Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Samsung eyes 10 million mark for Galaxy S3 phone

BITE OUT OF APPLE:The smartphone is doing well in emerging markets as the firm tries to take market share from the iPhone in the wake of patent victories

AFP, SEOUL and CHICAGO

South Korean models hold Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S3, during its unveiling for the domestic market in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday.

Photo: AFP / SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker, said yesterday it expected to have sold 10 million of its newest Galaxy S3 model by the end of next month, two months after its launch.

J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile communications division, said robust sales of the model would help Samsung’s mobile business post a second-quarter profit bigger than the first three months.

“We’re getting more positive reviews for Galaxy S3 than the previous Galaxy S1 and S2 since the release in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia beginning May 29,” Shin said at an event to mark the smartphone’s domestic release yesterday.

He estimated that global sales of the new smartphone — currently available in 147 countries — would surpass 10 million next month, including about a million to be sold at home.

“We’re doing fairly well in emerging-economy markets ... I think our second-quarter earnings will be better than the first quarter’s, despite the difficult economic situation in Europe,” Shin said.

The company, the world’s biggest technology firm by revenue, posted a record net profit for all its divisions of 5.05 trillion won (US$4.44 billion) in the first quarter, thanks largely to strong smartphone sales.

The third version of the Galaxy S series offers face-recognition technology and improved voice-activated controls as well as a more powerful processor that lets users watch video and write e-mails simultaneously.

Samsung shipped 44.5 million smartphones in the first quarter, exceeding the 35.1 million of US arch-rival Apple, market researcher Strategy Analytics reported in April.

Samsung, embroiled in patent lawsuits in 10 nations with Apple, is pinning its hopes on the S3 to further erode its rival’s market share before the expected new version of Apple’s iPhone 5 this year. In a rare victory for the South Korean firm, a Dutch court last week ruled in favor of Samsung and ordered the US giant to pay unspecified damages for patent infringement.

Meanwhile, a US judge has dismissed lawsuits lodged by Apple and Motorola against each other for copyright infringement.

“To suggest that [Apple] has suffered loss of market share, brand recognition or customer goodwill as a result of Motorola’s alleged infringement of the patent claims still in play in this case is wild conjecture,” Judge Richard Posner wrote in a 38-page ruling issued from a US federal appeals court in Chicago.

“The parties have failed to present enough evidence to create a triable issue,” added the judge, who also threw out a similar suit against Apple by Motorola Mobility unit, now a Google subsidiary.

The cross-firing complaints were filed in October 2010.

Apple — the manufacturer behind the iPhone — accused Motorola of violating patents related to multifunction smartphones, particularly with regard to touchscreen technology.

Motorola’s suit addressed Apple’s iPhone, the iPad tablet, iPod Touch and select computers of violating 18 patents, targeting in particular the Apple Store, an application vendor, and the service MobileMe, which allows Apple product users to synchronize calendars, address books, e-mail and more across various gadgets.

Posner’s decision is likely to end similar suits the companies have lodged against each other in other US courts, but the legal battle continues in various other countries.

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