By Lee Youkyung
SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. will release its flagship Galaxy S2 smartphone in the U.S. market next month, the chief of its mobile business division said Wednesday, a move that will likely pit the product against the forthcoming iPhone.
"We expect to release the Galaxy S2 in the U.S. market sometime in August," Shin Jong-kyun, president of Samsung's mobile business and digital imaging, told reporters at a media briefing.
In South Korea, Samsung launched the Galaxy S2, a faster, thinner and lighter version of its Galaxy S smartphone in April. The model, later released in Japan and Europe, recorded sales of 3 million units in less than two months of its debut.
Despite strong sales at home and in other regions, the company had not announced its plan for releasing the Galaxy S2 in the U.S., raising speculations that the U.S. launch of the upgraded smartphone would be delayed.
The company launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a larger tablet computer, in the U.S. market last month.
Shin said in a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency that the company's smartphone sales are expected to top 60 million this year, beating its annual target, thanks to the latest Android-based smartphones and other low to mid-range smartphones.
Samsung, however, is expected to face uphill competition as its rival Apple is widely expected to release a new version of the long-awaited iPhone in September.
Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the April-June quarter, its earnings statement said earlier in the day. Analysts at Nomura Securities Co. and Shinyoung Securities Co. estimated that Samsung sold 19.5 million smartphones in the last quarter.
Samsung is scheduled to disclose its second-quarter earnings on July 29.