Samsung, LG in smartphone duel

Korean tech behemoths Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are gearing up for another battle as they prepare to launch their new flagship smartphones this month.

Samsung, which has been competing with California-based Apple for leadership in the world's smartphone market, will launch its new marquee models, the Galaxy S6 and S5 Edge, on Friday in Seoul.

Mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun will deliver a keynote speech at a media session Thursday ― his first appearance at a Seoul event since the 2012 launch of the Galaxy Note 2.

Shin previously expressed his confidence about the new products at their unveiling at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in March.

"With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what's next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda," the CEO said.

The new Galaxy phones utilize metal instead of plastic and are equipped with wireless charging and advanced camera technology. They also feature Samsung's new mobile payment system.

The Edge version, which features a curved screen that wraps along each side of the phone, has been especially popular.

Global telecom firms have already started delivering the new smartphones to customers who preordered.

Samsung's archrival LG also hopes to repeat the success story of the G3 smartphone with the upcoming debut of its new G4 on April 29.

LG is said to have advanced the launch by more than a month in a bid to compete head-on with the acclaimed Galaxy.

"Samsung's Galaxy 6 is excellent. But our new product (G4) is also a powerful competitor," said LG's mobile chief Cho Ju-no at the MWC. "We have high hopes for the new phone."

According to the company, the G4 will be equipped with all-new user experience software and enhanced camera technologies. In its recent upscale push, the new phone is expected to use leather on the rear side.

The rival firms are feeling the squeeze from affordable phones by Chinese upstarts such as Xiaomi and Apple's hot-selling iPhones.

Industry watchers say the companies will go all-out to win over customers on their home turf, as well as beef up their marketing activities around the world.

Apple was the market leader in the global smartphone market last year, with a 37.6 per cent market share, followed by Samsung with 25.1 per cent and LG with 4.3 per cent.