The Samsung Galaxy S7 appears to be a much-needed success for the Korean tech giant, and according to estimates, shipments of the said flagship will exceed the company's expectations for the first quarter of 2016, reaching 9 million units up from Samsung's earlier 5.5 million prediction. However, while Samsung appears to have stabilized its smartphone business, market analysts predict that by the end of Q1 2016, the company will register lower operating profits year-on-year in a number of niches, including its semiconductor and consumer electronics sectors. Amid this decline, fresh reports suggest that Samsung intends to expand its product portfolio and focus on new business ventures, including virtual reality, automotive, and artificial intelligence.
According to DRAM eXchange research, global LCD TV shipments will show zero increase in 2016 compared to last year. In addition, laptop, PC, and tablet shipments are estimated to decline by 3%, 4%, and 7% respectively, and, in turn, this could mean that Samsung's operating profits for Q1 2016 might decline by 13% in the semiconductor business, and by 63% in the consumer electronics department. Interestingly enough, while Samsung Electronics is expected to register lower operating profits in Q1 2016, the South Korean company is apparently planning to increase its market presence in other segments, including the automotive market and the virtual reality niche. As yet, the Samsung Gear VR stands as proof for the company's efforts to be a part of the virtual reality movement, and it should also be noted that Samsung is one of the new main investors behind the FOVE startup. Meanwhile, products such as Samsung Connect Auto and Samsung Smart Windshield reflect the Korean tech giant's intentions to become a bigger part of the automotive market. With that being said, new reports suggest that Samsung Electronics will continue to expand its product portfolio in both the VR and automotive industries.
In addition, Samsung Electronics will apparently get involved with artificial intelligence as well; however indirectly. Reportedly the company will enter the AI market through aggressive mergers and acquisitions as opposed to building its AI business from the ground up, but as yet there are no details as to which AI-centric companies Samsung might have in mind for merging with, or for acquiring. Meanwhile, Google's AI branch is making incredible progress, with DeepMind's AlphaGo computer program beating the world's best Go player, Lee Sedol, 4-1 earlier this month.