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South Korea’s sales grow 35%, versus 33% of the U.S. firm, according to Strategy Analytics, Apple could launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ to compete in lesser market, says the company.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd could extend its lead over Apple Inc in global sales of smartphones this year thanks to a growth of 35%, helped by a wide range of products, told Reuters on Friday research firm Strategy Analytics.

Apple, to return on offense, could launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ smaller and cheaper next year for more market share by targeting demand users with smartphones of less importance, Strategy Analytics said.

“We expect Samsung extends its lead over Apple slightly this year due to its large portfolio of multiple products, “he said in an email to Reuters Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

Global shipments of smartphones will increase 27% to 875 million this year, slowing compared to previous torrid pace of 41% because growth is slowing in several major markets such as North America, China, the developed economies of Asia and Western Europe said Mawston.

It is estimated that South Korea’s Samsung Electronics sold 290 million smartphones in 2013, up from a projected 215 million for the past year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Meanwhile, sales of smartphones from Apple would reach 180 million this year, which is higher by 33% compared to 2012 and slightly below the 35% increase of its rival.

That scenario would give Samsung a 33% of the smartphone market in 2013, an upper portion estimated 31% last year. Apple would have 21%, compared with 20% in 2012.

Apple, the largest technology company by market value in the world, and Samsung Electronics, the most valuable market in Asia, have battled fiercely in the arena of mobile devices, which largely dominate over other rivals. Anyway, Samsung is also Apple provider.

Samsung may launch in April the Galaxy S IV, a new version of its smartphone flagship, the Galaxy Note and III and a number of new similar devices in the course of this year, according to recent media reports and analysts.

“Samsung appears in more segments and that should allow you to capture more volume than Apple (assuming that Apple will launch a new ‘iPhone Mini’ this year),” said Mawston.

Samsung Electronics, which was a laggard in the smartphone market, quickly overtook Apple as the smartphone maker world’s largest.