updated 07:45 pm EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Samsung gives high estimates for Q4 2011 results
Samsung late Thursday gave preliminary estimates that anticipated a record-setting fall. Its last quarter of 2011 would see its profit jump 73 percent to $4.5 billion based on money from selling its storage to Seagate, royalty payments, and a rapid rise in smartphone sales. It anticipated having shipped 35 million smartphones, or about 25 percent more than it did in the summer.
What drag existed on the company came from its semiconductor division's flash and RAM units, but it was being buoyed by its smartphone processors and its mobile display technology, such as its OLED and PLS LCD screens.
The high smartphone estimate could still see Apple close the gap. Samsung overtook Apple for the top smartphone maker spot in the summer, but it was helped by customers holding off for the iPhone 4S. With analysts estimating as many as 35 million iPhones shipped and very strong Verizon results supporting more optimistic projections, Apple may match its Korean counterpart.
Early 2012 could also heavily favor Apple. Apart from the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung most likely won't have a genuinely new flagship phone until the spring, when the presumed Galaxy S III arrives. The recentness of the iPhone 4S, additional country launches, and Apple's recent ability to dodge the usual post-holiday slump may keep its demand high.