Samsung's Smartphone Sales Plummet in Q2

Samsung's leading share of the global smartphone market plummeted during the second quarter of this year. Market researcher IDC said Wednesday that Samsung sold 74.3 million smartphones from April to June to account for a 25.2-percent share of the market.

Sales were down by three million units compared to the same period last year, and the market share declined by 7.1 percentage points.

This is the first time Samsung's smartphone sales have declined on-year and the first time since 2011 that its global market share fell to below 30 percent.

The lackluster performance is especially worrisome because the global smartphone market increased 23 percent on-year during the quarter.

Samsung's mobile division accounts for 70 percent of total operating profit at the electronics giant, and the dent in earnings has triggered lackluster performances at affiliates Samsung SDI and Samsung Display, which supply parts.

Korean automakers, shipbuilders, steelmakers and petrochemical companies are also suffering the impact of a strong won and global supply gluts.

A tally by the Chosun Ilbo showed second-quarter operating profits at the nation's top exporters falling almost W5 trillion (US$1=W1,024) on-year.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's biggest shipbuilder, posted an operating loss of W1.1 trillion, the worst quarterly earnings since its establishment in 1972.

Automaker Hyundai and affiliate Kia's second-quarter operating profits fell 19 percent.

Kang Doo-yong at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade said, "The global economy is gradually improving, but export conditions are unlikely to get drastically better. Korea needs to emerge from its dependence on exports and bolster domestic consumption and the service industry."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 31, 2014 10:22 KST