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Samsung, LG seek performance revival via flagships

All Headlines 09:30 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top tech giants are expected to enjoy improved sales from their mobile businesses, industry watchers said Thursday, as their flagship smartphones just released in March are boasting better-than-expected sales at home and abroad.

The average daily sales of Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones are estimated at 15,000 units in South Korea, with accumulated sales estimated at 400,000 units, industry data showed.

Local analysts earlier said Samsung sold around 10 million units of the new flagship series in the first quarter around the globe, with the annual sales expected to reach 45 million.

The average daily sales of LG Electronics Inc.'s G5 smartphone at home are also estimated at 10,000 units. Others said the initial performance at least doubled from the G4.

Industry watchers said the improved sales came as the Galaxy S7 and G5 smartphones boast competitive features that grabbed consumers' attention.

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones, first showcased at a trade fair in Spain in February, come with improved batteries and are water and dust resistant. The company also brought back the micro SD card slot that had disappeared in the Galaxy S6 series.

The G5 smartphone is touted as the industry's first "Modular Type" smartphone, which connects with various accessories from a camera controller to high-end audio systems.

On the back of the robust sales, Samsung said through a regulatory filing Thursday it is believed to have posted an operating profit of 6.6 trillion won (US$5.6 billion) in the January-March period, up 10.37 percent from the same period last year.

Analysts added LG Electronics may post an operating profit in the second quarter of 2016. The company has been suffering from sluggish smartphone sales, with its mobile business posting an operating loss of 43.8 billion won in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The robust performance is also significant as the soaring demand for budget smartphones in the South Korean market has been rising as one of the major drags on tech manufacturers.

Industry watchers estimate smartphones with price tags lower than 400,000 won took up 20 percent of the market in the October-December period, doubling from around 10 percent posted in the first quarter of 2015.

colin@yna.co.kr
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