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Galaxy S7 sales drive Samsung profit growth

Samsung Electronics has announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2016, and they’re slightly better than predicted; the company made 6.68 trillion won off 49.78 trillion won in revenue, respective jumps of 12 percent and 6 percent on a year ago. Samsung says the profit growth was led by the “early launch and successful sales” of the well-received Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, as well as increased sales of OLED panels and stronger operations in the semiconductor division.

That language reveals a potential problem for Samsung, however, in that the Galaxy S7’s “early launch” likely played an outsized role in the profit growth; the mobile division saw a 42 percent jump in operating profit. Last year the Galaxy S6 didn’t come out until April, meaning that year-on-year comparisons are putting one quarter with a flagship handset launch up against one without. The real question is whether Samsung can maintain its pace; Apple just posted its first-ever iPhone sales decline, and Samsung also “anticipates softening demand in the smartphone market” for the year ahead.

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