Samsung Announces Profits, Sony Has New Smartphone

Samsung Electronics announced profits of more than $8 billion for the final quarter of 2012. Samsung's Japanese competitor Sony unveiled a water resistant smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with record profits for Samsung.

Samsung Electronics announced profits of more than $8 billion for the final quarter of 2012. That's a 90 percent increase from that same period last year. It's also the fifth consecutive quarter of record profits for Samsung.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The company's success is largely thanks to its Galaxy smartphone. That line of phone helped Samsung become the world's biggest phone maker surpassing Nokia last year.

MONTAGNE: Samsung's Japanese competitor Sony is also looking to smartphones, in an effort to turn around its flagging fortunes. This week at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, Sony unveiled an innovation useful for people who like to do their chatting and texting in the bathroom. That would be a water-resistant smartphone.

INSKEEP: You know, a protective plastic cover that seals the phone's various ports, meaning that if you should accidentally drop it in the tub or in the toilet, for that matter, or jump in the swimming pool with your phone in your pocket - not that I've ever done that, very often...

MONTAGNE: It would all be fine, huh?

INSKEEP: It would all be fine. Sony says the water-resistant smartphone can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes without damage.

MONTAGNE: And Sony thinks it's on to a winner, pointing out that a survey show one in 10 people have dropped their phone in the toilet at some point.

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