South Korean electronics conglomerate Samsung has taken a sizable year-over-year profitability hit in its mobile phone division, with declining sales of high-volume, low-cost feature phones and tablets dragging down its bottom line.
Operating profit for Samsung's mobile business was just 2.74 trillion won ($2.6 billion), the company reported on Wednesday. That represents a steep decline from the 6.4 trillion won operating profit that segment posted in the year-ago quarter.
Partly to blame for the drop was a fall in the average selling price of Samsung's smartphones, as sales of mid-tier options like the Galaxy A improved, taking customers that may otherwise have chosen one of the flagship Galaxy S handsets.
Despite the grisly year-over-year numbers, Samsung's mobile business appears to be on the rebound after a rough 2014. Operating profit reached an all-time low last year, and the first-quarter numbers are actually up from the fourth quarter of 2014 thanks in part to the launch of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Those new devices helped Samsung recapture the title of world's largest smartphone maker from Apple during the March quarter. Samsung shipped 83.2 million smartphones in that period, compared to 61.2 million for Apple.