Samsung, now the world’s biggest-selling smartphone maker, says it expects to see its profits double for the first three months of the year.

Online investments experts told BBC Monday that Samsung Electronics apparently has been able to hang on to its lead as the market leader in the heated smartphone niche, with its 1st quarter 2012 profit expected to hit $5.1 billion.

BBC said analysts from the LIG Investment & Securities and Kiwoom Securities in Seoul see Samsung’s increasingly popular Galaxy range of smartphones as the engine for the Korean company’s continuing profit growth, despite great competition from the active smartphone market led by Apple’s iPhones, RIM’s Blackberry and Nokia’s Symbian OS models. 

Samsung’s high-end Galaxy S and Galaxy Note editions have been the year’s best sellers, having overtaken the Apple iPhone last year.

The company’s efforts to keep its profit margins healthy despite sharp competition from its giant smartphone rivals have been cited as the key to the double profit figures set to be released in detail in a formal quarterly report on April 27. Profit margins for the company’s fast-selling handsets have been higher than 20%, accounting for the 4 trillion-won profit for the smart phone division. 

The analysts noted that despite Samsung’s current difficulties in its other products, notably in memory chips which are suffering from a glut in worldwide supply, the company could still rev up its overall profit margin as the global economy improves later this year, as predicted, and as parts suppliers such as Japan and Thailand recover from various economic and political problems.

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