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South Korea’s Smartphone Exports Rise 61% In May

June 11, 2015 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

Buoyed by the success of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones and LG’s latest flagship, the LG G4, smartphone exports from South Korea have increased in the month of May, after struggling since September last year, according to a report published by Business Korea. The country exported $1.22 billion worth of smartphones in the month of May, which is a 61% sequential increase as compared to the month of April. The figure also represents an 18.6% year-on-year increase from May 2014. The news comes amidst reports of Samsung looking to increase production of the Galaxy S6 Edge which is seeing unexpected high demand in international markets. Rivals LG meanwhile, is also fixing to launch its flagship G4 through 180 carriers worldwide.

Overall, $2.74 billion worth of mobile phones and $1.5 billion worth of phone components were exported from South Korea in the month of May, which represents a growth of 26.6% and 34.5% respectively over last year. The regions which have contributed the most to Samsung and LG’s resurgence are Vietnam, the EU, Japan, China and the US. All these markets grew considerably, and contributed majorly to the increase in exports. With continuing demand for the two companies’ flagship devices, both companies have seen their sales increase substantially in most markets they operate in. Exports to the European Union rose substantially by 35.8 percent to reach US$130 million. The Vietnamese market accounted for $440 million, which represents an exponential growth of 240% over the same period last year, and exports to China and Hong Kong alone was in the region of $890 million.

South Korea was also not immune to the rise in popularity of the latest generation iPhone twins which come with significantly larger screens. Hence, mobile phone imports increased substantially as well, mostly on account of increased iPhone sales, seeing as these devices are mostly made in China by Foxconn. South Korean OEMs have also imported components like OLED displays, which has meant combined imports of smartphones and smartphone components have amounted to US$780 million last month, which is a 34.6% yearly increase. Overall, export of information and communication technology (ICT) goods out of South Korea in the month of May saw a slight bump of 2% over last year to US$114.28 billion. Imports in the same category amounted US$6.84 billion which is also a nominal increase of 1.2 percent from last year. The heightened exports have allowed South Korea’s ICT business register a trade surplus of $7 billion for the first time in 2015.