Samsung Electronics Faces Falling Profits As Succession Looms
Smartphone leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd faces a third straight quarter of profit decline that could become a fourth as cheaper models grab a bigger share of a slowing market and Apple Inc readies the launch of its iPhone 6. Samsung Electronics’ woes, exacerbated by a won that has risen to a six-year high against the dollar, come at an awkward time for the flagship of South Korea’s largest conglomerate. The group’s patriarch Lee Kun-hee has been hospitalized since May following a heart attack, and the succession map for his three children – including heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee – remains unclear. Analysts say Samsung’s top-end Galaxy S5 handset, released in late March, is selling well but not well enough to offset weaker shipments for low- and mid-tier devices. Its next big product launch, the Galaxy Note 4, is expected later this year but is not forecast by analysts to be a game-changer.
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