APs, which used to be considered chips for cheaper mobile devices,” another shareholder said to the management at the general meeting.

Kyung Kye-hyun, president and chief executive officer of the company’s Device Solutions business, answered to the shareholder that a strategy related to chipsets depends on market changes and the company’s circumstances, excusing his limited explanation due to the confidential nature of the information.

“I wanted to know the company’s future plans and vision for Exynos 2200 but couldn’t get a sufficient answer from the management,” said one shareholder who attended Samsung’s general meeting.

Samsung launched Exynos 2200 earlier this year, which features the Xclipse GPU, the first mobile GPU based on AMD technology. However, it is said that the new chipset was used in the Galaxy S22 series sold in certain regions such as Europe while Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was used in the rest of the markets, drawing attention to the reason.

Samsung’s share in the global smartphone application processor market was 4% in the fourth quarter of last year, down by three percentage points from a year ago, according to data from Counterpoint Research. The company fell to fifth place behind Taiwan’s Mediatek (33%), Qualcomm (30%), Apple (21%) and China’s UNISOC (11%). This contrasts with Samsung holding an over 14% share in the market in 2019, overtaking Apple.

Meanwhile, the company’s all board nominees were elected at the general meeting, despite opposition by some minority shareholders to an insider director nominee who they say is responsible for the throttling scandal. (Reporting by Hyun-ji Sohn)
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