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Samsung jumps into No. 2 spot

A strong performance during the second quarter has catapulted Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung into second place in the world handset market, leapfrogging ailing US rival, Motorola.

On Friday, Samsung reported solid second quarter results for its telecoms division, recording revenues of KRW4.5tn ($5.3bn) or an increase of 5 per cent on the same period last year.

Samsung shipped a record 37.4 million units, up 49 per cent year on year, during the period, setting it up for a 14 per cent share of the global handset market by year end, from its current share of 11 per cent.

However, profits form the telecoms unit fell 13 per cent from KRW4.28tn in the second quarter of 2006 to KRW350bn in the same period in 2007, on revenues of KRW4.5tn. But the company said that it expects sales and profits at the division to increase in the third quarter.

Last week, Motorola revealed that its own crisis is showing no sign of letting up. Now the world’s third biggest mobile phone manufacturer has revised down its sales forecast for the second quarter of 2007 from $9.4bn to between $8.6-8.7bn, with the firm making another loss in the quarter. Moto no longer expects its mobile division to make a profit this year.

So far this year, the firm has eliminated 7,500 jobs, not counting those of its CFO or the head of mobile devices. Although Carl Icahn’s attempt to force his way onto the board was repelled, the shareholders are predictably unhappy. A prominent investor, Eric Jackson, has also publicly called for CEO Ed Zander to be fired.

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