Much is being made of Samsung’s hoard of cash, estimated at $28.5 billion once the South Korean conglomerate’s debt is taken into consideration. At any rate, the Galaxy maker has watched its net cash almost triple in the past year, thanks to double-digit profits fueled by the rising sales of its mobile division which makes smartphones and tablets.
In just three years, mobile phones have grown to be 74 percent of Samsung’s profits, overshadowing sales of LCD TVs and memory chips. On other words, three out of every four dollars Samsung earns come from mobile devices.
However, Apple remains the industry’s most-profitable player, retaining a $145 billion cash pile while offering anxious investors a $100 billion stock buyback. Is Samsung destined to follow Apple’s footsteps, or repeat the errors of other Asian giants, such as Panasonic, drowning in debt?
You can put Panasonic, Sony and Sharp on your list of once mighty Japanese consumer electronics giant that are now forced to sell off billion dollars’ worth of property in an embarrassing move deemed absolutely unavoidable if these dinosaurs want to survive winter. Panasonic, the maker of the Viera brand of TVs, was previously reported as wanting to exit the television business to focus on churning out displays for portable electronics, especially Apple’s iPad.
These days, the company is working to raise $1.34 billion from offloading property and shares in other Japanese companies by end of March 2013, Reuters reported Monday. We’re talking land holdings, plants and even a 24-storey staff dorm in central Tokyo which has more than 47,300 square meters and houses about two thousand workers. Sony and Sharp, once the biggest names in electronics, are planning to follow suit…
Apple has traditionally used Samsung displays in products and lately has begun sourcing portable screens from other suppliers, namely LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp. If a new business report out of Japan is correct, Panasonic will exit the TV biz to focus on churning out displays for portable electronics, with a strong focus on Apple’s iPad.
It actually makes sense. Due to price wars eating into the already razor-thin margins, LCD TV sets have become a highly unprofitable affair for Japan’s consumer electronics makers – just ask Sharp.
Perhaps having sensed that Foxconn and Apple grew tired of saving Sharp and coping with yield issues plaguing its cutting-edge display plant in Osaka, Panasonic is now thought to have already sent sample LCD panels to Cupertino and Apple “seems to be satisfied”…