Samsung published solid, if uninspiring, guidance for the first quarter of 2014, against a backdrop of concern about slowed growth and intense competition in the smartphone market.
The company is anticipating operating profit of around KRW8.4 trillion ($8 billion), on revenue of KRW53 trillion. This compares with Q1 2013 figures of KRW8.78 trillion and KRW52.87 trillion, respectively.
Samsung is facing an important second quarter, which will see availability of its next flagship smartphone, Galaxy S5.
At its unveiling, the South Korean company highlighted a focus on customer needs rather than technology innovation for its own sake, arguing that users prefer “durable design, a simple and yet powerful camera, faster and seamless connectivity, and a phone that can help them stay fit”.
Reuters said that underlining the need for Galaxy S5 to be a hit, Samsung is pricing the device around 10 per cent lower than the proceeding Galaxy S4, and has “dialled back” on its marketing efforts in order to protect margins.
While the Galaxy S5 launch comes mid-way between releases of Apple’s flagship iPhone, Samsung will not be without challengers in the premium devices space.
And competition is similarly fierce in the mid-tier, where vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, and Nokia join the list of rivals.
Observers have suggested that Samsung needs to focus on cost control, in order to protect its profit.