SEOUL - Samsung Electronics said last week that global sales of its large Galaxy Note II smartphone had topped three million since its debut in September, as arch rival Apple's iPad mini hit stores.
The South Korean electronics giant said sales of the gadget -- sold in some 100 countries -- grew far faster than its predecessor and would likely be more than three times those of the Galaxy Note in the first three months after launch.
Samsung -- the world's top smartphone maker -- sold about two million Galaxy Note phones in the three months after its debut last November.
Galaxy Note II -- about 15.1 centimetres long (5.9 inches) and 8 centimetres wide -- is slightly bigger than the firm's flagship smartphone Galaxy S series and comes with a stylus to write notes or draw on the screen.
"It means the new product category we pioneered has successfully established itself among global consumers at last," the firm said in a statement, adding sales in the US, Europe and Asia were growing rapidly.
Samsung's rival Apple launched its iPad Mini in Asia including South Korea, Japan and Australia, entering the market for mobile devices sized somewhere between smartphones and tablet PCs.
The iPad Mini's touchscreen measures 7.9 inches (20 centimetres) diagonally compared to 9.7 inches on the original iPad.
The two technology giants have been embroiled in a long-running patent battle in 10 countries, including the United States and Germany, with the pair accusing each other of stealing designs and technology.
In August Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1.05bn in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its Galaxy S smartphones, but a Japanese court later rejected Apple's claim that Samsung stole its technology.
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