Samsung doesn't seem all that optimistic about 2009. Speaking at a tech forum in San Fransisco, Executive Vice President, Woosik Chu, said that Samsung's profit, in both its electronics and memory chip businesses has been declining rapidly.
"Who knows when the trouble will be over? It could be next year, it could be the year after next," Dow Jones Newswires quoted Chu saying. He further commented that many of Samsung's product lines will see a decline in sales next year, with PC shipments sinking into single digit growth and flat panel shipment growth suffering, too. Not to mention the huge downturn in memory chip prices, which is also impacting on Samsung's bottom line.
That said, Samsung is sitting on some nine trillion Won (£~4.37 billion) of cash which it could (and according to various analysts will) use to invest in new products and product areas to help pull itself out of the current decline.
According to JunHyung Souk, Vice President of Display R&D (as reported by Gizmodo) television revenue is likely to drop severely come by 2010. At that point, Souk reckons, almost anyone likely to buy a TV will have one, so the trick will become not only competing with the competition, but convincing consumers there's a need to upgrade again, having already probably moved from SD to HD.
Souk suggested Samsung would look to areas such as 3D display technology, OLED and concepts such as folding or paper-like displays.
According to Samsung's VP of R&D, HyunSuk Kim, another technology Samsung is looking into, ultra-high definition (or 2160p as it is also known), could hit the market as soon as 2011. Kim also expects 3D to start taking off from mid-2009.
It's not an entirely bleak and miserable outlook, then, but Samsung definitely isn't going to have an easy 2009.