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Samsung profits tumble for first time in two years

The South Korean phone-maker posted record profits overall, but had a weak end to 2013.

Samsung's quarterly profits have dropped for the first time in two years, as the South Korean tech giant says it expects smart phone competition to intensify.

Samsung made roughly £4bn in the October-to-December period, the BBC reports. That's a huge stack o' cash, but is 11 per cent less than the company earned in the August-through-October time frame. If you fancy poring over the financial announcement yourself, here's a link to a .PDF with all Samsung's facts and figures.

Samsung says it paid out a special bonus to employees during the lower-profit three months, which partly accounts for the drop in earnings. The Galaxy S4-maker also pointed to South Korean currency fluctuations as a possible reason for the lack of cash. Overall Samsung had a good year, posting record profits for 2013.

Samsung has been riding high for several years off the back of its popular line of Galaxy smart phones, which are powered by the Android operating system.

Samsung says competition in its handset business will "intensify" in 2014, also predicting "intensified price competition" in the world of tablets.

Cheaper devices like the Nexus 5 smart phone or Tesco Hudl have given shoppers the chance to snap up a bargain, but will be putting pressure on Samsung to deliver tempting rival gadgets at equally appealing prices.

Galaxy S5 looming

Samsung's next big product is likely to be the longed-for Galaxy S5 smart phone, which is tipped to make its debut on 23 February alongside a new version of the company's hilariously-named TouchWiz interface.

Will the Galaxy S5 keep Samsung on top, or is there another tech company you think will rise to prominence? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.