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Samsung's smartphone shipments forecast to top 60 mln in Q4
By Kim Young-gyo
HONG KONG, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s smartphone shipments will likely exceed 60 million units in the fourth quarter of this year, proving its prowess in the world's mobile phone market despite its ongoing patent war with Apple Inc., an investment bank said Wednesday.

   UBS estimated that Samsung Electronics will sell 61.5 million units of smartphones in the October-December period, up 5 percent from an estimated 58 million in the previous quarter. The number could reach as high as 63 million depending on the sell-through, or the volume that is actually sold to consumers.

   The key contributor to the growth will be the Galaxy Note 2, an hybrid form of a smartphone and a tablet PC, released in late September, it said.

   "The Galaxy Note 2 has shipped 3 million units in its first five weeks of sales, with sell-through strong in Asia and Europe, and the U.S. gathering pace post-launch," said Nicolas Gaudois, an analyst at UBS. "We hence forecast 7 million Galaxy Note 2, compared to our initial expectation of 5 million for the fourth quarter."

   Solid sales of the Galaxy Note 2 suggest the impact of Apple's latest iPhone 5 may be less than expected, he said.

   The flagship Galaxy S3, which hit the market in late May, continues to show strong performance, with more than 5.5 million units sold in October alone, the Swiss bank said.

   "We see a limited ramp-down, if any at all, for the Galaxy S3, and we feel comfortable with our 15 million estimate for the fourth quarter of 2012," Gaudois said.

   Samsung and Apple, who are both rivals and partners in the mobile business, have been involved in a dogged war over design and technology patent suits in four continents since April 2011.

   Samsung Electronics overtook Apple as the world's top smartphone maker in the first quarter of this year, when its sales reached 42.2 million units, compared to the latter's 35.1 million units.

   ygkim@yna.co.kr
(END)
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