Samsung Electronics Co, the world's biggest technology firm by revenue and the world's No.2 handset maker, is confident of its handset shipments overtaking that of Nokia this year, its chief executive said on Monday.

Samsung, which surged past Apple as the world's biggest smartphone maker in the third quarter, is quickly building on its supremacy with sleek designs and a rich product lineup, while the latest models from the likes of HTC, Nokia and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion struggle to interest consumers.

The South Korean firm said in early December that its 2011 handset sales reached 300 million handsets for the first time, mainly led by a near four-fold jump in smartphone sales.

Samsung chief executive Choi Gee-sung told reporters in Las Vegas on Monday that the firm already overtook Nokia in revenue terms in its latest reported quarter and was confident of topping the Finnish firm in shipments this year.

The bullish forecast by Samsung is in line with some analysts, including Royal Bank of Scotland, betting Samsung would build on its momentum to overtake Nokia in 2012.

That would mean another defeat to Nokia, which lost its decade-long rein in smartphones to Apple in the second quarter of 2011, ending its 14-year rule in the handset market.

According to the latest polls by Reuters, Nokia's 2011 handsets were estimated at 418 million versus Samsung's 320 million but it would continue its lead in 2012, although the gap is seen declining to 388 million versus 359 million.

Choi also said Samsung was likely to meet its 2015 sales target ahead of schedule and plans to increase investment this year.

With the current sales growth rate, we are likely to... achieve the 2015 sales target of $200 billion earlier, Samsung chief executive Choi Gee-sung told reporters.

Samsung reported last week a 6.5 percent rise in 2011 revenue to 164.7 trillion won.