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S.Korea's Samsung unveils smartphone to take on iPhone

South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the world's second largest handset maker, on Tuesday unveiled a new smartphone in its home market in hopes of rivalling Apple's iPhone.

Samsung said its Galaxy S model, announced as the new iPhone 4 was unveiled in the United States, would better serve South Koreans through localised applications.

It said the new model would be available to South Korean customers later this month, one month ahead of the local release of the latest iPhone, after making a successful debut in global markets.

Samsung said the Galaxy S, which runs on Google's open-source Android software, went on sale in Europe last week and received one million pre-orders. It said it had deals to supply the handset to over 100 global mobile operators.

The model was first showcased at a US trade fair in March.

Samsung has said it will base more than 50 percent of its smartphones on Android, which advocates say is a more attractive long-term proposition for developers than Apple's closed operating system.

Samsung has more than 20 percent of the global market for mobile phones, second only to Finland's Nokia, but lags behind in the fast-growing smartphone segment even on its home turf.

Apple has sold more than 700,000 iPhones six months after it belatedly went on sale in South Korea, after a delay caused by government concerns that its automatic locating services would breach privacy legislation.

Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 and has sold more than 50 million worldwide.