Samsung gains 52 percent third 2020 quarter, boosted by smartphone sales and Huawei chip restrictions - Samsung accelerates in smartphone sales.
The South Korean company, which in the second quarter of the year was overtaken by China Huawei as the world's first manufacturer according to the consultancy Canalys, has achieved in the third quarter an operating profit of 12,35 billion sukorean won (9.282 million euros) 52% more than the previous quarter (59% more over the same period of 2019).
In this increase, smartphone sales have been particularly prominent, which increased by 50%, a growth that Samsung blames on new launches and an "improved cost control", but which is also due to the difficulties of its main competitor, Huawei, which is seeing its chip manufacturing affected by the restrictions of the US government chaired by Donald Trump.
Last year, the White House blacklisted Huawei that prevented US companies from doing business with it, implying, among other things, that Google stopped supporting the Chinese company's phones and also prevents it from receiving the US components that use the company's chips.
The president of Huawei's consumer division, Richard Yu, came to recognize it in August. "In this second round of US sanctions, our chip suppliers only accepted orders until May 15. Production will end on September 15." "This could be the last year of high-performance Kirin chips," he said in statements collected by The Associated Press. The brand also shuffles sell its second brand, Honor.
The negative situation for Huawei has, as expected, a winner-Samsung.
The South Korean company has seen its mobile sales improve by 51% compared to the previous quarter (22.425 billion euros), it has also seen its sales in screens improve by 55% (6.2 billion euros) compared to the previous three months, driven both by the sale of screens to other manufacturers and by the confinement that have led many users to increase their time at home.
However, Samsung admits that the bull run will not be indefinite, as it expects a "weakening of chip demand" —a sector in full consolidation with company purchases by large manufacturers such as AMD or Nvidia— and an "intensified competition in mobile phones and consumer electronics".
Samsung gains 52 percent third 2020 quarter
"The mobile communications business will see smartphone sales fall and marketing costs increase due to greater market competitiveness," the company notes in its results statement, in which it also trusts in a "demand recovery" in 2021 although it admits that this will be marked by the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Samsung will also fish in the business of 5G networks, which Huawei has been forced to abandon, with an agreement with the American Verizon to provide them with technology to extend 5G coverage.
The company collects these results just four days after knowing the death of its president, Lee-Kun Hee, driver of the company from the 80s and owner of the largest fortune in the country, with a wealth of about 16.860 million euros according to Forbes, led Samsung to become an empire equivalent to 20% of South Korea's Gross Domestic Product. Removed from management since 2014, the company has since been run by his son, Lee Jae-yong, the heir theorist whose track record includes a bribery conviction and a recent arrest warrant.
Samsung gains 52 percent third 2020 quarter
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Having more than 5 coronavirus symptoms is a sign that you could suffer from persistent COVID-19, according to new research
For a select group of coronavirus patients who suffer from the disease for months, the onset of symptoms is the beginning of a long battle. Many COVID-19 patients develop weeks-or months-long illnesses that researchers now call "persistent COVID-19."
These individuals are difficult to study, as not all received an adequate diagnosis initially due to the scarcity of tests or the abnormal nature of their symptoms. Some simply do not report persistent ailments, making it difficult for researchers to follow up.
But a barrage of preliminary studies are beginning to point out the first signs that a patient will not recover immediately.
A recent study by King's College London, which is still awaiting peer review, examined more than 4,000 coronavirus patients in Sweden, the UK and the US asking them to record their symptoms on an app. About 20% said they felt better after four weeks, the threshold at which researchers mark a case of long-lasting COVID. At eight weeks, about 190 patients reported persistent symptoms. And at 12 weeks, almost 100 patients said they had not yet recovered.
The study found that patients who experienced more than five symptoms during the first week of their illness were significantly more likely to develop persistent COVID-19. That was so in all sex and age groups.
Researchers have also identified five symptoms that herald a persistent case more than others: fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, hoarse voice, and muscle or body aches. This could offer clues about the goals of future COVID-19 treatments.
"It is important that we use the knowledge we have gained from the first wave of the pandemic to reduce the long-term impact of the second," says Dr Claire Steves, the lead author of the study, in a statement. "Thanks to the diligent registration of our collaborators so far, this research could already pave the way for preventive and treatment strategies for COVID in the long term."
Nearly 98% of patients with persistent COVID in the study reported fatigue, while 91% reported headache.
"We know that fatigue is a huge component, so I'm very glad that your research has caught on," Natalie Lambert, an associate professor of Medicine at Indiana University who was not involved in the study, tells Business Insider.
Lambert is also studying symptom patterns among patients who have been with COVID for a long time. All of the roughly 1,500 long-distance travelers it surveyed in July said they had experienced fatigue at some point in their illness. About two-thirds said they had experienced muscle or body aches. The same amount said they had difficulty breathing, and about 58% said they had developed a headache.
The results of the King's College study, Lambert explains, coincide with his observations so far.
According to the King's College study, the best indicator of a long-term COVID case is age. About 22% of participants 70 years of age or older reported long-term symptoms, compared to 10% of people 18 to 49 years of age.
Participants with a higher body mass index (BMI) were also more likely to develop persistent COVID-19.
Although sex is not such a strong predictor for a prolonged COVID case, it has been found that women in the younger age groups were more likely to suffer this outcome than men. About 15% of women in the study had long-term symptoms compared to almost 10% of men.
This finding is unexpected, as men are, on average, more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 outcomes than women. Scientists have not determined exactly why, but studies have shown that women can develop a more robust T-cell reaction or a faster immune response to the virus. Other scientists have pointed out behavioral factors such as that men eat less nutritionally than women, are more likely to smoke cigarettes, or are more reluctant to wear masks or wash their hands.
However, one explanation for the surprising trend in long-term cases could simply be that more women than men recorded their symptoms on the app in the first place.
"I've had the same experience where many more women who have long-lasting symptoms participated in my survey than men by a huge margin," Lambert notes. "Is it because more women are experiencing long-term symptoms? Is it because women are more likely to take these surveys and share their health experiences? We won't really know until we have enough data on everyone."
It is important to note, he adds, that anyone is vulnerable to long-lasting symptoms.
"It can happen to absolutely anyone, no matter how healthy he was before," warns Lambert.
Surveys in which people are asked to report their own symptoms are imperfect, as people may have trouble remembering each symptom or may associate it with something other than the virus.
"With COVID, the symptoms are so numerous and so wide-ranging that sometimes people don't recognize it as something related to COVID until they're asked about it," Lambert explains.
But even imperfect data can be useful, he says, since very little is known about the long-term effects of the virus.
Most studies on coronavirus have focused on hospitalized patients, who may be more likely to develop certain symptoms, such as fever.
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