Samsung Electronics' decision to introduce its new flagship phone, the Galaxy S IV, on Thursday in the U.S. signals its hope to topple Apple's iPhone in its home market, industry observers say. Analysts predict the phone will feature a speedier processor, improved camera and 5-inch AMOLED display, along with a more efficient battery. Separately, Samsung is riding a wave of global momentum: The company tripled its Chinese smartphone sales last year to reach a nearly 18% market share, tops in the country, according to the Strategy Analytics research firm.

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