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Samsung unveils Galaxy S4 mini phone to target mid-tier market

Samsung flags are set up at the main entrance to the Berlin fair ground before the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, August 28, 2012.
Samsung flags are set up at the main entrance to the Berlin fair ground before the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, August 28, 2012.

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co unveiled a stripped down version of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone on Thursday, aiming to grab a bigger share in the mid-tier segment as growth in the high-end market slows.

The Galaxy S4 mini, which follows the debut of the S4 just a month ago, will have a 4.3-inch screen - still bigger than Apple Inc's 4-inch iPhone 5 - and a 8-mega pixel rear-facing camera.

By comparison, the original S4, which hit the 10 million-sale mark last week to become Samsung's fastest selling smartphone, has a bigger 5-inch full high-definition screen and a 13-mega pixel camera.

Samsung did not announce a price for the phone or give a launch date, but the market estimates the smaller type will be priced at around $350.

The launch comes ahead of the widely speculated low-priced iPhone later this year and as Samsung, the world's top smartphone maker, looks to widen its lead with products spanning both the high and cheap-and-cheerful ends of the market.

Samsung is also expected to unveil more varieties of the S4 in the upcoming mobile event in London next month including a model with optical camera zoom functionality as well as a phone with water-proof features.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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