Samsung Meets Target for Galaxy as It Takes on Apple

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s second-largest maker of wireless handsets, said it met a sales target for its most popular smartphone as the company seeks to narrow the gap with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

Samsung sold 10 million units of the Galaxy S model in 2010 after introducing the device in June, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The Suwon, South Korea-based phonemaker aims to double sales of smartphones this year as more customers use the device to make video calls, read electronic books and use social networking sites.

Introducing the Galaxy, which uses Google Inc.’s Android software, helped Samsung boost third-quarter profit at its phone-making division by 20 percent. Still, Cupertino, California-based Apple outsold Samsung by selling 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter ended in September.

“For the time being, Apple’s presence in the smartphone market will remain solid,” said Young Park, a Seoul-based analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co. “As time goes on, based on their brand power and their relationship with telecommunication companies, their numbers should be increasing steadily,” Park said about Samsung phones.

Samsung shares rose 1 percent to 958,000 won at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Seoul.

Samsung was the fourth behind Nokia, Apple and Research in Motion Ltd. in global smartphone sales in the third quarter, according to IDC.

The Korean company will probably ship 61 million smartphones this year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report on Dec. 13.

Google and Samsung introduced the Nexus S, the first smartphone to use a new version of the Android operating system, last month. The Nexus S is equipped with front- and rear- facing cameras and near-field communication, a technology that lets people use their phones to pay for goods wirelessly.

Samsung will this week announce preliminary earnings for the fourth quarter.