Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top smartphone maker, said Thursday global sales of its Galaxy S3 smartphones have surpassed the 20 million mark since its release in late May.
The milestone comes three times and six times faster than the Galaxy S and the Galaxy S2 phones, Samsung said in a press release, referring to the earlier models in the Galaxy S line-up that have together sold more than 50 million units since June 2010.
Samsung said sales in Europe topped other regions with 6 million, while Asia and U.S. sales followed with 4.5 million and 4 million.
Sales in Korea, Samsung's home turf, reached 2.5 million.
The top smartphone maker said it plans to keep up robust sales by adding three new color options to the current blue and white versions.
The latest milestone comes ahead of archrival Apple Inc.'s widely-anticipated iPhone 5 launch next week. The gadget, which is expected to contend the Galaxy S3, is expected to be unveiled at a San Fransisco press event on Wednesday.
The new iPhone release has been grabbing attention as an event that will take the courtroom fights between the two giants to the market. Samsung and Apple are locked in patent rows in nine countries as they vie for dominance in the $219 billion smartphone market.
While Samsung's Galaxy S3 sales unseated Apple's iPhone 4S in August as the best-selling smartphone in the U.S., analysts project the new iPhone may reverse this trend, as consumers who have been delaying phone purchases return to the market.
The Cupertino, California company may sell up to 10 million iPhone 5 devices in the first week, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who was quoted in a CNET report. In October 2011, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units during three days after its release.
Some analysts, however, expect heightened market competition to stall Apple's iPhone 5 rally.
Handset makers have been rushing to release gadgets packed with the latest features in efforts to capture consumers amid the iPhone 5 launch. On Wednesday, Nokia and Motorola held separate press events to showcase new smartphones.
In South Korea, LG Electronics Inc. is eying to reclaim its market clout with the Optimus G device, also dubbed the "chairman" phone due to LG Chairman Koo Bon-moo's involvement with the model. (Yonhap)