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Samsung eyes 15 percent rise in handset sales next year: report

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics aims to raise its global handset sales by 15 percent next year by boosting its smartphone sales, putting it in a closer race with bigger rival Nokia, a local newspaper said on Tuesday.

Samsung dethroned iPhone maker Apple Inc as the world's top smartphone vendor in July-September, thanks to brisk sales of its flagship Galaxy S smartphones running Google Inc's Android platform.

Samsung, the world's No.2 handset vendor, targets sales of 374 million handsets next year, up from 325 million units the company projected for this year, Korea Economic Daily reported citing industry officials.

Nokia is projected to see its handset sales shrink 5 percent to 399 million units next year, the report said, citing data from market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Out of the 374 million handsets, Samsung aims to sell 150 million units of smartphones next year, the report said.

A Samsung spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Nokia, the Finnish handset giant, is struggling to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung in the fast-growing smartphone segment despite its tie-up with Microsoft.

Its first Windows-based model, Lumia 800, has won little interest from consumers, with only 2 percent of Europeans in the market for a smartphone saying they would pick it, according to a survey by Exane BNP Paribas.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

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