Over at Samsung headquarters meanwhile, the company reported preliminary operating profit of 9.9 trillion won ($8.7 billion) for the first quarter of 2017, a jump of nearly 50% from a year ago. Revenue rose 0.4 per cent to 50 trillion won, just ahead of analysts' forecasts.
The hefty profits highlight Samsung's resilience after the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7 smartphone a year ago. The industry believes the memory chip market since the latter half of previous year has entered a new super cycle, a period of an upturn as the result of replacements with high-performance memory in PCs and strong demand for mobile devices coupled with blossoming in aggressive investments from the makers.
While South Korean tech juggernaut Samsung's future may rest on the success of its sparkly new Galaxy S8 smartphone, compatriot LG announced on Friday that its estimated first-quarter operating profit rose 82 per cent to its highest in almost eight years. Not only are they seeing success in their own Exynos SoC, but continued business from Qualcomm for the upcoming Snapdragon 835 SoC has also added to this increase in profits. Previously, the smartphone business was the company's main contributor.
"We are very positive about the new phone".
Lee's defense lawyers however said the payments to Choi were charitable contributions for sports and culture development that Samsung was obliged to make under pressure from officials, and not bribes.
Samsung's sales are reported to account for up to one-fifth of South Korea's GDP. Samsung smartphone sales fell in the third quarter of 2016 by 14.2 percent year over year, making it the company's worst performance ever.
The scandal involves Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee and several top executives accused of bribery and embezzlement. (STAND UP) Lee was indicted at the end of February, and by law the district court must rule on the case by the end of May.