The new S4, which sports a host of software-enabled features, is seen as stealing a head-start on what's widely expected to be an upgraded iPhone later this year. But the Galaxy phone has drawn mixed reviews so far.
Profit from Samsung's mobile division jumped 56 per cent to a record 6.51 trillion won in the first quarter, accounting for nearly three quarters of the firm's entire profit, the company said on Friday, before the stock market open.
Samsung, which doesn't provide smartphone sales figures, likely sold 68-70 million smartphones in the quarter ended March, up from 63 million in the previous quarter, according to five analysts.
By contrast, second-ranked Apple said on Tuesday it shipped 37.4 million iPhones in the March quarter, up from 35.1 million a year ago, but down sharply from 47.8 million in the previous quarter.
Shares in Samsung, valued at around $US215 billion, have risen 2 per cent in the past three months, beating a 21 per cent decline in Apple and a 1 per cent drop in the wider market.
Samsung sold a record 69.4 million smartphones in the first quarter, boosting its market share to an all-time high of 33.1 per cent, data from research firm Strategy Analytics showed on Friday.
Apple, which sold 37.4 million iPhones in the March quarter, took 17.9 per cent of the market, it said.
LG grew to the third biggest on 10.3 million unit shipments, followed by China's Huawei.
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