Samsung Electronics reported better-than-expected Q1 earnings on Thursday as its latest smartphone proved much more successful than its S6, making the company a true competitor for the iPhone.
The South Korean electronics giant had operating income of 6.6 trillion won ($5.7 billion), far above analyst estimates for about 5.5 trillion won. Revenue was 49 trillion won, up 4% and slightly above estimates.
Samsung released its S7 smartphones in March, a month earlier than its S6 line in 2015. Nine million S7 phones were sold in their first month, triple what the S6 did in its first month. The S7 has a better camera and microSD storage support. Samsung also didn’t run into supply shortages of curved-glass screens for the jumbo S7 Edge, unlike last year’s Edge.
Due to the S7 and an improved, streamlined phone product lineup overall, the smartphone business was likely the company’s best division in several quarters. Meanwhile chip operating profit likely fell about 15%.