Samsung reportedly cutting 2016 smartphone shipment by 12 percent

Korean smartphone maker is planning to slash its smartphone shipments by as much as 12 percent next year, according to a report citing Samsung's local partners.

Samsung Electronics is reportedly planning to slash its smartphone shipments by more than 12 percent next year, in response to market changes.

The move did not necessarily reflect a restructuring of the Korean company's handset business, reported The Korea Times, citing sources from Samsung's local partners. Fixing a certain annual shipment would help the smartphone maker maintain its global market share, the report added.

It noted that a 12 percent reduction to its annual shipment would translate to between 420 million and 430 million handsets. The move was in response to "changing market environment", the report said, quoting the source.

According to IDC's third-quarter 2015 figures, Samsung shipped 84.5 million units, up 6.1 percent from last year, and grabbed 23.8 percent of the global smartphone market. The market leader edged out Apple's 13.5 percent share and Huawei's 7.5 percent.

IDC said Samsung's strategy of focusing on premium handsets, with the launch of its Galaxy S6 edge + and Note 5, helped boost its quarter sales. Its sub-US$200 devices, including Galaxy Core/Grand Prime and J-Series drove the bulk of shipments in several key emerging markets.

In its third-quarter earnings, Samsung reported a net profit of 5.46 trillion won (US$4.8 billion), up 29.4 percent from 4.22 trillion won (US$3.7 billion) in the same quarter a year ago, but down 5 percent from the previous quarter's 5.75 trillion won (US$4.9 billion). It missed its forecast profit of 6 trillion won (US$5.3 billion) on revenues of 51 trillion won (US$3.9 trillion).