Samsung managed to ship over 90 million phones and 8 million tablets in the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing the total number of shipped devices to 98 million. The average selling price of the devices it shipped stands at about $180, while each unit made a profit of $24 on average. For comparison, Samsung managed to ship 72 million phones in the third quarter of 2016, and the reason the South Korean manufacturer managed to ship so many more units in the fourth quarter has to do with the lucrative sales of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, along with devices from the company's budget and mid-range offerings. The high volume of shipped Galaxy S7 models is likely due to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, whereby customers were allowed to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 for a device from the Galaxy S7 lineup.
Just yesterday, Samsung reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 and based on the report, the company did very well. The firm posted the third largest quarterly profit in its history, having recorded nearly $8 billion in operating profits. This was also enhanced by the depreciation of the South Korean won to the US dollar. The exchange rate was about 1,100 won per dollar in the third quarter, and it went up to 1,200 won per dollar in the fourth quarter of 2016, boosting Samsung's profits by approximately 300 billion won.
The mobile unit of Samsung managed to make $2.15 billion in operating profit, a slight raise from the previous year when it made $1.91 billion. If it wasn't for the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, this figure would likely be much higher, as the Galaxy Note 7 recall cost Samsung an estimated $6 billion. However, due to the high demand for the company's semiconductors and display panels, Samsung managed to endure the debacle. The semiconductor unit of Samsung managed to reap $4.25 billion in operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2016, and this accounts for half of the company's total profit. The display panel division managed to earn $1.15 billion in operating profit in the same quarter. In 2017, Samsung plans to put a larger focus on its semiconductors and display panel units in order to increase earnings, since both of these divisions are lucrative for the company.