As it prepares to launch the next generation of foldable devices next month, Samsung on Thursday said it expects better performance in the second half with the launch of new foldable smartphones and the expansion of mass-market 5G devices.

The South Korean giant said it sold 60 million units of handsets in the second quarter, down from 81 million units in the previous quarter, with the portion of smartphones reaching the mid-90 percent range.

Its tablet sales reached 8 million units, same as the first quarter.

Overall, Samsung’s IT and Mobile Communications (IM) division had a relatively tepid performance due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in major markets, reports Yonhap news agency.

“Overall market demand decreased from the previous quarter due to the impact of weak seasonality and the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic,” Samsung said.

“The mobile communications business saw revenue decrease compared to the previous quarter, influenced by a component supply shortage in the industry as well as production disruptions in its Vietnam factory.”

But Samsung expected better performance in the second half of the year.

“The mobile market is forecast to recover to the pre-COVID level on an annual basis as 5G adoption and contactless trends continue to thrive,” it said.

Samsung’s display panel business contributed big in the second quarter thanks to a one-off gain suspected to be a payment from a client for not purchasing a contracted amount of displays.

Samsung projected the display panel business to post solid results in the second half, with its mobile display demand growing and major smartphone manufacturers planning to launch new models. But it also pointed out concerns of a supply crunch in certain parts, like DDIs, which could affect shipments.

The company said it is currently focusing on finalizing the mass production process for QD display so that it can start product shipments within the year.

Samsung’s consumer electronics (CE) division, comprising the visual display and digital appliances businesses, posted solid results as its revenue rose 31.8 percent on-year to 13.4 trillion won while operating profit soared 45.2 percent on-year to 1.06 trillion won.

Its sales were up 3.2 percent from the first quarter, but its operating profit was down 5.4 percent.

“Overall market demand for TVs decreased from the previous quarter due to low seasonality but was higher compared to a year earlier,” Samsung said.

For the second half, Samsung expected improved demand for TVs due to strong seasonality, but the resurgence of Covid-19 could be a risk.

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