Samsung Electronics says it’s confident in meeting its tablet and handset sales targets this year, despite an intellectual property spat that has seen sales of its products blocked in parts of Europe and Australia.
Rival Apple has successfully blocked Samsung from selling its new tablets in Germany, and some smartphones in the Netherlands.
The firm’s Australia launch of its new Galaxy tablet has also been delayed, pending a local court ruling this week.
Analysts say another legal defeat could hit growth at Samsung’s fastest-growing business, and its ambitions to close the gap with Apple.
The runaway leader in the tablet market sold 14 million iPads in the first half, and is now aggressively pursuing the China market, with two back-to-back store openings in Shanghai and Hong Kong last week.
In contrast, Samsung is estimated to have sold about 7.5 million tablets for all of 2011, so far. The South Korean firm is aiming to sell five times as many tablets this year, and 300 million handsets.
Business ties between the two also complicate the intensifying battle, as Apple is Samsung’s largest customer.
Analysts say the longer-term challenge for Samsung is losing chip orders from Apple.
The iPad and iPhone maker bought $5.7 billion worth of chips and components from Samsung last year, but has been moving to diversify its suppliers to others, like Toshiba.
Since Apple fired the first salvo in April by suing Samsung in a California court, both have sued and counter-sued each other in nine countries over 20 cases.
They are scheduled to square off again next month in the United States, where a more significant U.S. court hearing over an injunction will take place.
Samsung shares rose sharply in Seoul, up as much as 3% amid broader market weakness.
Bottom line: Samsung Electronics says it’s confident in meeting its tablet and handset sales targets this year despite a spat with Apple.