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Goldman Sachs lauds Samsung's new smartphone

Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest smartphone will be a "worthy" successor to its flagship smartphone series due to improvements in both hardware and software, Goldman Sachs said Friday.

Samsung Electronics unveiled its Galaxy S III at an event in London Thursday, launching the latest version of its Galaxy S smartphone series. The company will start selling the product in 145 countries later this month.

"Today's launch event gives us greater confidence that Samsung Electronics will be able to ship 51.1 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2012, up 15.1 percent on-quarter, and 214 million for 2012, up 123 percent on-year, and maintain a divisional operating margin in the high-teen range," said Michael Bang, an analyst for Goldman Sachs.

The Goldman Sachs analyst said Samsung's decision to offer options of either 32 gigabytes or 64 gigabytes of storage for the Galaxy S III was a positive move against rival smartphone maker Apple Inc.

Apple kept its NAND flash storage capped at 32 gigabytes in its latest iPhone and iPad launches.

Bang said software changes in the Galaxy S III marked the greatest improvement over previous Galaxy S smartphones. Samsung introduced new functions in the new phone, including Smart Stay, S Voice, Direct Call and AllShare Cast.

Last quarter, Samsung Electronics saw its earnings surge 81.3 percent from a year earlier, fueled by strong sales of the Galaxy series smartphones.

It also became the world's top mobile maker in the same quarter, replacing Nokia Corp., according to market researcher IHS iSuppli. Samsung shipped 92 million handsets during the first three months of this year.

(Yonhap News)

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