Thursday, August 29, 2019

Samsung sells more smartphone components in China

As reported by The Korea Times,industry analysts note that "Samsung Electronics is expanding its supply of smartphone components such as camera image sensors and display panels to Chinese phone makers to take advantage of their soaring market dominance in the highly competitive smartphone market there..."  As this blog has noted in numerous prior posts, (see for example these) smartphones are essentially modular computing and communications devices.  Although Google's Project Ara failed, the physical reality is that all smart phones are created by putting together modules.  This helps to explain why the recent Japanese restrictions on the export to Korea of materials necessary for the manufacture of semiconductors and displays are so potentially damaging to Korea's economy.  In China, companies like Huawei and Xiaomi have come to dominate the smartphone market, in the process taking market share away from Samsung.   This development provides an opportunity for Samsung to improve its overall business position by selling more components to the Chinese manufacturers.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Samsung electronics accounts for 20 percent of Korea's exports

As reported in The Korea Joongang Daily, Samsung Electronics has steadily increased its dominance in Korea's manufacturing and export-led economy since 1980.  During the first half of this year the company accounted for 20 percent, or fully one fifth  of South Korea's exports. (click on the graphic for a full size version) 
The Korea Joongang Daily article noted that "In its semi-annual report released Wednesday, the electronics giant’s sales from January to June stood at 75.19 trillion won ($67.13 billion). Domestic sales totaled 10.52 trillion won, accounting for 14 percent of entire sales, while the company raised 64.67 trillion won overseas in the same period. Samsung Electronics’ overseas sales account for more than 20 percent of Korea’s estimated 271 billion dollars of exports reported by the Korea International Trade Association."  During the first half of 2019 the America's replaced China as the largest source of export sales, reportedly due to the trade war between the U.S. and China.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Korea's continuing lead in speed

OpenSignal is out with a new report that compares smart phone user experiences across 73 countries.   As shown in the graphic at left (click for a full size version), South Korea continues to have the world's fastest mobile networks, as measured by both average upload and download speed using a high tier smartphone.
In making such cross-country comparisons it is well to keep in mind that these are averages and don't represent the user experience in any particular part of the nation.   The local press in Korea these days is full of reports about consumer disappointment with the actual speeds they experience with new 5G phones.  One reason is that the buildout for 5G networks is concentrated initially in the nation's larger cities.  Even in urban area, signal strength inside buildings is a challenge that requires additional network infrastructure.  Things will get better, but it will take time. The project to complete Korea's 5G networks will go on for several years.