Coronavirus: Samsung profits soar on working from home

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Samsung Electronics has seen profits skyrocket as sales were boosted by millions of people working and learning from home during the virus pandemic.

The world’s largest smartphone maker said second-quarter operating profits were up 23% from a year ago.

The results were aided by strong demand for computer chips, which pushed up prices in the world market.

Data centers have increased the capacity to support home work and schooling.

“The memory industry saw strong demand for cloud applications related to remote working and online education as the impact of Covid-19 continued, while demand for mobile was relatively low.” the South Korean company said in a statement.

Other major memory chip makers, including rival Korean producer SK Hynix and US company Micron Technology, have also been spurred on by people staying at home and consuming internet services such as video conferencing and streaming movies.

Last week, SK Hynix said its operating profit tripled in the second quarter from a year ago, as server operators ordered memory chips and prices increased.

In June, Micron Technology forecast higher-than-expected revenue this quarter due to strong demand for its chips that power laptops and data centers.

“Many companies are moving their operations to the cloud, and the IT server segment is on the rise,” said Prachir Singh, senior analyst at the BBC market research firm Counterpoint.

Samsung, which is set to launch its new Galaxy Note and Galaxy Z Fold handsets, has also predicted that the smartphone market will improve in the coming months and become increasingly competitive.

New models

“The smartphone market is expected to experience increased competition in a context of a gradual recovery in demand in the second half of the year,” he said.

Although Covid-19 causes demand to drop, tech brands continue to release new handsets.

In April, Apple announced a new iPhone SE, relaunching a mid-range model it had discontinued in 2018.

A week earlier, OnePlus unveiled new models, while the previous month Huawei launched its flagship P40 line.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 12 and the Google Pixel 5 and 4A are expected to release later this year.

Samsung shares were a little higher in Seoul on Thursday and gained around 10% this week.

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