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Samsung heir is paying special attention to the company’s IM division

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Last updated: July 13th, 2018 at 11:43 UTC+02:00

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and the conglomerate's heir apparent Lee Jae-yong had an eventful 2017. He landed in jail on charges of bribery and corruption. A Seoul court sentenced him to five years in prison after he was found guilty. He walked free earlier this year when his appeal was allowed by the Seoul High Court and his jail term suspended. Lee Jae-yong has since returned to his duties at Samsung.

A new report out of South Korea claims that Samsung's heir apparent is paying special attention to the company's IT & Mobile Communications division. The smartphone business comes under this division. He's reportedly taking a special interest in any and all matters.

Smartphone division gets special attention

He traveled to China a couple of months ago where he met CEOs of some of Samsung's biggest Chinese rivals such as Huawei and Xiaomi. Lee Jae-yong also visited local smartphone stores in Shenzhen to examine competitors' products.

It was then reported that a change was made in the Galaxy Note 9's design based on the heir's direction. The thickness of the glass display was reportedly reduced by 0.5mm to improve how the Galaxy Note 9 feels in the hand. Lee Jae-yong reportedly ordered the change after evaluating the look and feel of competitors' products. Local media reports suggested that this was the first time that Samsung's IM division had made a change in the design this close to launch. The order to do this could certainly come from the very top.

The Samsung heir was also present when the company announced the completion of its new smartphone factory in Noida, India earlier this week. It's the world's largest smartphone factory based on production capacity. He reportedly sees a possibility of making bigger changes in the IM division to improve the prospects of this business.

Samsung may be widely known for its smartphones but the fact remains that they haven't been driving the company's revenues. The semiconductor division remains the company's cash cow while the IM division's profits have reportedly dropped by 43 percent this quarter compared to the same period last year.

Lee Jae-yong is now expected to make bold decisions to achieve mid- to long-term success for the smartphone division compared to short-term results. This may result in the launch of Samsung's long-rumored foldable smartphone next year.

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