Samsung has delayed the launch of a new smartphone in respect of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Samsung Electronics Co said on Monday it would delay the launch of the smartphone, which is based on Google’s latest version of the Android operating system – dubbed the Ice Cream Sandwich – while the world mourned Jobs’s death.

"We decided it was not the right time to announce a new product while the world was expressing tribute to Steve Jobs's passing," a Samsung spokesman said.

No new release date has been given for the smartphone, intended to launch tomorrow.

The announcement comes as Apple and Samsung are locked in an intensifying legal battle.

The two electronics giants are suing each other in 20 cases filed in 10 countries since April. A California court ruling due on Thursday could affect Samsung's mobile device sales in the United States, one of its biggest markets.

Samsung said it has no plan to delay scheduled hearing dates due to Jobs' death. Less than a day before his death, Samsung widened its patent-infringement cases with the US firm to ban the sale of Apple's new iPhone in France and Italy after a series of setbacks in Australia and Europe.

Apple says Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad. Samsung rejects the claims and argues the U.S. firm infringed on its mobile patents.

Samsung is the most credible challenger to Apple in smartphones and tablets, and the biggest maker of mobile phones based on Android. Android phones have a greater combined market share than Apple's iPhone, the world's best-selling smartphone.

Apple unveiled its latest iPhone last week, which US mobile carrier AT&T said had seen "extraordinary demand". There were more than 200,000 pre-orders in the first 12 hours.

Last week, Apple rejected an offer from Samsung to settle a tablet computer dispute in Australia, possibly killing off the commercial viability of the new Galaxy tablet in that market.

Jobs died last Wednesday following a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer, and tributes from world leaders, business rivals and fans have poured in.