Samsung expects record profits: Patent wars barely dented sales

Samsung is expected to report a massive profit increase from the last quarter, spurred on by Galaxy smartphone sales. It looks as though Apple's lawsuits have barely dented Samsung.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Samsung said today that it expects a record quarterly profit as the company surged its way past Apple as the world's top smartphone maker in the third-quarter.

The Korean smartphone maker, though has been tugged along by Apple by an ongoing patent battles, said its fourth-quarter operating profits rose by 73 percent year-on-year to $4.5 billion.

One-off gains from the sale of its hard drive business to Dublin-based Seagate for $1.38 billion in cash and stock also helped Samsung's profits.

But Galaxy sales helped top the company off to record profits this year, amid sales injunctions and ongoing legal battles. It was noted late last year that Apple's attempts to block the sale of the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets -- subject to patent infringement cases -- made the Galaxy Tab a "household name".

Reuters reports that Samsung sold around 35 million smartphones in the fourth-quarter, showing a 7 million smartphone sales rise between October and December. AFP adds that Apple's 17.1 million iPhone sales was trumped by Samsung's near-28 million in that quarter.

The Galaxy range of smartphones helped Samsung's sales. The Galaxy S II, which came out in May, surpassed 10 million units far quicker than any other Samsung smartphone, the company said in a statement last month. It did not give details as to how many sales it had achieved for the model, however.

With no let up in sight in the ongoing global patent dispute between Apple and Samsung, one thing is clear. The lawsuits and the sales injunctions barely dented sales, and certainly had little impact on profits for Samsung. If anything, the media reporting of the 30-odd lawsuits in 10 different countries since April last year have given rise to Samsung's sales.

Samsung continues to be helped by the fact it supports Android, the world's most used mobile operating system.

Samsung's previous record profit of $4.3 billion was in the second-quarter of 2010, smashing it by around $200 million.

While the company is due to publish its official results for the fourth-quarter of 2011 later this month, suffice to say, we all know it was probably going to be a good one.


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