Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Wednesday that it has sold more than 5 million Galaxy S smartphone handsets since the June launch, putting the smartphone laggard on track to challenge bigger rivals such as Apple Inc. A weak lineup of smartphones has one of the weakest points for Samsung, the world's No 2 handset maker, as consumers increasingly move into the high-end segment that Apple jump-started with the iPhone in 2007.

Galaxy S, Samsung's answer to the iPhone, is powered by Google's Android operating system and sold through about 100 carriers worldwide, including four major US telecommunications operators. The South Korean company expects strong sales for the Galaxy S to help its 2010 smartphone sales reach 25 million units, lifting it to fourth position in the global smartphone rankings – behind Nokia, Research in Motion Ltd and Apple.

The Galaxy S is Samsung's best-selling smartphone model, almost matching total smartphone sales last year.

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