Samsung Electronics’ mobile unit delivered an optimistic outlook for the current quarter as the company issued Q4 2022 numbers, forecasting smartphone shipments and ASPs to rise, despite a continuing economic slowdown and other factors contributing to instability.

Shipments of tablets, however, are expected to decline in Q1 and the company forecasts the smartphone market to contract over the full year, with the mass market impacted the most.

On an earnings call, EVP of investor relations Ben Suh said the business environment deteriorated significantly in Q4 2022, with weak demand during a slowdown triggered by global macroeconomic issues.

Revenue from its Mobile eXperience (MX) and Networks division dropped 7 per cent from a year earlier to KRW26.9 trillion ($21.8 billion).

Suh said the network business recorded revenue growth, led by domestic demand for 5G installations and expansion overseas.

With weak demand in the low- and mid-tier smartphone segment, shipments fell 19.4 per cent to 58 million units, with the ASP declining 5.1 per cent to $240.

Tablet shipments rose 14.3 per cent to 8 million units.

Daniel Araujo, VP of the MX division, said the decline in sales of mass market handsets was greater than previously expected, but noted flagship sales held up well.

On a group level, net profit more than doubled to KRW23.5 trillion due to a decline in income tax stemming from previously deferred liabilities related to subsidiary dividends.

Revenue decreased 8.2 per cent to KRW70.5 trillion.