The numbers for Samsung’s first quarter of 2012 are in and as it expected they are up sharply over the same period from 2011. After predicting profits of 5.8 trillion won it managed to top that, notching an operating profit of 5.85 trillion won ($5.16 billion US) for the quarter, a 98 percent gain over a year ago. Phones accounted for 73 percent of the profit, contributing 4.27 trillion won to the bottom line. As the world awaits the debut of what we assume will be the Samsung Galaxy S III May 3rd powered by its Exynos 4 Quad CPU, there’s clearly no shortage of demand for the Galaxy S II and Note. Sales of chips and TVs decreased from last quarter, but like its competitor LG, growing sales of high res tablet panels (we wonder which one that might be), 3DTVs and OLEDs increased profitability. Specifically, the high end 7000/8000 series of HDTVs increased sales by 50 percent from last year, while the company plans to focus on “region-specific” LED models for emerging markets, and high end (and high priced) flat-panels for developed markets.
We’re listening in to the earnings call at the moment, and we’ll let you know if there’s any other details that come out of what is mostly boring numbers talk. So far it’s all pretty businessy, although in response to a question executives did confirm that they expect the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note to occupy different segments in terms of size. So there you have it — the Galaxy S III will (shockingly) not have a 5.3-inch screen. Also, it predictably is trying to continue the trend of global launches, although that hardly puts to rest the issue of how long we may end up waiting for carrier-specific versions here in the US. Check out the rest of Samsung’s details in a press release and a few slides from the report embedded after the break.