[The Inquirer]

Korean phone maker Samsung posted its first profit decline in two years on Friday due to slowing sales of its smartphone devices.

While Microsoft beat analyst estimates with record earnings, Samsung posted $7.7bn in operating profit for the fourth quarter on Friday, an 18 percent drop compared to the third. This marked the firm’s first quarterly decline in profit in two years and saw Samsung’s net earnings slip six percent year on year.

The dip in earnings was due in part to a decline in smartphone sales, with the firm’s mobile division seeing profits slip 2.8 percent quarter on quarter. This could be because customers are holding out for the long-rumoured Samsung Galaxy S5, which reportedly will launch ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress on 23 February, or possibly because the firm’s sales were hit by the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C handsets.


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