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Samsung Electronics has forecast record sales for the quarter to the end of December, powered by growing sales of its smartphones and the flat screens it makes for mobile devices, including those for products sold by Apple.
It has estimated an operating profit of 8.8 trillion won ($8.3 billion; £5.1billion) for the quarter, a 90% jump from the same period a year earlier.
That would make it the fifth quarter in a row of record profits for Samsung. The success of its Galaxy smartphones helped Samsung overtake Nokia as the world's biggest phone maker last year.
The run of consecutive record quarters could end in the January-to-March period because of weaker seasonal demand. But a strong line of new smartphones -- the biggest earner for Samsung, and improving chip prices have eased concerns that earnings growth could slow this year.
Samsung has outpaced Apple -- its biggest rival and also its biggest customer -- with sales momentum bolstered by its Galaxy Note II phone-tablet hybrid in the fourth quarter. IPhone 5 sales were a little below expectations, analysts said.
While Apple introduced just a single new smartphone last year globally, Samsung bombarded the market with 37 variants adjusted to regional and consumer tastes, including both high-end and low-end smartphone models.
By comparison, HTC of Taiwan released 18 models, Nokia of Finland released nine and LG Electronics of South Korea introduced 24.
Samsung is expected to increase its smartphone sales by more than a third this year, and widen its lead over Apple as it offers a broader range of mobile devices. Forecasters have estimated Samsung will sell 290 million smartphones this year, up from a projected 215 million in 2012.
For more information on the mobile phone market, see the latest research: Mobile Phone Market
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