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Samsung Electronics Co. – the world’s largest handset maker has unveiled a smaller version of its flagship Galaxy SIII smartphones, which has received huge success worldwide. The latest galaxy range of smartphones is expected to bring stiff competition for Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPhone 5. However, the price and launch date are yet to be declared by the company.

Samsung SIII Mini is powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor along with 8/16 GB internal storage options and possesses a 5MP camera instead of an 8MP camera in its bigger siblings. The most notable feature of the phone is that it has a smaller 4-inch super AMOLED screen instead of a 4.8 inch screen of its predecessor and runs on Google Inc.’s latest Android offering Jelly Bean.

On September 12, this year, Apple, the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, launched iPhone 5 with a 4-inch screen instead of a 3.5 inch screen in its bigger version. Reducing its screen size is a strategic decision by Samsung to make it a much more handy set thereby putting it in direct competition with Apple’s latest offering as these two are the biggest smartphone players in the U.S.

According to research firm IDC at the end of the second quarter of 2012, Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones and has a market share of 32.6% as compared to Apple’s 26 million shipments with a market share of 16.9%. Nokia Corporation (NOK - Analyst Report), which is facing market share slide due to increased completion from iPhone and other Android-based smartphone manufacturers, comes at a distant third position with a market share of 6.6%.

This is the first real attempt by the South Korean giant to compete with Apple’s iPhone 5 after its much-hyped launch. We believe that Samsung which has recently lost a crucial patent battle to Apple could price the SIII Mini attractively it could really put the tech giant into some discomfort. However, unlike iPhone 5, SIII Mini doesn’t support LTE, which could be a major downside for the phone as the data hungry customers nowadays expect fastest network on premium smartphones.

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