Smartphones, smart profits: Samsung breaks records

As sales of the Galaxy S III slip in fourth quarter, the Note II ‘phablet’ creates new demand

LAST UPDATED AT 08:40 ON Tue 8 Jan 2013

SAMSUNG Electronics is on course to report record profits of $8.3 billion for the quarter ending December 2012, according to Reuters, up a stunning 89 per cent on the same quarter in 2011. It means the South Korean microchips and mobiles group will have enjoyed five record quarters on the trot. 

The company is selling close to 500 mobile handsets every minute and is also benefitting from increased demand for the flatscreens it makes for mobile devices, including those produced by its American rival Apple. The company is now valued at $230 billion on the Seoul stock exchange.

Samsung profits have been helped by sales of the Galaxy Note II. The popularity of the phone/tablet hybrid has helped create a new consumer electronics category called the 'phablet'.

Sales of around 8 million Note IIs should more than make up for the slip in sales of the world's best-selling smartphone, the Galaxy S III, from 18 million in July-September to around 15 million in the last quarter.

While Apple launched just one phone last year, Samsung bombarded the market with 37 new products. Taiwanese rival HTC managed 18 product launches, Nokia just nine.

Samsung is expected widen its lead over Apple in 2013, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at market researcher Strategy Analytics, which forecasts the South Korean giant will sell 290 million smartphones this year, up from a projected 215 million. · 

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