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(LEAD) Galaxy S3 sales to top 30 million: Samsung
By Lee Minji
SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Yonhap) -- Sales of Samsung Electronics Co.'s flagship Galaxy S3 smartphones are likely to surpass 30 million units this year, a company official said Wednesday.

   "The Galaxy S3 is expected to sell more than 30 million units within this year," Samsung's IT and mobile unit chief Shin Jong-kyun told reporters at the company's Seoul office.

   Shin's remarks come less than a week after the South Korean tech behemoth announced Galaxy S3 sales hit the 20-million milestone since its release in late May.

   The Samsung official also pinned hopes on robust sales of the Galaxy Note 2, the company's latest mobile gadget unveiled ahead of the IFA trade show late last month.

   Shin said sales of the Galaxy Note 2 phablet are likely to be more than two times its previous model, the Galaxy Note 1, which has sold more than 10 million units. A phablet is a hybrid of smartphone and a tablet computer.

   The Galaxy Note 2 will be released in October as scheduled, the official said, denying rumors Samsung may move up the release date ahead of the iPhone 5 launch in South Korea.

   Samsung and Apple Inc. are locked in a heated rivalry to dominate the US$219 billion global smartphone market. The two companies are facing off in courtrooms across four continents, with a Mannheim, Germany court hearing and a preliminary ruling by the U.S. trade watchdog scheduled for Friday (local time).

   The two top smartphone makers are bringing their fight to the market with new product releases. Following Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 unpack in late August, Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5 in San Fransisco later in the day. The latest iPhone is expected to hit local shelves in October following a certification process with South Korea's communications watchdog.

   iPhone 5 sales may reach up to 10 million units by the end of September, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. In October 2011, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S devices in the first three-day weekend the gadget went on sale.

   mil@yna.co.kr
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