“Samsung Electronics Co. posted its slowest profit growth since 2011 as new Apple Inc. iPhones lured high-end customers and gains in the Korean won curbed the value of overseas sales,” Bloomberg News reports. “Asia’s biggest technology company is facing a squeeze on profit margins as new iPhones and cheaper devices made by Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co. crimp growth of Samsung’s Galaxy devices. Currency moves cut about 700 billion won from earnings, and the company made bonus payments to workers and boosted marketing as it prepares to release its new S5 high-end device to battle Apple.”
“‘Earnings will remain stagnant this year as the explosive growth of the past two to three years seems to have ended,’ said Lee Sun Tae, a Seoul-based analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co. ‘Although the lower-end smartphone market will continue to grow, the scale of profit from that segment doesn’t compare to the high-end market so the growth seems limited,'” Bloomberg News reports. “The company also paid a special bonus of 800 billion won to workers to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chairman Lee Kun Hee’s new management strategy, it said.”
“Fourth-quarter operating income at Samsung’s mobile unit, the company’s biggest profit driver, was 5.47 trillion won, little changed from a year earlier and down from a record 6.7 trillion-won profit in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company said,” Bloomberg News reports. “Apple shipped 33.8 million smartphones in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the iPhone maker said. The company started selling the iPhone 5s and the cheaper 5c in September. Samsung also faces a new threat from Apple after the Cupertino, California-based company struck a distribution deal with China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest carrier by users. Samsung is the top seller in China, where large-screen devices such as its 5.7-inch Note have won customers who prefer one device for checking e-mail, browsing the Web and watching videos. The iPhone has a 4-inch screen.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Aww, sob.