(Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co plans to sell more than 40 million smartphones worldwide in 2011, double the projection for the current year, the Nikkei business daily reported citing a senior official at the South Korean company.
Shin Jong-kyun, head of Samsung's mobile division, told reporters in Seoul that the firm expects to sell more than 20 million smartphones this year, up from the 18 million units eyed at the beginning of the year, the paper said.
The targets pit Samsung, which supplies microprocessors for Apple Inc's iPhone 4 and iPad, in direct competition with its business partner, the business newspaper said.
The deals are believed to have propped up Samsung's earnings, spurring speculation that it would avoid going head-to-head with Apple, the Nikkei said.
To achieve its target, Samsung will lean primarily on the Galaxy S smartphone, which it offers in Japan through mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc, the daily said.
Separately, Samsung said it aims to sell 1 million units of its Galaxy Tab tablet device, which runs on Google Inc's Android operating system, this year, the Nikkei said.
Shin also said Samsung is preparing to release a wide array of tablets, hinting that the firm will soon offer products with 10-inch screens to compete with Apple's iPad, the daily reported.
(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)