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Samsung predicts galactic profits

Huge smartphone sales drive third quarter earnings

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Samsung Electronics said its third quarter profits should be up 12 per cent on the previous quarter, as its Galaxy line-up continues to haul in tonnes of won – despite its ongoing disputes with Apple.

The Korean group pegged its approximate consolidated operating profit at $3.5bn (4.2 trillion won), up from $3.1bn (3.75 trillion won) in the second quarter of this year. Detailed earnings for the period of July to September will be released later in the month.

At the end of September, Samsung reported that it had sold 10 million Galaxy SII smartphones worldwide, doubling from five million in just eight weeks.

The numbers tallied with analysts' research showing the meteoric rise of Samsung in the smartphone market.

In July, beancounters Strategy Analytics said Samsung had overtaken Nokia to become the world's second-largest smartphone vendor.

"Samsung’s shipments grew a huge 520 per cent annually... Samsung’s Galaxy portfolio has proven popular, especially the high-tier S II Android model," director Neil Mawston said at the time.

In the quarter, Apple shipped 20.3 million units, compared to Samsung's 19.2 million units, giving the fruity firm 18.5 per cent of the market to the Korean chaebol's 17.5 per cent.

The numbers are not lost on either company, as they have taken their battle for market share into the patent courts with suits and counter-suits over smartphones and fondleslabs all over the world.

Both firms are currently making the most of the preliminary injunction tactic, where the one tries to get the other's products banned pending court decisions on IP infringement.

Apple has already succeeded on some lines in Germany and the Netherlands, and is awaiting a decision in Australian court, while Samsung announced its intention to seek injunctions on the iPhone 4S in France and Italy almost as soon as it was announced. ®

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