The holiday quarter wasn’t a good one for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S4 maker reported its slowest profit growth since 2011, according to Bloomberg.
From October to December, Samsung saw net income rise 5.4 percent to $6.7 billion. That’s the slowest growth since the third quarter of 2011, when the company recorded a loss.
The slowdown is being attributed to the late September arrival of new Apple iPhones, and currency moves of the Korean won. Profits are also being squeezed by less expensive handsets made by Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co.
“It’s critical that Samsung comes up with new designs in order to protect its market share from Apple in the high-end segment,” says Jae H. Lee from Daiwa Securities Group Inc. “No rapid earnings growth is expected this year as margins at its handset business will remain pressured.”
A report from Daewoo Securities Co. on Jan. 8 said Samsung shipped 9 million units of the S4 in the fourth quarter. The number of iPhones shipped during the same time period could exceed 50 million units.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c arrived in stores on Friday, Sept. 20. Apple will announce its first quarter earnings on Monday, Jan. 27.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and next-generation Galaxy Gear are expected to launch by April.
See also: The Little Secret About The Galaxy S4 Samsung Would Rather You Not See, Worldwide Smartphone Sales Are Expected To Drop During The First Quarter Of 2014, and Apple And Samsung Smartphones Continue To Dominate In The US.