The past couple of weeks have proved testing for Samsung, with the launch of their first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold being indefinitely delayed. To add insult to injury, the South Korean company’s first quarterly report of 2019 has been released, and as predicted, does not make for good reading.
More specifically the firm saw a drop of 60 percent in operating profits compared to the same period last year, with the three-month spell yielding only $5.33 billion. While that may sound like a substantial figure, and it is indeed for most companies, for Samsung it’s a massive dip year-on-year.
As for why the company suffered this large first quarter loss, Samsung points to its memory chip and display divisions, noting that while both have routinely performed well for the firm, they did not this time around.
“The Semiconductor Business saw a drop in memory chip prices as inventory adjustments continued at datacenter companies,” explained Samsung in a press statement.
“The Display Panel Business reported a quarterly loss due to decreased demand for flexible displays and increasing market supplies for large displays,” they added.
Before you start proclaiming that this is the beginning of the end for Samsung, the South Korean manufacturer did point out that its mobile division held solid, with the Galaxy S10 series of devices aiding in that regard.
“First quarter earnings were weighed down by the weakness in memory chips and displays, although the newly launched Galaxy S10 smartphone logged solid sales,” the press statement noted.
Samsung also added that it believes 5G and foldable devices will hold big value for it during the rest of the year. Regarding the latter, the next Galaxy Note device slated for later this year will likely tick that box.
As for foldable phones, Samsung added that it plans to announce a new launch date for the Galaxy Fold in coming weeks. Whether consumers still have an appetite for the Fold in particular, however, given its troubled start, remains to be seen.
Either way it looks like Samsung is hedging its bets on mobile to help prop up the business for the remainder of 2019. We’ll see if that comes to fruition with Q3 / Q4’s results, when new mobile hardware is anticipated to hit the market.