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iPhone 12 series launch, did in stages of two phones each, and spread it out over a month or so. That prolonged the early adopter buying phase well into December, while an iPhone upgrade supercycle in China, the country that got a lid on the pandemic earlier than the West, propelled iPhone sales to a whopping 17% increase year-on-year. The end result was $111 billion in revenue and nearly $29 billion opearting profit for the iPhone maker.Apple had an uncharactersitically late
The lack of new Galaxy phones, and the increased marketing costs associated with the holiday season returned tepid mobile division performance, while Samsung's display business which supplies the iPhones' OLED screens, saw record growth. The strong Korean won, however, hurt Samsung's bread-and-butter memoru and chip sales business, and in the end it had to make do with "just" $6 billion in net profit.
For the current quarter, however, and the ones after it, Samsung painted a much rosier outlook, unlike Apple, whose shares tumbled after it warned about market headiwnds in 2021. According to Samsung, this year its sales will be propelled by strong 5G phone upgrade demand, and foldables swimming into the mainstream, or, as it puts it, "strengthen leadership in our flagship lineup by expanding S21 sales and popularizing the foldable category... [and] increase smartphone sales by fully addressing replacement demand for 5G with mass-market 5G models."
The Galaxy S21 series is going on sale tomorrow, while the 5G mass market will be addressed by the 2021 A-series, with even the $300 A32 sporting 5G connectivity, but what we are really curious about is this "popularizing the foldable category" quip. Could cheaper Galaxy Fold and Flip models be on the horizon, just like Samsung lowered the launch price of the S21 models by full $200 compared to their predecessors. It should, if it is gunning for mass adoption.