Samsung says to launch Galaxy S Mini phone in Europe

SEOUL, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Coplans to unveil a smaller version of its popular Galaxy S IIIflagship smartphone in Europe on Thursday, the head of Samsung'smobile business said, raising competition against Apple Inc's

new iPhone.

The model will be in direct competition with the iPhone 5,which was unveiled in early September and boasts a bigger,4-inch screen than its earlier models.

Samsung's original Galaxy S III, unveiled in late May, has a4.8-inch screen. Strong sales of the flagship phone helpedSamsung post record $7.3 billion operating profit in theJuly-September quarter.

"We think there's strong demand for 4-inch screen models inEurope," a Samsung spokeswoman cited JK Shin, head of its mobilebusiness, as saying on Wednesday.

There has been market speculation that Samsung would launcha stripped out, cheaper version of the Galaxy S III to winmarket share in the mid- to low-end smartphone segment.

Samsung said on Wednesday the Galaxy S III Mini would not bean entry-level model.

Samsung is beefing up its product line-up with such productsas the latest phone-cum-tablet Galaxy Note and ATIV smartphonesthat run on Microsoft's new Windows system to competewith Nokia's Lumia series.

Samsung plans to introduce its first ATIV tablet next monthand ATIV S smartphone in October or November.

Separately, Yonhap news agency quoted Shin as saying thatSamsung did not plan to use its 4G LTE patents to attack itsrivals, suggesting it was not considering expanding its legalbattle with Apple to 4G technologies.

A Samsung spokesman was not immediately available to confirmthose comments.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Robert Birsel)

((miyoung.kim@thomsonreuters.com)(822 3704 5651)(ReutersMessaging: miyoung.kim.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))