Do Samsung Numbers Presage Bonanza Doom?

The PC was a 35 year golden bonanza for Wintel, but the mobile phone business has spread its largesse more spasmodically – first Motorola, then Nokia, then Blackberry, then Apple, then Samsung. Could the bonanza be over?Samsung, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, blames a slow-down in the smartphone market for a 25% downward revision in the current quarter’s profit forecast from $8.33 billion to $7.1 billion. It will be the third quarter in a row that profits have fallen.

As well as a phone market slow-down, Samsung also blames increased competition in the China market for the reduction as well as the strengthening Won which has increased 11% against the dollar in the last 12 months.

Apple’s reportedly imminent launch of the iPhone 6 probably didn’t help matters either.

Apple, with its famously thick margins, may prove itself immune from the market blight but, if it doesn’t, with the China suppliers cutting high-end smartphone prices to the bone, this boom may soon be over.





  1. yes Bitter the fingerprint sensor seems bollox to me. If it was a way of avoiding passwords that’s fine but as a way of keeping thieves from using your phone it’s no more effective than a kill-switch.

  2. well after the Chinese, keith, it could be back to the Americans for an industry re-invention.with some kind of post-silicon technology.

  3. Not wishing to get into a Samsung vs Apple bunfight, but the fact that profits are falling is not that surprising as the smartphone market is saturating, and price compression is the result. Most people I know have enough PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones and don’t really need to replace them in what are tough economic times as the few rich get massively richer, and the rest of us get poorer.

    Korean semis will go the same way Japanese semis did, and be replaced by Chinese semis, who will ultimately be replaced by… who knows?

  4. I’m not sure a plastic(y) phone should belong in the top of the line offering.

    And also rushing out a buggy fingerprint sensor for the sake of apple having one. They are so blatantly myopic it hurts.

    Yep, it definitely smells like a move typical of Sammy; a cheaply made, half-baked, copy-paste effort going on there.

  5. well I suppose people only found portable data terminals useful when the links got fast enough – 3G and WiFi really.

  6. I think Blackberry recognised the need for a data terminal long before Apple or Samsung, and to my mind did it better, but after a good start grabbing the student, revolutionary and tinfoil-hat brigade, somehow lost their lead to what I still maintain has become a style driven market.

  7. It’s hard to see anything half-baked or cheaply made about Samsung’s lovely new waterproof design.

  8. A harsh judgment IMHO, Bitter, the new thing Samsung did was introduce the big screen/thinner body combo. OK not exactly innovation – but at least recognising the market demand trend that these things are being used more as data terminals than phones,

  9. Great artists steal ideas, I’m all for that, but in Sammy’s case, they decided to botch it up using a half-witted “apple-fast-follower” strategy with cheaply made and half-baked products.

    Sammy’s market spam tactics eventually had to backfire. Producing desirable devices is an art and not a “copy-paste”, “rinse and repeat” operation of flooding the market with infinitesimally different and bland plasticky devices.

    For sure it will shift a humongous amount of IC’s for a while, but I question it’s long-term viability as a business practice, as now noticed by themselves.

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