The Galaxy S4, one of the most highly anticipated smartphones of the year, was rolled out in South Korea on Friday for the first time in the world to take on Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5 and other rival smartphones.
Samsung Electronics said earlier it planned to roll out the Galaxy S4 in the second quarter via 327 operators in 155 countries, including key mobile operators such as AT&T, Vodafone and Telefonica, from Saturday, hoping that it would further help expand its presence in the global smartphone market.
Samsung, also the world's largest maker of computer memory chips, said last week net profit came to 7.15 trillion won (US$6.44 billion) in the January-March period, a huge jump of 42 percent from the 5.05 trillion won a year earlier, buoyed by increased shipments of high-end smartphones such as the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.
Samsung's smartphone shipments reached a record 69.4 million units in the first quarter, compared with 63 million in the previous quarter, according to research firm Strategic Analysis Inc.
The South Korean smartphone maker continued to dominate the global smartphone market in terms of market share, with its stake in the first three months of the year standing at 33.1 percent, slightly down from a record high of 33.9 percent in the third quarter of last year, according to the researcher.
On the other hand, Apple saw its smartphone shipments sink to 37.4 million in the first quarter from 47.8 million the previous quarter, with its market share falling to 17.9 percent from 22 percent over the cited period, it said.