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Moving the Galaxy S7 launch up helped Samsung's profits

Samsung's phone sales are higher than they've been in nearly two years.

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Samsung's Galaxy phones drove rapidly growing profits until sales peaked a couple of years ago, but the company just reported its Q1 2016 operating profit is up 12 percent from 2015. Coming at the same time as Apple faced its first revenue drop in a decade, Samsung is getting a boost from releasing its Galaxy S7 earlier in the year than usual. Even a "one time royalty expense" didn't make a noticeable dent in the segment's performance, which is the highest it's been since the second quarter of 2014.

Of course, there's more than just timing at play, as Samsung says shipments of the S7 and S7 Edge are outpacing their predecessors. It's also pushing more high-end Ultra HD televisions, and expects events like the Olympics to drive more sales later this year. The only bad news is that it sees a "softening" smartphone market for the rest of the year and less demand for tablets, but for now at least, things are going in the right direction.

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