JUST days after Apple issued a sales warning for the first time in almost two decades, arch-rival Samsung admitted it is also suffering.
The South Korean company said “lacklustre demand” and “intensifying competition” will lead to profits in the fourth quarter being 30% lower than a year ago.
That will leave profits for the last three months of 2018 at 10.8 trillion Korean won, or £7.6 billion. That’s the first quarterly drop in profits for two years.
Sales will be down 11% to 59 trillion won, it estimates.
Apple blamed its woes on falling sales in China, which is experiencing a tough economic slowdown.
Analysts said its iPhones are simply too expensive and that the technology of cheaper rivals has caught up.
Samsung didn’t mention China specifically, but mentioned “mounting” macroeconomic uncertainties.
That was taken as a reference to the trade war between Beijing and Washington, which has increased pressure to cut the prices of chips. Shares in Samsung, founded in 1938, fell nearly 2% on the Seoul stock exchange.
Samsung will have been directly affected by the slowdown at Apple, since it sells display screens and chips to its US rival.
The huge growth from Chinese smartphones maker Huawei is hurting Samsung and Apple.
Kiranjeet Kaur, a Singapore-based analyst with research firm IDC, said: “There is obviously the competition from the Chinese players that is limiting the growth of Samsung in many markets including the high-growth ones like India and South-east Asia.”