Samsung has best year everIt was another successful year for Samsung Electronics in both profit-making and technology breakthroughs, but a beefed-up legal battle with Apple somewhat dampened the celebratory mood at the Korean tech giant.
The world’s largest vendor of smartphones, TVs and memory chips posted more than 10 trillion won ($4.75 billion) in operating profit in the third quarter, the first time any Korean company has done so. Four other local companies - Hyundai Motor, SK Energy, GS Caltex and Kepco - recorded 10 trillion won or more in quarterly sales, but Samsung’s achievement in operating profit stood alone.
According to Fortune magazine, there were only a handful of companies worldwide that posted more than 10 trillion won in average quarterly operating profit last year: Exxon Mobil, Apple, Gazprom of Russia and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
The unveiling of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in September and the curved Galaxy Round smartphone in October was Samsung’s response to market concerns over its long-term profitability triggered by a JPMorgan report in June.
Finally, Apple attempted to throw a monkey wrench into its archrival’s upbeat year through relentless legal challenges alleging patent infringement.
Samsung, which owes Apple $930 million from two jury verdicts in Silicon Valley, lost a legal battle against the iPhone maker at home on Dec. 12 when a Seoul court denied Samsung’s claim that Apple violated three of its mobile patents related to short-message services. Samsung is appealing all three decisions.
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