It's one thing when Sony loses money--it's not all that surprising. But when Samsung loses money you know things are bad in techville.
The big news out of Korea today is that Samsung, one of the globe's tech titans, lost money. The fourth quarter loss wasn't huge--$14.4 million or 20 billion won--but Samsung is a company that delivered profit in the Asia financial meltdown in 1997 and 1998. And Samsung replaced Sony years ago as Asia's consumer electronics powerhouse.
Here's a look at Samsung's 2009 outlook, which touches on most of the tech sector (click to enlarge all charts).
First, PC shipments and memory outlook:
Flat panel shipments, which are expected to improve relative to the fourth quarter drop-off:
Handset demand to drop in 2009. Main point: Touch smartphones will have more usability and more carrier subsidies. Prices will fall too. Overall, that's good for consumers.
Digital media is mixed.