Samsung

Did Samsung really make more money than arch-rival and world’s most profitable company Apple between April and June 2017? Most likely, although we’ll have to wait a few more days for Cupertino’s latest earnings report to provide definitive confirmation.

In the meantime, the smartphone market’s top vendor has just made its record-breaking quarterly profit scores official and final. Q2 sales even ended up slightly exceeding already ambitious predictions, at a whopping 61 trillion won, or around $55 billion.

Net chaebol gains topped KRW 11.05 trillion, while consolidated operating profit reached KRW 14.07 trillion, almost double last year’s second quarter figure and also up a remarkable 42 percent sequentially.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are singled out as the key driving forces behind Samsung’s substantial mobile division surge, from an operating profit of a little over 2 trillion won during 2017’s opening quarter to KRW 4 trillion+ these past three months.

What’s clearly unexpected is a marginal year-on-year decrease in revenue posted by the smartphone branch. Samsung blames that on “strong component prices” and shrinking sales of “mid- to low-end products.”

Looking ahead, the popularity of the GS8 duo will understandably decline as a “new Note device” and Apple’s iPhone 8 draw near, with the Galaxy Note 8 also set to absorb high marketing expenses and thus impact overall profitability.

But both this past quarter and the next one, it’s actually semiconductors and display panels that make Samsung swim in money. When it comes to memory chips, both DRAM and NAND, processors for flagship smartphones and OLED screens, small and large, you’re looking at a leader here whose monumental investments are starting to pay off, with no signs of a demand slowdown from partners including Apple. Just to throw one last number at you, the Korea-based semiconductor business alone yielded a KRW 8 trillion+ operating profit in the quarter ended June 30, 2017, compared to a measly 2.64 trillion won during Q2 2016. How do you like them apples, Tim Cook?

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