South Korea's Samsung has posted estimated quarterly profits of $5.15bn on the back of smartphone sales and the launch of its Galaxy Note smartphone-tablet hybrid.
The electronics manufacturer said on Friday that the first-quarter figures amounted to a 97 per cent rise on its operating profit a year earlier, and hailed the success of the Note, which has been dubbed a "phablet".
The Note, with a screen half the size of the world's best selling tablet, the iPad, and a stylus, long thought to be a relic of the PDA age, has sold more than five million units since its October launch.
Samsung estimated that its first quarter sales rose 21.6 per cent from a year earlier, although the figures are intended as a guide for investors, rather than a report of actual earnings.
The company is banking on surprise sales of the Note to boost its reputation from that of a "fast follower" to an industry leader in design and aesthetics and a rival to Apple and its successful range of iOS-powered devices.
"Note sales will increase further in the second quarter, and handset profit will grow despite a rise in marketing costs related to the London Olympics", said Lee Ka-keun, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.
Samsung, which raced to the top of the global smartphone rankings last year with close to a fifth of the market, from
just three per cent in 2009, is set to go head-to-head with Apple this quarter with the expected launch of a revamped Galaxy S, its flagship smartphone, and Apple's next iPhone.
"They will engage in a full-fledged war," said Hana Daetoo's Lee.
Though the stylus-powered Note has built an unexpected market for itself, it still has a long way to go before dethroning the industry-leading iPad, which has sold over 55 million units to date.
Samsung is the world's largest manufacturer of memory chips and liquid crystal displays.
|< Prev||Next >|
Other articles in Business
US concerned about Iran-Russia oil deal 14 January 2014
Indonesia's law on ore exports takes effect 12 January 2014
Ex-bank chief arrested in Greece fraud probe 11 January 2014
UK oil firm told to pay up for Gulf oil spill 11 January 2014
Family sues over death after US air crash 10 January 2014
India's election body drops Google project 10 January 2014
US bank pays billions for role in Madoff scam 08 January 2014
UK minister warns of major welfare cuts 07 January 2014
Facebook accused of mining private messages 03 January 2014
Indian state accepts property scam report 03 January 2014