Handsets lift Samsung's Q4 profit 17%

Melissa Chua
Strong reception to Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphone contributed toward the firm reporting a 17% higher profit for Q4 2011.
Samsung reported net income of 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion) for Q4 2011, compared to 3.42 billion won a year ago.
Operating profit for the firm’s telecommunication unit increased 79% to 2.64 trillion won, according to a financial release from Samsung.
According to a Samsung, global shipments of mobile devices increased approximately 30% QoQ, with much growth attributed to developed markets.
Samsung’s popular Galaxy S II smartphone led the charge for the expansion of the firm’s high-end mobile device portfolio, which includes the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus.
Dongbu Securities estimates that Samsung sold around 32 million smartphones during the quarter, Bloomberg reported. But this is thought to be around 5 million units less than Apple's performance over the December quarter.
Samsung sold more than 300 million mobile phone units last year, and is said to have surpassed largest rival Apple in smartphone sales during the September quarter, a lead that may have proved shortlived. 
The Korean firm expects smartphone growth to continue in 2012, with a greater than 30% year-on-year growth, with feature phone growth slowing down.
The outlook looks less rosy for Finnish handset giant Nokia, which shipped nearly 18 million fewer smartphones than rival Apple in Q4, despite the launch of its first Windows Phone 7-based handsets.
Seoul-based analyst Kim Hyung Sik of Taurus Investment Securities told Bloomberg News  Samsung would likely surpass Nokia as the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer by year-end.