Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Weaker iPhone X sales likely to undermine Samsung's AMOLED biz

Weaker iPhone X sales likely to undermine Samsung's AMOLED biz

Samsung has not announced any product branding of these chips nor introduced any specifications for them.

And whilst Samsung said that its display panel business, which makes OLED and LCD screens, saw increased shipments of OLED panels for premium smartphones, it LCD panels profitability took a hit due to weak seasonality, which dampened sales and average selling prices. These new chips are usually created to carry a single task - in this example, mining.

Until a few short years ago, ASIC chips were more commonly used in the television industry.

This move by Samsung obviously poses some serious threat to the already existing cryptocurrency mining chip manufactures, particularly Bitman.

He also expected that Samsung Display, the display subsidiary of Samsung Electronics and the sole supplier of AMOLED displays for Apple, will see its profit margin drop significantly through the second quarter this year as a result of Apple's decision to cut the production of the iPhone X by 40 percent from the previous quarter.

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A spokesperson for Samsung told Korean paper The Bell that the project is "in the beginning stage so the proportion of profits from the overall foundry business is small yet". Currently, China's Bitmain and Canaan Creative dominate this space, with both companies partnering with Taiwanese chip maker TSMC. Its earnings guidance for the quarter revealed that much and Samsung has now posted the full Q4 2017 earnings.

Most people who run computers to mine crypto-currencies use graphics processing unit (GPU) cards to carry out the complex mathematical operations involved, but this has led to a shortage of high-end GPU cards, pushing their prices up, according to the report.

Samsung overtook Intel past year to become the world's biggest chipmaker. The news was first released in the tech giant's fourth quarter earnings report, with Samsung stating that it will "benefit from cryptocurrrency demand increase" because of this initiative.

The chip business was Samsung's top earner last year, posting a record operating profit of 35.2 trillion won and more than doubling its profit on-year in the fourth quarter alone.

Two thirds of the company's operating profit came from its chip-making business, of which operating profit reached a new yearly high of won35.2 trillion.

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