After a week of poor financial results in the technology sector, the latest huge company to find itself in difficulties is, rather surprisingly, Samsung.

The South Korean chip and phone giant announced the first quarterly loss in its history on Friday, posting last-quarter numbers that are 937 billion Won (£494 million) in the red.

Slump in sales

The world's biggest maker of memory chips had never before experienced a loss of any kind, so the results shocked analysts, who had predicted an easier time for the firm.

A large part of the loss comes from the slump in flash memory chips, which fell 42 per cent in the same quarter of 2008. Nevertheless, sales also slid by 18 per cent, leaving Samsung contemplating some Sony-style restructuring.