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Galaxy S4 to hit Asia at same time as rest of the world

Gregory Lee, CEO of Samsung's operations in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Taiwan, tells CNET that the company expects the device to sell well even in markets where the annual income is lower.

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 will hit Asian markets the same time it arrives in the U.S. and Europe, a Samsung executive told CNET today.

Gregory Lee, CEO of Samsung's operations in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Taiwan, told CNET today that the company plans to roll out the device globally "almost simultaneously."

"We have, over the years, become very good at operations," Lee said. "In the past, we staggered [launches]. These days, we've become very good at rolling out new products around the world."

Samsung today launched the Galaxy S4, the company's new, high-end smartphone. The device has been highly anticipated around the world and is the most hyped device Samsung has seen. Asia is a key market for Samsung, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore. In more emerging markets, like Thailand, Samsung's lower priced devices are more popular.

Lee said that although many people in parts of Southeast Asia have lower annual incomes than more-developed nations, Samsung expects the Galaxy S4 to sell well in the region.

"We do very well with flagship products like the Galaxy S3 and Note 2," Lee said. "We do a disproportionate amount of product [sales] and gain market share in our region versus other regions. It's a sign in Asia that smartphones have taken off very well."

He added that Samsung wants to "own" the high-end of the market, no matter the region.

"We don't want to give up that space to others," Lee said. "We want to have it in every market."