SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Wednesday that it has sold more than 5 million Galaxy S smartphone handsets since the June launch, putting the smartphone laggard on track to challenge bigger rivals such as Apple Inc.
The world’s No.2 mobile phone maker also introduced a new smartphone called Wave II, running its own “bada” operating system and aimed at the mid-range market segment.
A poor lineup of smartphones has been a weak point for Samsung as consumers increasingly move into the high-end segment that Apple jump-started with the iPhone in 2007.
Galaxy S, Samsung’s answer to the iPhone, is powered by Google’s Android operating system and sold through about 100 carriers worldwide, including four major U.S. telecommunications operators.
The company said it expected strong sales for the Galaxy S to help its 2010 smartphone sales reach 25 million units, lifting it to fourth position in the global smartphone rankings -- behind Nokia, Research in Motion Ltd and Apple.
The Galaxy S is Samsung’s best-selling smartphone model, almost matching total smartphone sales last year. Samsung said it aimed to sell another 5 million Galaxy S handsets in the current quarter.
“The target sounds achievable as Samsung has plenty of cards to play, including price cuts and extending offerings to a wider group of carriers,” said Seo Won-seok, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. “The only risk will be a shortage of key components such as high-quality display screens.”
Samsung said in a separate statement that the bada-based Wave II, which has a 3.7 inch LCD screen, a five-megapixel camera and supports video recording, would first go on sale in November in France.
Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Chris Lewis