- Samsung released its financial results for the first quarter on Wednesday, April 29th.
- Despite the market uncertainty surrounding demand for smartphones, Samsung says that it will launch new Note and foldable phone models in the second half of 2020.
- Samsung also says that it will expand 5G adoption to mass-market phones.
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The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic has thrown the entire planet into disarray, and as such, countless product launch dates are now up in the air. Apple was initially expected to unveil its 2nd-gen iPhone SE at an event in March, but the launch was reportedly pushed back several weeks due to the health crisis. But despite potential supply chain issues and lack of demand, phone makers are pushing ahead with plans to launch flagship phones this year, and on Wednesday, Samsung doubled down on its commitment to launch more phones in 2020.
In an earnings report for the first quarter of 2020 on Wednesday, Samsung Electronics announced that revenue was down 7.6% from the previous quarter due to “weak seasonality” for the display business and the effects of COVID-19. Operating profit dropped as well for the same reasons, but earnings on memory were actually up. Foreign exchange movements had little effect on the company’s profit as the strength of the US dollar and the euro against the won were counterbalanced by the weakness of currencies in emerging markets.
As for the smartphone market, while COVID-19 stymied demand for new devices, Samsung says that it maintained “sound profitability” on the back of Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Flip sales. The company also suggested that, in spite of the uncertainty, it still plans to launch new phones in the second half of the year:
For the second half, amid uncertainties including the possibility of a prolonged pandemic, market competition is forecast to intensify as manufacturers strive to recover from the weakness in the first half. The Company will continue to offer differentiated products in the premium segment with the launch of new foldable and Note models. The Company also plans to enhance product competitiveness by expanding 5G adoption to mass-market smartphones and improve operational efficiency across all areas throughout R&D, production, supply, channel and marketing.
Although Samsung didn’t name any of the foldable or Note models it plans to launch in 2020, prior leaks and reports lead us to believe that the company is referring to the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Fold 2. The Note 20 has been the subject of many leaks in recent weeks, and is expected to feature a similar design to that of the Galaxy S20. As for the Galaxy Fold 2, leaks hint that the sequel to Samsung’s first phone with a flexible display will have a bigger screen, three rear cameras, and a cheaper price tag than its predecessor.