Samsung remains optimistic about smartphones powered by artificial intelligence, despite conceding the sales throne to Apple

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Samsung’s Resilience Amid Challenges: Navigating a Shifting Landscape with Optimism and Innovation in the Era of AI-Powered Smartphones

Samsung experienced its fourth consecutive quarter of declining profits on Wednesday, concluding a challenging year that included surrendering its title as the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer.

The South Korean technology giant reported a 35% decrease in profit on Wednesday, underscoring the ongoing sluggishness in demand for consumer devices and the accompanying semiconductor chips. Operating profits for the December quarter fell to 2.8 trillion won (approximately $2.1 billion), compared to 4.3 trillion won ($3.5 billion) the previous year, aligning closely with its earlier earnings projection.

Despite these setbacks, Samsung remains optimistic about a potential resurgence in mobile device demand in the upcoming year. The company informed investors of its expectations for a rebound in the smartphone market in 2024, especially with the introduction of new products, such as AI-powered smartphones, which are anticipated to stimulate demand.

While Samsung has long held the position of the world’s leading smartphone seller, Apple overtook it in the fourth quarter, a traditionally peak period due to the year-end holiday shopping season. According to market research firm IDC, Apple claimed a 20.1% global market share in 2023, slightly surpassing Samsung’s 19.4%.

Samsung acknowledged lower smartphone sales in the fourth quarter but highlighted an increase in demand for high-end smartphones compared to the previous quarter. Tablet sales also saw a boost due to the allure of new product launches.

Samsung faces challenges on multiple fronts, including the aftermath of a historic supply shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for semiconductors has waned over the past year, contributing to substantial losses for Samsung, a major player in the memory chip industry. The company reported a loss of 14.9 trillion won (about $11.2 billion) for its device solutions unit, encompassing the memory chip business, in 2023, compared to a profit of 23.8 trillion won ($17.8 billion) the previous year.

Despite these difficulties, Samsung anticipates a gradual market recovery in the current year. The company mentioned potential obstacles, including interest rate policies and geopolitical issues, but expressed confidence in a moderate improvement in earnings for the first half of 2024, with a more significant improvement expected in the second half.

Samsung also observed a slight “improved performance” in the fourth quarter as it managed to command higher prices for memory chips compared to the previous quarter. However, the company cautioned that ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties could continue to impact the business environment in the near term.

Samsung shares experienced a 1.6% decline in Seoul on Wednesday, reflecting the challenges the company faces in navigating the current economic landscape.


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