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Samsung's profits soared in its second quarter thanks to stronger than expected sales of its Galaxy S3 smartphone, despite parts supply problems and issues with maintaining stock levels at retailers. The South Korean firm's other businesses struggled however, with its chips and consumer electronics businesses feeling the economic pinch in Europe.
All told, Samsung's operating profit for the second quarter period is estimated to hit 6.7 trillion Won ($5.9bn), a 79% increase over the same quarter last year. Revenue is expected to hit 47 trillion Won ($41.4bn) for the period, slightly below analysts' estimates of 50 trillion Won.
The company's full second quarter results will be released towards the end of the month but it's expected to reveal Samsung sold around 50 million handsets, with its flagship Galaxy S3 expected to hit 19 million during the April to June period.
"Our smartphones are flying off the shelves, with some outlets reporting 40% to 60% sales growth, but that's distorting the overall trading outlook, which is more challenging due to the weak global economy and a weak euro," said one unnamed executive speaking to the Telegraph.
Whilst the handset business looks stronger than ever, the dire situation the firm is experiencing in the EU marketplace due to the Euro zone crisis, weak prices, demand, as well as an even weaker Euro is further highlighted by the announcement that it's operating to a contingency plan.
"Europe is our biggest consumer electronics market and we may have to initiate cost cuts and product price increases should the euro fall further from the current level," the Telegraph's source said.
Apple is likely to continue with last year's release cycle and announce its next-generation smartphone later this year, which will impact handset sales. But Samsung will also enjoy heightened demand for its chips as a supplier for iPhone and iPad products. They also supply Apple with memory chips, NAND flash and displays.
The Galaxy S III display is a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen featuring 720p (720 x 1280 pixel) resolution and a 306ppi pixel density. Is the Galaxy S III a worthy successor to the venerable Galaxy S II and does it help keep Samsung ahead of its rivals? In a word, yes.
The Samsung Galaxy Note measures 147mm (5.78in) tall and 83mm (3.27in) across, which means that it feels absolutely massive when held in the hand. However, despite its large dimensions, the Note remains very thin at only 9.7mm (0.38in) thick. Samsung has equipped the Galaxy Note with impressive internal hardware: a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (with just under 13GB available to the user). It comes with Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread and Samsung's TouchWiz interface.
The Samsung Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3 (codenamed Gingerbread) and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. It is the first handset to offer Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus screen technology (4.27-inch display, 800x480 resolution), and is the company's thinnest phone at 8.49mm, with a weight of just 116g. The device also features an 8MP primary camera with 1080p video capture, and a 2MP camera in the front, as well as integrated NFC support on some versions. It also has BlueTooth 3.0+HS and HSPA+ connectivity.
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