Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has high hopes for its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. The flagship devices have garnered rave reviews and are selling well since they hit market April 10. Samsung expects strong sales throughout the year, with the South Korean manufacturer targeting 70 million units by the end of 2015.

The fervor over the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge has been strong, with the devices drawing lines of customers at many retail outlets, a la Apple-product launches. Samsung executives have taken the consumer excitement over the handsets as a sign the company will book hefty sales and profits this year. "The S6 should do well. The first week looks impressive," Samsung Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said at an affiliates meeting at the company's Seocho headquarters in Seoul Wednesday.

Preliminary reports indicate Samsung received more than 20 million preorders for the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. U.S. carrier T-Mobile said it has already sold twice as many Galaxy S6 devices as it did Galaxy S5 handsets when that smartphone launched in April 2014.

Analysts rapidly increased their sales estimates for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge even before their launch. Their forecasts leading into 2015 indicated the manufacturer could move 38 million handsets by the end of the year, but predictions increased to 46 million in early March and to 55 million in late March.

But Samsung said the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge could sell even better than analysts have dared to predict. "We expect 70 million-plus," a company executive told the Korea Times.

That could put the manufacturer on par with one of its closest rivals, Apple, which had sales estimates of between 70 million and 80 million for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus before their launch in September. Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus units during their first weekend of availability, and the company reported selling 74.5 million smartphones overall in the fourth quarter of last year.

In 2014, Samsung suffered significant drops in its smartphone sales and overall profits, while Apple leaped forward to snag the spot as the top smartphone manufacturer in the U.S., a position Samsung formerly held. Both companies are currently grappling with the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc. for the top smartphone-shipments spot in China.

After designing the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge to encompass premium glass and metal -- and stuffing the devices with leading hardware, software and services -- Samsung is confident it will be able to reverse its fortunes and reclaim its position as the smartphone leader in all markets. "We are back on track," a company executive told the Korea Times.