Samsung on Thursday announced the results for the December quarter as well as the 2018 fiscal year, marking the second straight year of record annual results. However, the numbers for the fourth quarter were less than stellar, with Samsung posting drops of 10% (revenue) and 29% (profit) compared to the same period last year. Smartphone sales weren’t great for the company during the December quarter, but that’s hardly a surprise considering that Samsung’s 2018 flagship failed to deliver any excitements. The Korean giant, however, hopes that phones like the upcoming Galaxy S10 series, as well as foldable and 5G devices to help it turn things around.
Samsung posted earnings for 59.27 trillion won ($53.4 billion) during the period and 10.8 trillion won ($9.7 billion) profits for the December quarter. For 2019, Samsung expects overall annual earnings to decline.
Aside from the smartphone business, which suffered during the December quarter, weaker NAND and DRAM sales also took a hit during the period, indirectly affected by slower overall smartphone sales. Samsung wasn’t the only company who sold fewer phones than anticipated last year.
Slow smartphone sales will continue to affect the performance of other Samsung divisions, like the mobile display division that manufactures screens for Samsung’s phones, but also for plenty of competitors, Apple included. Demand for OLED screens and memory products should improve in the second half of the year.
Demand for smartphones and tablets will continue to decline in the first quarter of 2019, but Samsung hopes the Galaxy S10, which is mentioned by name in the press release, to prop up sales during the coming months.
Also, Samsung plans to boost smartphone sales this year by launching “launching differentiated products and bolstering target marketing strategies.” That’s even though the demand for phones isn’t expected to increase this year compared to 2019. Samsung does say that average selling prices (ASP) are expected to rise “due to a trend toward adopting high-end features such as large screens, higher memory capacity, and multi-cameras.”
Samsung also said it’s expected to lead the market by launching foldable and 5G devices this year, but Samsung didn’t provide any commercial names for the upcoming products. The Galaxy F, which is what we call the first Samsung foldable phone, will also launch at the February 20th Unpacked event, rumors say. At least one 5G version of the Galaxy S10 should hit stores in Korea and the US in the coming months, according to various reports.