After lackluster Apple report, all eyes on Samsung

Will the smartphone leader also report tough going?

Just how bad are conditions in the smartphone market? We'll get a better idea later Wednesday when Samsung announces its latest quarterly earnings.

Apple painted a pretty bleak picture for high-end smartphones on Tuesday when it reported slow sales growth and forecast its first drop in revenue in 13 years.

"We're seeing extreme conditions—unlike anything we've experienced before—just about everywhere we look," Apple CEO Tim Cook said on a conference call.

Samsung has already signaled it doesn't expect great results. The smartphone market leader said earlier this month that revenue will be essentially flat and analysts expect a slide of 8.5 percent in net profit.

But that's the company as a whole. Its mobile division reported a drop in profit in the July to September quarter after it cut the price of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to help boost sales. And like Apple, it's predicted a slowdown in sales growth.

Samsung is locked in stiff competition with Apple on the high end and that's unlikely to let up.

It has been pushing low- to mid-range handsets in developing markets, but Apple's comments about worldwide demand are worrying.

"Major markets including Brazil, Russia, Japan, Canada, southeast Asia, Australia, Turkey, and the Eurozone have been impacted by slowing economic growth, falling commodity prices, and weakening prices," Cook said on Tuesday.

Samsung executives are due to present the company's fourth quarter and full year results in a presentation scheduled for 4:30pm PST (12:30 GMT Thursday).

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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