2017 has been a phenomenal year for the world heavyweight champion of smartphone sales, but even as the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 allowed Samsung to swiftly forget about 2016’s Note 7 fiasco, the chaebol’s key profit drivers lied elsewhere.
Looking ahead, Samsung reportedly aims to “strengthen profitability through high-priced premium models” including the next installments of the flagship Galaxy S and Note series. That’s obviously in addition to continuing that very lucrative Apple partnership, as well as supplying high-quality, high-margin OLED screens and memory chips to anyone else interested.
“Industry sources” also reaffirm the company’s plans of releasing a “brand-new foldable phone” in the near future to further improve profitability, while maintaining an overall sales goal of around 320 million smartphones for 2018.
That would be approximately the same shipment tally as in 2017, which probably means arch-rivals Apple and Huawei will close the gap to first place in volume by the end of this year. But even if Samsung were to miss this arguably conservative objective by, say, a few million units, there’s no way any of the two challengers will be able to take its crown away.
In the long run, it’s best to pursue margins than volumes, especially with tablets and wearable devices not doing so great in either department. Samsung merely expects to sell 20 million of the former and 5 mil of the latter in 2018, as well as 40 million feature phones, which seems like a surprisingly high number in this day and age.