Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung Electronics (Seoul: 005930) has already sold more than 20 million. Jayce Ooi's Paradise

Samsung Electronics (Seoul: 005930) said third-quarter operating income nearly doubled to 8.1 trillion won (US $7.3 billion), largely on huge demand for new Galaxy S III phones and Galaxy tablets.

Shares rose slightly in South Korean trading Friday, closing at 1.37 billion won, up 29 percent for the year.

Samsung announced the earnings in a regulatory filing, which said it will report record earnings for the fourth consecutive quarter. Analysts at Nomura Securities estimate the company sold 60 million smartphones in the period ended Sept. 30, including 18 million Galaxy S III units.

The strong showing may also reflect the success of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in sales of the iPhone 5 and earlier models. Samsung is one of Apple's top components suppliers. Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Oct. 25.