Having safely survived the end of the world as we know it – hey Mayans, your calendar app turned out to be pretty buggy by the way – we can look forward at 2013 and what it will mean for the mobile business, and especially for Android.

And we can’t talk about Android in 2013 without mentioning Samsung, which is currently the most successful Android maker out there. In fact, The Korea Times has learned from some sources certain details about Samsung’s plans for next year.

According to the publication, Samsung will ship over half a billion handsets next year, of which 390 million will be smartphones:

“Of the 510 million handsets it plans to sell, 390 million are slated as smartphones and 120 million, feature and budget phones,” according to an executive from one of Samsung’s key suppliers. […]

Another source said that Samsung expects to manufacture 240 million devices at its Vietnamese factory, 170 million in China and 20 million in India to complement the 40 million to be produced in its Korean factory in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province. [Add all that up and we’re looking at 470 million units.]

Obviously, we’re mostly interested in those 390 million smartphones, because most of them will probably run Android. The online newspaper says that Samsung will also release Windows 8 mobile and TIZEN smart devices next year, but we expect Android to still play a major role in Samsung’s future.

Of course, not all projections are similarly positive, with research firm Gartner having a different view for Samsung’s 2013 handset sales:

The plan contrasts a previous outlook by leading market researcher Gartner, that predicted the Korean firm to sell between 250 million and 300 million smartphones next year. In 2011, Samsung sold 97.4 million smartphones, up from 23.9 million and 0.6 million in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

While the article doesn’t specifically mention Samsung’s 2013 flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S4, we expect it to be the most important smartphone in the company’s lineup no matter how many smartphones it ends up selling. The Galaxy S3 is currently the best sold Android device to date with well over 30 million units sold, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Galaxy S4 beat its predecessor when it comes to sales next year.

As for 2012, the company is expected to sell 420 million handsets this year, with 288 million devices having already been sold in the first three quarters. We’ll learn more about Samsung’s fourth quarter in January when the company will share with the world Q4 financial details.

Are you buying Samsung next year, or will you be waiting for HTC, Motorola (Google), LG and Sony to put up a stronger fight?

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