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Samsung targets Apple iPhone, wants top spot back

South Korean technology giant Samsung Electronics said on Monday that it hoped to regain its number one spot by value in the French mobile phone handset market from Apple by September this year. Samsung remains first in terms of volume, taking 39 percent of the market with 4.5 million phones sold, David Eberle, the head of Samsung's French operations, told AFP.

However, with the boom in smartphones, which allow users to connect to the Internet while on the move, Apple's iconic iPhone has helped it to top spot in terms of value, with 26 percent to Samsung's 25 percent.

From 2006 to 2009, Samsung led the market on both volume and value measures, but the company slipped behind in smartphones and in February it accordingly announced it would introduce some 15 new models this year alone to make up lost ground.

Market research house Gfk says one in every four mobile phones now sold in France is a smartphone.

Samsung last month launched smartphones using its own operating system and this week starts selling its Galaxy S model, which uses Google's Android operating system in a direct challenge to the iPhone.

"For the first time, we are offering a real alternative to Apple's (latest) iPhone 4 model," Eberle said, adding that the company wants to get back its full number one spot "between now and September."