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Samsung aims to nearly double smartphone sales in 2012

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics' mobile chief said it aimed to nearly double its smartphone sales in 2012 from last year, stepping up its battle with arch rival Apple Inc.

JK Shin, president and head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business, made the comment to reporters ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. His remarks were later confirmed by a company spokesman.

Samsung topped global smartphone sales rankings last year, more than quadrupling smartphone sales to 97.4 million from 2010, according to data from Strategy Analytics. Apple finished a close second, with sales of 93 million smartphones.

Shin also said Samsung aimed to boost its total handset sales to 380 million this year, which would mark 16 percent sales growth for the world's No.2 handset maker.

Samsung Electronics last year sold 327.4 million handsets, up from 280.2 million in 2010, according to Strategy Analytics.

Shares in Samsung Electronics moved in line with the broader market on Monday, down 1.2 percent as of 0149 GMT.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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