Unfazed by its ongoing patent battle with Apple, Samsung Electronics will start selling next month a line of smartphones that run the latest version of Google's Android mobile operating system.
Samsung's top-of-the-line Galaxy Nexus smartphone was unveiled yesterday at a global launch in Hong Kong with a promise that it will bolster the lead in global sales of Android-based handsets against arch-rival Apple's popular iPhone.
'Our close alliance with Google has played a major role in Samsung becoming the number one Android smartphone provider,' said Shin Jong-kyun, the president of Samsung's mobile communications business.
Shin said the Galaxy Nexus 'will be our strategic product for the year-end holiday season as [Apple's] iPhone 4S just came into the market'.
Samsung had delayed the new product launch, which was supposed to be held in California last week, out of respect for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died on October 5.
Apple and Samsung are embroiled in a global legal dispute over smartphone and tablet patents.
The new Galaxy Nexus will be available in two versions: one for high-speed 4G networks based on the standard called long-term evolution (LTE) and another for 3G networks on the evolved high-speed packet access (HSPA+) standard.
LTE mobile networks can theoretically provide peak internet access speeds of up to 100 megabits per second.
The Galaxy Nexus 3G connectivity supports HSPA+ networks that offer up to 21Mbps connection, which is what 3G operators already deliver in Hong Kong.
Google hopes Android adoption by mainland smartphone makers would expand as developers make use of its more advanced features, such as face-recognition security.
Alan Lau, a partner at McKinsey, said a recent survey found 50 per cent of basic handset users on the mainland planned to buy a smartphone in six months.